Every Day is Earth Day at Monsanto Hawaii
Here at Monsanto Hawaii, every day is Earth Day. Preserving the land and Hawaii’s natural resources is an important part of Monsanto Hawaii’s commitment to being good stewards and good neighbors through sustainable farming practices, employee volunteerism and monetary contributions.
Just like any farmer or rancher, the natural resources used to operate our businesses are of utmost importance to a sustainable operation. We care deeply about protecting our island’s natural resources and strive daily to preserve the land for future generations. A few of our environmental stewardship projects include:
- Monsanto’s local recycling efforts included the collection of 280,000 pounds of used drip irrigation tubing for recycling. We recycle all waste cartons, batteries, and oils on an ongoing basis. By making every effort to reuse and recycle materials that could otherwise head to our island’s landfills, we’re helping to do our part to keep Hawaii green.
- At our Piilani Farm on Maui, all landscaping irrigation, toilet water, and agricultural irrigation systems use non-potable recycled water (R-1) purchased from the Kihei Wastewater Reclamation Facility. In 2010, Monsanto signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Maui County – pledging to use more R-1 if it were to become available.
- Ongoing energy conservation efforts include automated irrigation and drip tube systems. In coordination with Hawaii Clean Energy, interior and exterior lighting continues to be retrofitted with motion- activated timers and/or LED bulbs. A photovoltaic system for our facilities is currently under review by Maui Electric Co., with construction planned for 2015.
- Through Monsanto’s continued support of Maui’s Soil & Water Conservation Districts, we supported the establishment of the Southwest Maui Watershed Project. The goals prescribed by this two year effort echo our own commitments as resource stewards. Improving the quality of our water is a responsibility of everyone in the community, and we are happy to do our part.
- In addition to grants to various conservation programs in Hawaii, a team of Monsanto Hawaii employees performed a series of studies in collaboration with the company’s Molokai and Kunia farms to better understand the movement of irrigation water in the soil and its uptake by the crop. By making key changes to our irrigation practices, we achieved a savings of approximately 50 million gallons per year, an overall reduction in water usage of about 25%.
- Our building at Kunia earned a silver level LEED certification for its green building features including efficient lighting and cooling systems, eco-friendly water systems, and recycled or low-emitting building materials
In addition to conservation efforts on our own farms, we are also committed to supporting environmental and restoration efforts throughout our community. In the spirit of kokua (Hawaiian for “help” or “support”), one of Monsanto’s core values is to support the communities in which our employees live and work. Throughout the years, Monsanto Hawaii has given grants and volunteered manpower for numerous environmental efforts throughout our community, including:
- Cleared nearly 2,500 non-native pines in a six-acre area of threatened shrubland in the Waikamoi Preserve on the island of Maui. If left unchecked, the fragile ecosystem at Waikamoi would be overtaken by the non-native pine, threatening the Preserve’s rare dry mamane sub-alpine shrubland, found only on East Maui and the Big Island.
- Helped with restoration efforts at Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge on Maui, a critical wetland habitat home to the endangered Hawaiian stilt (ae`o) and Hawaiian coot (`ala eke oke`o).
- Awarded a $20,000 grant through The Monsanto Fund for watershed protection on Molokai. Since 2006, the Monsanto Fund has contributed a total of $130,000 towards the protection and restoration efforts of critical watershed and fragile ecosystems on Molokai
- Labeled more than 150 storm drains in the Royal Kunia and Waipahu neighborhoods with reminders not to throw trash down the storm drains, helping to keep our ocean clean.
Monsanto Hawaii is dedicated to malama ʻaina. We understand the importance of preserving and protecting our island home and we are dedicated to being a good steward of our land and natural resources and giving back to our island community. To learn more about our stewardship practices, please visit our conservation page.