Bringing efficiency and sustainability to Hawai‘i’s public school system
Through an innovative partnership to reduce its environmental impact and also to change community practices surrounding energy use, Hawai‘i’s public school system partnered with ENGIE to design and build a program called Ka Hei – a five-year sustainability program integrating innovative energy technology with meaningful learning experiences, while reducing energy costs through extensive solar installations and various energy efficiency upgrades.
Capturing the congruous relationship between the energy and educational initiatives, the program is aptly titled, Ka Hei, for a specific type of snare made with ropes that the heroic demigod Māui used to harness the power of the sun in Hawaiian tradition. Ka Hei also means “to absorb as knowledge or skill.”
Honowai Elementary School in Waipahu, O‘ahu, was recognized as a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School for its innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.
The far-reaching Ka Hei program unites efforts to achieve Hawai‘i’s ambitious renewable energy goals with a comprehensive educational component that aligns with the standards that guide Hawai‘i’s 255 public schools, each of which have been touched in some way by Ka Hei.
Learn more about Ka Hei here.