skip to Main Content

The University of Hawaiʻi integrates sustainability
across its Operations, Education, Research,
Campus & Community Engagement
and Cultural Connections.

Executive Policy 4.202

5 Pillars of Sustainability

Sustainability at the University of Hawaiʻi

At the University of Hawaiʻi, our work integrates sustainability across our enterprise, beginning with acknowledgement of the stark realities of climate change, racial and social inequities, and biodiversity collapse.

Being in reciprocal relationship with land and environment is necessary for humans to live within the biophysical limits of our planet, and can help humanity respond to the crises we face.

We develop and implement solutions which reduce our harmful environmental impacts, better support our students and faculty, and address root causes of these intersectional crises which challenge us all.

“We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace.”

– The Earth Charter

What is sustainability?

Sustainability is defined as “serving the needs of the present without jeopardizing the needs of the future.”
(Bruntland, 1987)

We refer to the principles of The Earth Charter which defines sustainability in all its dimensions: cultural, economic, environmental, and social.

We recognize the rich foundation of indigenous Hawaiian cultural values and knowledge, and seek to learn from this foundation in order to respond to climate change and sustainability challenges.

From Policy to Practice

At the University of Hawai’i we incorporate sustainability into our Operations, Education, Research, Engagement, and Cultural Connections. In 2015 the University’s Board of Regents adopted a systemwide sustainability policy which was informed by 2 years of conversation with faculty, students, staff and administration across our campuses.

Education

The University of Hawai’i offers a number of sustainability-focused and sustainability-related courses and degree programs. Colleges and departments are actively incorporating sustainability into offerings to equip students with educations that are relevant to the futures they will inherit. Keep a look out each semester for SF designated courses and learn how to obtain a degree in sustainability.

Operations

At the University of Hawai’i we incorporate sustainability into our Operations, Education, Research, Engagement, and Cultural Connections. In 2015 the University’s Board of Regents adopted a systemwide sustainability policy which was informed by 2 years of conversation with faculty, students, staff and administration across our campuses.

Research

Important research is conducted across the University of Hawai’i System to respond to and solve both near-term and long-term sustainability challenges. Every discipline holds keys to mitigate and adapt to climate change. We invite our students to utilize our campuses as ecosystems for co-creation, experimentation and evaluation of innovative ideas for sustainable solutions. Talk with your advisor on how your research interests can be applied to sustainability.

Engagement

The University of Hawai’i cultivates dialogue about climate change, sustainability and resilience issues in all their dimensions: social, cultural, environmental and economic. Follow @sustainableUH on InstagramFacebook and YouTube where we explore ways to imagine, vision, and articulate pathways forward, as well as highlight stories of inspiration happening in our community. Follow these channels for staying up to date on current events, seminars, and opportunities for campus engagement.

Cultural Connections

We look to the past to remind us of who we are, and inform how we can navigate our futures ahead. At the University of Hawai’i we strive to embrace the culture, wisdom, and fundamental values of the indigenous people of Hawai‘i. It is a work in progress and there is more to be done, but we are dedicated to uphold these values and create an immersive, inclusive campus experience for the communities we serve.

For example, check out the great work being done by Hawaiʻi Papa O Ke Ao, as well as the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s  Native Hawaiian Place of Learning Advancement Office.

News

  • Experts aim to keep coral reefs from dying offExperts aim to keep coral reefs from dying off
    An international group of scientific experts identified and discussed the requirements for coral reef survival in an article in Biological Conservation. The post Experts aim to keep coral reefs from dying off first appeared on University of Hawaiʻi System News. Read more »
  • Dive into World Ocean Month with the Waikīkī AquariumDive into World Ocean Month with the Waikīkī Aquarium
    A variety of activities and events including educational resources, a gift shop sale and beach clean-up will be held throughout the month of June. The post Dive into World Ocean Month with the Waikīkī Aquarium first appeared on University of Hawaiʻi System News. Read more »
  • Cracking the code of coral reef resilienceCracking the code of coral reef resilience
    Crawford Drury was awarded $950,000 for his project which aims to speed up the natural evolution of heat resilient corals. The post Cracking the code of coral reef resilience first appeared on University of Hawaiʻi System News. Read more »
  • Engineering students develop innovative stormwater solutionsEngineering students develop innovative stormwater solutions
    CIMP celebrated its second year with a ceremony at the Entrepreneurs Sandbox on May 21. The post Engineering students develop innovative stormwater solutions first appeared on University of Hawaiʻi System News. Read more »
Powered by RSS Feed Plugin

Indigenous practices could assist endangered waterbird recovery

May 9, 2021

Photo of Ae'o waterbird
Ae’o waterbird

Expanded restoration of Indigenous practices will more than compensate for projected losses of endangered waterbird habitat. These findings of an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and Kamehameha Schools may provide useful information in discussions at the federal level to down-list the endangered aeʻo (Hawaiian Stilt, Himantopus mexicanus knudseni) to the level of “threatened.”

Read the full story on UH News

Young leaders strengthen UH sustainability initiatives

May 13, 2021

Ten full-time Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) Fellows began their year of service at 10 University of Hawaiʻi campuses in April, where they will provide capacity to strengthen UH’s sustainability and resilience programming to better meet the needs of our students and communities.

Read the full story on UH News

Search for an Expert in the UH Community of Practice

Search by Area of Interest or by Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

Last modified: June 8, 2021
Back To Top