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An Ahupua`a Perspective:
Environmental Care
Social Responsibility &
Good Governance (ESG) Investment

Ahupua`a Economic Models &

Integrated ESG Investment

for Global Impact

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Community Curated Impact Gauges:

Clarity for Investors & Stakeholders


Maui and Hawaii are experiencing the impacts of climate change, pressures on the natural environment upon which residents, native Hawaiians, and the economy depend, threats to food security and water resources, outflows of economic benefits off-island, and a lack of opportunities that can sustain families in the islands, while supporting their values and culture.


While institutional investors are increasingly identifying Maui as a high value investment opportunity, they have been slow to learn from Hawaii’s history of technological and social innovation. There is an opportunity for capital to be put to work on behalf of Maui’s natural and cultural resources, generating community wealth and a return on investment with ESG outcomes — in a manner that is replicable globally.


Hawaii residents recognize the need for long-term investment that will diversify the economy, nurture innovation, and prepare the next generation for the future of work. The community also recognizes the necessity of robust and reliable stakeholder-driven metrics that guide investment toward demonstrably positive social, cultural, environmental, and economic impacts.

Addressing the Challenges

On January 31 and February 1, 2020, the Ahupua`a Investment Summit brought together the local Hawaii and Maui community, leaders of impact investing from around the world, academics, thought leaders, native Hawaiians, union leaders, lawmakers, pension beneficiaries, large institutional asset owners, and other stakeholders.

The intention was not just to discuss impact and sustainable investing, but to work together on practical, comprehensive approaches for capital to begin flowing into Maui in a manner that supports the needs of the community in ways that are sustainable and innovative.

There was no charge for the Summit in order to ensure that community concerns were represented and that participants attended for the purpose of doing the work needed to create positive impacts. More than fifty percent of attendees were from Maui or other parts of Hawaii.

Click here for viideos of entire Day One summit panels and highlights from Day Two discussions.


Damon Silvers, AFL-CIO Policy Director

Navigating the Storm of Climate Change and Inequality Panel

“We need to stop thinking about land and start thinking about people….The economies that succeed are the ones that invest in their people and that have strategies for making use of human capital in effective ways in the global economy.”

Maui ESG Project Phase II

Expanding Capacity to Connect Capital Deployment to Community Need
✓ Building on knowledge and relationships nurtured over the last year to develop actionable ESG business models.
✓ Emphasizing the “S” in ESG — social care — including addressing the impacts of COVID-19.
✓Developing opportunities for local control over or direct benefit from productive assets that build generational wealth.
✓ Developing opportunities for creating jobs that are not reliant on outside discretionary spending such as tourism.
Learn More About ESG Investment

Goals and Objectives

The Maui ESG Project will serve the following public purposes in 2020 and 2021:

✓ Supporting the successful deployment of capital for community needs by using an ESG/Ahupua’a investment framework in the development of new business models.

✓ Supporting increased economic diversification in a way that provides a foundation for the creation of good jobs in Maui County that adhere to Ahupua`a Values.

✓ Achieving replicable outcomes that help to position Maui County to become a financial and educational leader for the global advancement of effective ESG investment — a growing, multi-trillion dollar market — with integration of the Ahupua’a model.

Learn More About Ahupua`a Summit 2.0

June 30, 2021: Accelerating Climate Action & Economic Self-Sufficiency Through ESG Investment

Moderated by Maui County Council Vice Chair Keani Rawlins-Fernandez, panelists discussed Maui County’s Geographic Isolation as an Economic & Innovation Advantage, Native Hawaiian & Community Ownership of Assets, Investment & Funding for Community-Based Infrastructure & Renewable Energy

More Panels


…The case study alleges that Trinitas has a history of making questionable sustainable investments, particularly when it comes to water.

According to the report, “Trinitas Partners and their affiliates have shown themselves to be masters of sustainable investment rhetoric, [but] the on the ground realities of their agricultural investments show a much more complex picture.” The case study outlines a deal that the partners executed in California, which converted land from vineyards and other crops into almond farms…

Read the Full Article
$17.1 trillion
ESG integrated Assets under management at year end 2019
$2 billion
Outside investment committed to Maui in 2018
$18 billion
Total invested by Hawaii's Retirement System in 2020
Deadline for Hawaii to reach 100% renewable energy

Ahupua`a Investment Project Goals:

  • Develop a blueprint for Maui to become a financial and educational leader for the global advancement of effective impact investing with environmental, social and governance (ESG) integration.
  • Create a framework for guiding significant capital investment into Maui and Hawaii in a manner that creates measurably positive and sustainable impacts as identified by the community.
Mahalo to Forest & Kim Starr for photos of kalo and Keanae (including this one).

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