Our Sustainability Commitment
Sustainability is not simply something that is a sign of the times, but something LbE Hawaii eats, sleeps, and breaths.
-Koichiro Kita, CEO
At LbE Hawaii (Learn by Experience), our vision is to make the world a better place. Education is the heart of our business and we develop and operate educational programs, targeted to a diverse group of people. We have impacted over 6,000 students around the globe, inching our way to building a foundation capable of facilitating the society of tomorrow.
Naturally, the society of tomorrow has one crucial driver: Sustainability. While the transition towards sustainability is only starting to gain traction in global markets, we have looked at all of our business practices, products, and services through the lens of sustainability and made it a requirement at the core of our organization. To make the biggest positive impact on our world, LbE Hawaii aims to become a global leader in education for sustainable development and thus, we have added another internal definition to our name: Leading by Example.
While there are several challenges faced in a successful transition towards sustainability, LbE Hawaii has not only set its sights on the future, but analyzed and evaluated and implemented various guidelines. These guidelines are business practices and commitments created at the oversight level, which is composed of leaders and team members of LbE Hawaii.
The general sustainability direction and guidelines for LbE Hawaii is mainly categorized as internal and external processes. For the internal processes, the key focus areas are as follows:
Leadership & Management Approach
Impact Assessment & Management
Production and Procurement
Leadership & Management Approach
We are further strengthening our strategy of creating what we like to call “Team of Teams”. This means that both vertical and horizontal communication and collaboration is key among all members of the LbE network (LbE Hawaii and partner company, LbE Japan), which helps to strengthen the overall internal social sustainability and cohesiveness.
Impact Assessment & Management
In order to fully grasp the impact we have on economic, social, and environmental sustainability within our companies, we are working closely with the United Nations and the Global Reporting Initiative, as an UN Global Compact member and creating a GRI Sustainability Report on an annual basis.
To ensure the best possible accessibility to educational programs, we have created an online platform capable of providing informational and learning materials, online classes, and networking opportunities for learners of all backgrounds and ages. While this helps to bring sustainability education easily into households all over the globe, it also helps us to make educational frameworks and the provision of educational information more resilient to catastrophes. This is especially relevant due to having witnessed the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Production & Procurement
Within our program production we are aiming to further implement sustainability while also creating new educational programs focused solely on sustainability. In our physical programs for example, we are even more conscious of walkability by selecting our program and activity locations in a way that precludes the need for vehicular transportation.
In addition, we have taken several steps to utilizing solely digital forms of communication and presentation in all office related processes while also creating digital workbooks and services for all LbE Hawaii programs. Lastly, we are aiming to utilize renewable resources wherever possible and monitor all energy uses for the purposes of reducing their usage in our offices and programs. This also includes limiting and monitoring the use of water in office sanitation.
In regard to our external industry relations and partnerships, we have also determined several foci that help to strengthen our positive impacts in our economies, communities, and environments:
To have a positive impact on the tourism industry at large we are working closely with our affiliated travel agencies in creating pledges to reduce the use of non-digital marketing materials. In addition we are highly motivated to create more homestay opportunities for students to foster communal development and interregional and intercultural exchanges.
In order to strengthen the local economy, reduce waste creation, and support fresh and regional food production, we are developing partnerships with meal providers that source all food locally and utilize easily compostable, reusable, and/or recyclable packaging.
Although in some of our activities we have to rely on vehicular transportation, we are redesigning our programs to utilize public transportation wherever possible and aim to develop partnerships with city administrations for more cost-effective transportation for our students.
We are working tirelessly to become the one-stop shop in sustainable learning and leadership for all students and life-long learners.
So in the words of our Founder and President, Koichiro Kita, “Let’s Make It Happen!”
Co-Founder & CEO
Co-Founder & COO
Our Climate Impact in 2021
In 2021, we have collected and calculated our CO2 emissions stemming from transportation. In total, our team has driven 2,700+ miles in Hawai'i and consumed 92+ Gallons of Fossil Fuels.
This equates to 1.4 tons of CO2 emissions.
While our overall impact is small, we understand our responsibility to you and our planet, and have thus organized a way for us to effectively mitigate our emissions through carbon offsetting.
To do so, we have employed the services of MyClimate, a no-profit that specializes in offsetting carbon emissions and climate-related education.
As we understand that, sometimes, simple compliance isn't enough, we have also donated to myClimate to help them further our joint-goal of providing education focused on sustainability.
But wait! There's more....lots more!
In 2021, we have not only paid attention to seemingly small impacts to our environment, but have achieved something not any business of our size are home to:
A fully-fletched Sustainability Report guided by the Standards of the Global Reporting Initiative.
The Global Reporting Initiative is the world's preeminent reporting organization for companies to communicate their progress and goals focused on their sustainability transition.
While this report encompasses all conceivable aspects of business, many of which are focused on large, multi-national corporations, LbE Hawaii is incredibly proud to have completed their own GRI Report.
As LbE Hawaii has much room to grow, the GRI functions as a baseline to assess our current standing in terms of sustainable processes, and helps us to identify our next steps in becoming not only a teacher in sustainability, but a role model for all other companies aiming to mitigate negative impacts from the start.
Below, you can find our GRI Magazine focused on the years of 2020 & 2021.