Hawai‘i Green Growth Annual Member Event Highlights

November 14, 2019: The Hawai‘i Green Growth Local2030 Hub annual members meeting hosted by the Bishop Museum brought together Network partners from across public, private, and civil society to advance joint priorities. The Network launched the first statewide Voluntary Local Review to take stock of progress on the Aloha+ Challenge, Hawai‘i’s local framework to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), marking the start of the Decade of Action from 2020-2030.

The 2019 event included opening remarks by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell on City initiatives to implement the Ola Resilience Strategy and Maui Managing Director Sandy Baz on resilience and renewable transportation strategies, with messages from all four counties on initiatives advancing the Aloha+ Challenge and UN Sustainable Development Goals. HGG members provided reports on Working Group efforts underway to implement the 2018-2020 Strategy, and identified recommendations during a series of interactive sessions to inform the 2020 Voluntary Local Review and Network initiatives.

Video message by Kaua’i Mayor Derek Kawakami and launch of the Kaua‘i Aloha+ Challenge to promote community engagement and action on Hawai‘i’s sustainability goals.

Hawai’i Voluntary Local Review for 2020

Aloha+ Challenge 5-Year Review: Hawai‘i’s Framework to Achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Aloha+ Challenge 5-Year Review:
Launch of the 2020 Voluntary Local Review

Hawai‘i will pioneer the first statewide Voluntary Local Review, convened by the HGG Local2030 Hub with state, county, and business and civil society partners. In July 2020, Hawai‘i will have an opportunity to share statewide progress on the Aloha+ Challenge and the UN Sustainable Development Goals with the international community during the UN High-Level Political Forum.

HGG members launched the 2020 Voluntary Local Review with sessions to identify recommendations across policy innovation, measurement, circular economy and ESG, next generation leadership, community resilience, and sustainable tourism.

Measurement and Tracking Progress
Statewide and county-level metrics through the Aloha+ Dashboard will guide the 2020 Voluntary Local Review, building on the multi-year stakeholder co-development process. Partners discussed data availability and metrics for greenhouse gas emissions, tourism, gender and equity, health, water use, invasive species, transportation, and creative industries. Recommendations included creating a visual storytelling experience to make data relatable, promote behavior change, and inform data-driven decision making and investments, in tandem to citizen science pilots underway on the Dashboard.
Building Community Resilience
Cross-sector and community-based resilience strategies can foster shared investment in outcomes that benefit diverse stakeholders and reduce economic, social, and environmental risks. Recommendations focused on individual commitments, neighbor-neighbor connections, and county-level actions, as well as key drivers around sustainable agriculture, ecosystem restoration, and green infrastructure. The Hawai’i 2020 VLR can support implementation of resilience actions in areas of planning, recovery, and financing; baseline assessments and measurement; and community engagement and public education with statewide initiatives such as Volunteer Week Hawai‘i.
Policy Innovation 
Public and private sector policy innovation can be scaled to increase impact, and members identified courageous leadership, community engagement, and potential financing mechanisms, such as carbon pricing and stormwater utilities, as levers for implementation. Partners reinforced the importance of safe space for stakeholder dialogue to build trust, support rigorous measurement, and proactively address trade-offs across sustainability goals. Affordability, climate mitigation and resilience, and water-energy-food nexus priorities surfaced as key areas, with opportunities to redefine risk and engage students in developing tangible policy projects that can be replicated.
Circular Economy, Island Economy
The intersection of innovation and Environmental Social Governance (ESG) can support achieving triple-bottom line outcomes, as well as the transition from linear to circular economy models – an island economy. Innovative technology, behavior change, and policy incentives were identified as key components to a successful transition, and members discussed the proposed Honolulu single-use plastics ban (City Council Bill 40), procurement and contract barriers, supply-demand bottlenecks for early adopters, investment opportunities, as well as bridge technologies in areas such as plastics, farm-to-school, waste and energy.
Storytelling and Next Generation Leadership
Storytelling can complement the quantitative data measured on the Aloha+ Dashboard, and help communicate community and student initiatives advancing statewide goals such as the Kaua‘i Aloha+ ChallengeConservation Compass, and Youth Sustainability Challenge. The 2020 Voluntary Local Review was identified as a near-term opportunity for knowledge exchange, student engagement, and building community and stakeholder cohesion. Members recommended youth voices play a prominent role throughout the entire process, and noted the importance of curriculum in supporting student sustainability leadership pathways.
Transformative Opportunities for Sustainable Tourism 

As a key economic driver, the tourism sector can lead on achieving statewide sustainability goals and further position Hawai‘i at the cutting edge. Members discussed challenges of overtourism and environmental and social impacts, and identified opportunities to reframe the relationship between visitors and communities, increase visitor education and utilize cultural resources such as the Ma‘ema‘e toolkit, and advance initiatives that increase sustainable operations. Recommendations for next steps focused on collaboration with the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and stakeholders on sustainable tourism metrics, baseline trends, and near-term initiatives that promote the well-being of Hawai‘i’s natural and cultural resources, local economy, and communities.

Private Sector Action:

Sustainability Business Forum

The HGG Local2030 Hub Annual Meeting highlighted private sector leadership on the Aloha+ Challenge, including joint initiatives by the Sustainability Business Forum with the Green Your Business Initiative tracked on the Aloha+ Dashboard and carbon off-set pilot.

Local Innovation: Network Partner Events

Network partner events showcased cutting-edge innovations advancing Hawai‘i’s Aloha+ Challenge and UN SDGs. The Hawai‘i Annual Code Challenge culminated a multi-week innovation sprint and Mana Up featured its fourth cohort of local entrepreneurs.