Hoouluwehi team
From left, Hoʻouluwehi Director Eric Knutzen, Kauaʻi Community College Chancellor Helen Cox and Special Assistant to the Housing Director for the County of Kauaʻi Imai Aiu

Kauaʻi Community College has been selected to receive a 2013 Climate Leadership Award by Second Nature, a national nonprofit that works to create a healthy, just and sustainable society by transforming higher education. Watch the video highlighting the college’s efforts.

The awards are presented annually to signatory institutions of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment that demonstrate innovative and advanced leadership in education for sustainability and climate mitigation and adaptation.

“These exemplary institutions have shown us that bold action on climate is not only possible but pragmatic,” said David Hales, president of Second Nature. “Their operational, educational and community initiatives are fueling the thought behind what is both necessary and achievable in addressing climate change, and the labors of these leading institutions will benefit all of society.”

This year, the award program’s fourth, drew the most competitive pool of nominations. The winners were among 20 finalists chosen by Second Nature’s board and represent the diversity of higher education institutions across the U.S.

“Realistically, our challenge is daunting. Kauaʻi imports approximately 90 percent of its food and produces 91 percent of its energy with off-island fossil fuel of which 85 percent is imported from foreign countries,” said Eric Knutzen, director of Hoʻouluwehi: The Sustainable Living Institute of Kauaʻi. “What is so inspiring is the positive attitude of our students, faculty and administrators, who believe that we can make a difference together—now.”

“It’s exciting to be a part of this important work in serving our students and our community with these sustainable living solutions,” said Knutzen. “Whether it is about the recycling and repurposing of entire 40-foot containers with our carpentry students converting them to affordable housing, embedding sustainability concepts into our curriculum or partnering with the county to conceptualize an entire sustainable community—so many are involved and selflessly contributing to the success of these projects.”

For more, read the Kauaʻi CC news release.

Kauaʻi CC’s sustainability video

More on Hoʻouluwehi: The Sustainable Living Institute of Kauaʻi