SUSTAINABILITY AT Kauai Community College

Our Vision

Our vision is for a sustainable campus that empowers an island community rich in diversity to actively engage in the efforts needed to secure a vibrant and abundant future through developing innovative approaches to the cultural, social, environmental, and financial issues of today and tomorrow. We are training tomorrow’s leaders, tomorrow’s decision-makers, and it is important that we ground the education we provide in the knowledge and experience of the value of diversity, diversity of culture, of history, of perspectives, for it is this diversity that will ultimately lead us to a prosperous, resilient, and sustainable future.

Ho‘ouluwehi literally translates to “bedeck with plants”. Ho‘o, to cause to grow, and Ho‘ouluwehi, lush and beautiful verdure; a place where beautiful plants thrive. Our aim is to honor and build upon our history and diverse cultures by offering innovative sustainability learning.

This page provides information about sustainability projects on our campus, and links for other resources.

Sustainability Committee

The Kauaʻi CC Sustainability Committee is comprised of faculty, staff, and student representatives who share the interest of creating a culture of sustainability on campus and in the community by ensuring itʻs inclusion in policy, academics, programming, and operations. 

If you would like any additional information about the committee, contact committee heads Pualiʻiliʻimaikalani Rossi and Emily Broderick


UH Executive Policy 4.202: System Sustainability
Here you can find the UH system’s official policy regarding commitment to sustainability across all campuses. EP 4.202 is used to guide and inform Kauaʻi CCʻs own efforts. 

Please click on the tabs below to open

Mālama ʻĀina Academic Subject Certificate 

The 25 credit Mālama ʻĀina Academic Subject Certificate blends indigenous and Western knowledge, culture, and research practices to teach place-based land stewardship thatʻs resilient in the face of today’s challenges. 

Solar Energy Technologies Certificate of Competence

Under the Electrical Installation and Maintenance Technology trade, students have the option of completing the Solar Energy Technology Technician Certificate of Competence. Certificate completion requires 15 credit hours with a special focus on renewable energy photovoltaic systems. 

Hawaiian Botany Certificate of Competence 

The Hawaiian Botany C.O. consists of 7 credits that encompasses both the science and culture that inform Hawaiian botany. 

Marine Option Program Academic Subject Certificate

The Marine Option Program is a 12 credit academic subject certificate with a strong focus on self-directed projects that set students up for future competitive opportunities in the field. 

Automotive Green Technology Certificate of Achievement

Completion of the Hybrid and Electric Vehicle (HEV) Preventive Maintenance and Repair Certificate of Competence, and the HEV Diagnostic and Repair C.O. allows students to receive the Automotive Green Technology C.A.  Students come away with valuable knowledge and training in order to meet the needs of a growing green technology sector on Kauaʻi.

See it highlighted in Blue Planet’s We Are 100 here.  

Study Abroad

KCC encourages its students to check out the array of study abroad programs offered, many of which feature themes of sustainability. 

Previous study abroad programs involving sustainability: 

Photovoltaic System

Currently, 1,434 solar panels sit in the North East field of campus, adjacent to Kaumualiʻi Hwy and the Chinese Pagoda. Plans for this photovoltaic system, the schoolʻs largest to date, began in 2015 and became operational in 2022. The photovoltaic system covers around 40% of the school’s electric use, which translates into savings that go back into school programs. Additional campus solar panels include those topping the electric car charging stations and the One Stop Center building. 

Find out more about the groundbreaking and opening dedication in The Garden Island Newspaper. 

Electric Car Charging

In Parking Lot 3, next to the Daniel Inouye Technology Center, five covered electric car charging stalls are located. Charging is open to the public, but users will need to make a ChargePoint account. 


Ulutopia is a research field for Ulu, or Breadfruit, a staple canoe crop for early Hawaiians. The 40 Ulu trees planted provide opportunities for students to employ practical research, and also distribute harvests to the KCC community. 


The Kauaʻi Community College Apiary houses the bees that make our award winning honey. Beekeeping classes are run through our Office of Continuing Education Training. 


LoiThe campus Loʻi represents the importance of maintaining and confirming cultural spaces, practices, and knowledge in higher education and academia as a whole. The Loʻi also serves as a learning space for KCC classes across disciplines. 

Contact Josh Fukino for inquiries about the campus Loʻi and visiting the space. 

Annual Earth Month EventsEach April the school puts on various events, workdays, and activities in celebration of ka Honua (Earth). See the UH list of previous Earth month events:

And spotlights in The Garden Island: 2019, 2015 

Food PantryThe on-campus Hoʻai Food and Goods Pantry, free and open for all UH students, regularly takes donations to expand their offerings while rescuing clothing, non-expired foods, and other items from entering the land-fill. When available, the pantry also distributes locally grown food donated from partner organizations including the Hawaiʻi FoodBank Kauaʻi Branch, Ulutopia, Kauaʻi Community College Apiary, and GoFarm Hawaiʻi. 

The Kikuchi Collection, housed in the Learning Resource Center, holds various materials from historic fish ponds across Kauaʻi collected by the late Dr. Kikuchi. For more information, and specifics of the archival materials, contact Jason Ford

Students identifying Hawaiʻi plant life using tips taught in the Understory Alliance Workshop From the Fall of 2020 to the Fall of 2023, the UH Office of Sustainability has facilitated hosting Sustainability and Resilience AmeriCorps VISTA members at KCC amongst other UH community colleges. VISTA projects have included expanding the services of the Pantry, collecting metrics on sustainability initiatives, increasing community partnerships,  organizing apiary workdays, and hosting community based organization workshops.


Our Title III Grant Kūkulu A'e supports Kauaʻi Community College students (enrolled in at least 1 course) who want to pursue internships related to Natural Resources and Sustainability. Contact Mariah Opalek,, for more information.


The KCC Career Center regularly receives new job and internship postings in sustainability, conservation, agriculture and other related sectors and helps match interested students with opportunities that contribute to their learning and growth. Schedule an appointment by emailing, or explore career options using the Conservation Compass

Green Initiatives on Campus

The Sustainable Living Institute of Kaua’i

In collaboration with Moses, curator at Grove farm plantation in Lihue, we identified an area and planted 100 Milo trees. In an ongoing effort, we have been nurturing, weeding, collecting data and watering the trees