Sustainability at HPA

Environmental leadership, Hawai‘i style

There can be no question that sustainability is the issue of our time. Watching the oceans warm around us; feeling the pressure of waste management and energy depletion; witnessing the globalization of business and agriculture—one thing is clear: all individuals, industries, communities, and nations now exist within a complex net of interrelated environmental challenges.

At HPA, we believe our campus can become a living laboratory that sends engaged citizens and agents of change into the world. We must raise up a generation of problem-solvers, recognizing that our young people will face both the burden and the opportunities of a new ecological paradigm.



Mālama kaiāulu: cohesive vision

Supported by a generous grant from alumnus Jim Kennedy, class of 1966, we completed a visionary planning process during the 2018-19 academic year to formulate a roadmap that will place HPA among the greenest of schools. Over 1,000 individuals contributed to this comprehensive plan: students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, parents, grandparents, community members, cultural practitioners, environmental experts, and more.

We have set aggressive goals for these metrics, including becoming net zero energy and zero waste by 2030.

The HPA Sustainability Plan expresses a broad perspective of interconnection and responsibility, one that will train our students to be integrated thinkers who see the connections that exist within complicated systems. Mālama kaiāulu (care for our community of spirit, land, and people) calls us to respect all elements that comprise our world—animals and humans, forests and grasslands, ocean and lava rock. We must first work to restore social and ecological systems to a healthy state, and then enable all systems to maintain and evolve. Mālama kaiāulu is our vision for regenerative sustainability.

Four essential practices: How We’ll Carry Out Mālama Kaiāulu

To mālama kaiāulu, our work must be grounded in and reflect four essential practices that are inextricably linked. Each of these practices leads us to actions or habits of mind that will help achieve our full vision for regenerative sustainability.

HA‘INA | Share our story

How we share our story. We ask, how do we carry our learning, models, and progress into the larger world? We hold ourselves accountable in meeting our vision. We share, listen, learn, and grow with our kaiāulu.

KULEANA | Responsibility

A responsibility that is also a privilege. We ask, What is our individual and collective responsibility for mālama kaiāulu? We establish clear systems and assign necessary roles to achieve our vision.

LŌKAHI | Bring harmony

The regenerative harmony and peace we are striving to achieve. We ask, What actions do we need to take in order to bring harmony to our kaiāulu? We build and measure more sustainable and regenerative systems.

PILINA | Connectedness

The vital, symbiotic relationship among all things. We need to understand the system before taking action to enhance the system. We ask, What are the ideas, people, histories, and natural elements involved? We ensure the plan honors this connectedness.

Six Core Goals: Where and How We’ll Measure Progress

As we mālama kaiāulu, HPA will focus on six core goals that transform our teaching and learning, school operations, and community impact. We will evaluate and realign our goals, metrics, and strategies every five years.

Curriculum & Programs

Embed mālama kaiāulu into HPA’s curriculum and program structure to graduate visionary systems-thinkers and environmental change-agents.



Manage the resources used by HPA so efficiently that we reduce our environmental impact and help promote regenerative systems on Hawai‘i Island and beyond.


Promote human and environmental health, recognizing the two are dependent upon each other, to ensure that HPA students and staff are well, happy, and thriving.


Enhance our campus buildings and grounds to honor the land and provide innovative teaching tools that model sustainability innovation.


Deepen our community connections on Hawai‘i Island and maximize sustainable progress beyond HPA by sharing our work and resources.


Optimize our leadership and organizational culture at HPA in order to sustain our commitments.

Next steps

HPA’s Sustainability Plan received unanimous approval from the board of trustees in April 2019. The plan includes 12 metrics by which we measure progress on curricular development, energy, water, waste, transportation, and much more. We are now implementing elements of the plan as resources will allow. Our immediate work focuses on coursework creation and a re-formulation of HPA’s campus master plan through the lens of sustainability, along with seeking funds and philanthropic partners who can help move this vision into reality.

To ask questions or get involved, contact Hannah Hind Candelario ’01, director of advancement, at or contact the sustainability team directly at

Sustainability at HPA

Sustainability Plan

Download the Sustainability Plan PDF.