What kind of sustainable practices does Monsanto Hawaii use on its farms?

Each week, we will answer a question from our readers regarding our operations and community outreach in the State of Hawaii. Submit your question by visiting the contact page. Thanks for reading. Mahalo! 

What kind of sustainable practices does Monsanto Hawaii use on its farms?

In Hawaii, Monsanto is a farmer too.  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.
  • 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.

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. To learn more about our stewardship practices, please visit our conservation page.