At Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, we have a strong focus on our island culture, which includes a responsibility to preserve and respect our `aina (land). That’s why we’re so proud that Aulani recently became the first resort in Hawai‘i to obtain LEED Silver certification through the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for implementing environmentally friendly construction practices and building systems.
According to the USGBC website, LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system that provides independent, third-party verification that a building project meets the highest green building and performance measures. To obtain LEED certification, buildings must pass a rigorous checklist of sustainability points that include water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and awareness and education. LEED certification is also about being stewards of the environment with sensitivity to the impacts on our natural world.
Some of the environmental initiatives in place that allowed us to receive this honor include the use of waste heat for hot water needs. For instance, many people don’t realize that we harvest the heat emitted from the resort’s large chillers – which are used to keep the buildings cool – and divert it to heat the whirlpool spas and swimming pools. We also provide 34 electric car charging stations for plug-in vehicles within Aulani’s parking structure.
Even the location of our resort was taken into consideration for LEED certification. Building on an already developed master planned resort location meant that no trees needed to be cleared and no undeveloped lands were disturbed for Aulani.
As we look toward the future, and look forward to completing our enhancements in September, we will always keep the environment in mind and look for ways to be even more respectful of the land. It is our kuleana (responsibility and privilege).