As a holding company with three subsidiary companies, Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (HEI) needed to publish a comprehensive and consolidated environmental, social and governance (ESG) report for all its entities. The report was intended to help investors understand how HEI and its subsidiaries were impacting the environment and society, as well as potential opportunities and risks for long-term financial and operational strength. Given its particular combination of highly regulated and unregulated energy and financial services businesses, HEI’s first consolidated ESG report needed to convey leadership, transparency and character.
HEI supplies power to approximately 95% of Hawaii’s population through its electric utility, Hawaiian Electric; provides a wide array of banking and other financial services to consumers and businesses through American Savings Bank (ASB), one of Hawaii’s largest financial institutions; and helps advance Hawaii’s clean energy and sustainability goals through investments by its non-regulated subsidiary, Pacific Current, LLC.
An ESG report discloses ESG data while improving investor transparency and inspiring other organizations to do the same.
For HEI, the release of its first consolidated ESG report was expected to draw attention from a wide range of stakeholders.
In the development and design of this ESG report, we were tasked with organizing data from four separate entities (HEI, Hawaiian Electric, ASB and HEI Foundation) and three different topic areas (environmental, social and governance), while also following the disclosure standards set by SASB.
The report from HEI would be among the very first ESG reports from a company in Hawaii. However, the principles underpinning it had been ingrained in Hawaii businesses and institutions for generations. Tending to the environment, social justice and responsible governance are long-held values that grow out of the local culture. Mālama (stewardship), ho‘ohanohano (respectfulness) and kuleana (responsibility) have always guided the actions of Hawaii’s residents and businesses. We intended to use this narrative to contextualize the data points for a local audience.
Our team decided to pursue a digital publication to align with HEI’s commitment to sustainability and efforts to reduce waste. Also, as the SASB guidelines differed per industry, they decided to divide the content by entity, and tie the information together through the narrative of local sustainability values — hence the theme: Sustainable Hawaii.
Through the digital medium, we were able to organize the content into an interactive navigational menu, enabling users jump easily among different areas of the report.
The digitally published report amounted to 112 pages containing the required information for all four entities while also telling a unified story of innovation and sustainability that is unique to HEI. It was reviewed and approved by SASB, distributed to investors and promoted in Hawaii through media relations and social media efforts. We continue to create ESG reports for HEI on an annual basis.