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February 24, 2010
More than 7,500 native Hawaiian plants and trees will be planted by about 100 Central Pacific Bank employees and its customers on Saturday, March 6, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., at Papahana Kuaola at the end of Kuneki Street in Kaneohe, Oahu. The project is the result of a recent campaign launched by Central Pacific Bank that offered native Hawaiian foliage to be planted for every account customer who switched from traditional paper to online statements.
The successful campaign resulted in the bank purchasing 7,566 native trees and plants, which will be part of a reforestation effort in partnership with Hui Ku Maoli Ola and Papahana Kuaola, two allied organizations dedicated to the propagation of native Hawaiian plants. Central Pacific Bank introduced online bank statements last December to go hand-in-hand with its efforts to encourage customers to do more of their banking online.
“Online statements and banking provides a ‘greener’ way of banking by reducing our use of paper products, and by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and conserving energy that would be used to create, deliver and dispose paper statements,” said Blenn Fujimoto, Vice Chairman - Hawaii Market for Central Pacific Bank. “It’s our way of helping our customers to protect and sustain the environment while making their banking more convenient and secure.”
“We are very pleased with this partnership with Central Pacific Bank and impressed with the outcome,” said Matt Schirman of Hui Ku Maoli Ola. “This donation enables us to plant more native foliage in our local forests as well as encourages people to eliminate a paper product that really is no longer necessary in this day and age.”
Schirman added that native Hawaiian plants have been under attack for more than 200 years because of the destruction of their natural habitat. “What we are doing today is attempting to save some native plants from the brink of extinction,” Schirman said.
To get the native foliage planted in their honor, Central Pacific Bank customers signed up to switch their bank statements from paper to electronic form between last December and January. As a result, bank employees and CPB customers will be mulching, digging small holes and watering the plants at Papahana Kuaola’s Kaneohe site on Saturday.
Hui Ku Maoli Ola, a commercial plant nursery, and Papahana Kuaola, its non-profit educational arm, were founded in 1999 by long-time Waimanalo residents Rick Barboza and Matt Schirman to help protect and perpetuate Hawaii’s unique natural resources and cultural practices.