Sustainability Initiatives

In 2011, the Rewarding Internships for Sustainable Employment program was created to provide paid work opportunities for youth seeking green careers. Shortly after, it was re-branded as RISE and became a core Kupu program. Today, with growing interest from our partners, we are expanding RISE into a larger Sustainability Initiative which will encompass all sustainability opportunities through Kupu.

This transition is a strong effort to grow Hawaiʻi’s green economy by pairing young professionals with innovative sustainable development projects that align with their interests. Sustainability fellows are individually placed at private, public and non-profit partner sites where they receive technical training through office and/or field experience as well as mentorship from Kupu staff. They earn competitive pay for their work. Fellows also participate in professional development workshops which provide time for fellows to connect with their peers and green thought leaders from the local community.

Are you a current higher-ed student or recent graduate looking to gain professional experience while working on a project that will make a positive impact on Hawaiʻi? Kupu’s Sustainability Initiatives offers motivated emerging professionals the tools for a successful transition from academia to the workforce.

Kupu works with partners across sectors to create paid fellowship opportunities that are tailored to the needs of emerging professionals. Through this opportunity, you will have a chance to apply your skills to have a hand in shaping Hawaiʻi towards it potential as global leader of sustainability.

Aloha+ Challenge, Communications Specialist

Kupu, Kamehameha Schools (KS), Hawai’i Green Growth (HGG) and University of Hawai’i Office of Sustainability (UH) are hiring a cohort of four to six highly motivated, creative individuals with experience and a passion for communications and public engagement and education to help develop and execute a Communications & Engagement Strategy for the Aloha+ Challenge – Hawai‘i’s statewide commitment to achieve six interconnected sustainability goals by 2030 in Clean Energy, Local Food Production, Natural Resource Management, Solid Waste Reduction, Smart Sustainable Communities and Green Workforce & Education.

Position Information:

Essential Duties

  • Participation in Hawai’i Green Growth Statewide Network:
    • Participate in Statewide Measures Meetings, multi-stakeholder meetings, and other events for professional development, research and stakeholder networking opportunities
    • Support the planning, preparation and execution for Statewide Measures Meetings on the Aloha+ Green Workforce and Education and Smart Sustainable Communities goals
    • Record and prepare meeting summaries for relevant stakeholder or statewide meetings
    • Provide event set-up and support for priority events or meetings
    • Support substantive development of agenda, presentations and materials, including cohort-led presentations as requested
  • Develop Communications Strategy for General Public
    • Conduct research on Aloha+ Challenge and sustainability in Hawai`i and assess current communications and marketing processes and strategies, including website and social media presence
    • Work closely with HGG & KS Communications Teams, UH Office of Sustainability, and partners to identify input for social media marketing strategy for the Aloha+ Challenge
    • Identify Metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Marketing, Communications, Social Media, etc.
    • Develop Aloha+ Communications Strategy for general public
    • Monitor trends in social media tools, applications, channels, design and strategy
  • Engagement Strategy Development
    • Develop stakeholder map and public/student engagement strategy for the Aloha+ Challenge
    • Participate in relevant stakeholder meetings
    • Conduct student engagement research for the Aloha+ Green Workforce & Education goal and to inform Year 2+ student outreach strategy
  • Implementation of Communications Strategy
    • Implement initiatives and campaigns identified in Communications Strategy:
    • Develop relevant content topics to reach the general public, students and stakeholders
    • Assist in creation, curation, and management of all published content (images, video and written)
    • Develop and expand community and/or influencer outreach efforts
    • Compile reports for management showing results (ROI)
    • Track, monitor, and analyze Metrics & KPIs; tweak strategy as needed
    • Set goals for next cohort strategy period
  • Other duties as assigned


Program Dates:

April 1, 2017 – June 30, 2017

Application Deadline:

March 17, 2017

Aloha + Challenge, Communications Specialist Position Description (PDF, 259KB)

Hawaiʻi Energy Fellowship - APPLICATIONS CLOSED
Position Information:

This position seeks a motivated college/university student or recent higher education graduate (no more than 2 years since graduation) to work on energy efficiency related projects. The selected fellow will report to the RISE Program Manager at Kupu and representatives from Hawai‘i Energy. The Hawai‘i Energy Fellow is expected to work closely with this team to perform the following activities by type:

  • Hawai‘i Energy Business Team’s Small Business Direct Install Program (SBDIL)
    • Perform post-inspections for lighting projects and other projects as assigned
    • Learn and understand lighting technologies
    • Generate reports on inspected projects for Hawai‘i Energy
    • Work with Hawai‘i Energy customers to set up meetings and get feedback regarding their satisfaction with work performed
  • Marketing & Communications Program
    • Assist Hawai‘i Energy with drafting and distributing online and paper public-facing communications
    • Assist Hawai‘i Energy with outreach and marketing opportunities by hosting booth/table at energy events to informing people about Hawai‘i Energy’s mission
  • Clean Energy Ally Program
    • Manage phone, email and in-person communications with Clean Energy Allies
    • Develop draft of verbiage and graphic design for creative media for program
    • Coordinate outreach meetings with Trade Allies
  • Other duties as assigned

Hawai‘i Energy Fellow will work with manager at Hawai‘i Energy to determine the degree to which they will prioritize each activity.

Positions is located in Honolulu – fellows may be required to work from Hawaiʻi Energy office, home, school, or in the field at times.

There are three (3) Hawaiʻi Energy Fellowship openings available

Program Dates:

January 1, 2017 – June 30, 2017

Application Deadline:

December 27, 2016

Applicant Requirements:
  • Current higher education student or recent graduate no more than 2 years from graduation
  • Available to start the fellowship in January 2017 and commit to for the full duration of the program
  • Able to learn quickly and follow direction with attention to detail
  • Computer savvy with fluency in Microsoft Office and able to conduct advanced internet
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Able to conduct him/herself in a professional manner
  • A team player that works well with others, but able to work independently
How to Apply

The application will require you to submit the following application materials in the form of ONE attachment (either as a word document or PDF) by midnight on December 27th:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Writing sample (between 2 and 3 pages in length) *Writing samples do not need to be original material created for the application process. Applicants may submit previously drafted professional, academic, or extra-curricular assignments. It is preferable, but not required, that your writing sample demonstrate your knowledge of contemporary clean/renewable energy topics
  • Any additional work attachments that exhibit your ability to excel in the tasks described above (optional)

Hawaiʻi Energy Fellowship Position Description (PDF, 821KB)


Kupu provides partners with the support they need to run a successful program or project.  Ranging from the capable minds and fresh perspectives of the Sustainability Fellows to the technical project support and expertise of the Project Managers, Kupu is an asset to any endeavor.  Kupu handles the hiring, HR, training, and mentoring of each fellow to ensure both the successful execution of our partner’s projects and a successful learning experience for each Sustainability Fellow.

By working with Kupu you will get the project support you need while also contributing to building a strong green work force in Hawaiʻi.  By empowering Hawaiʻi’s youth with the experience they need to become strong green professionals, we are committing to the long term sustainability of our planet.

Prior to Hiring

Compatible Skills

Tasks that fit the skills for a college-level or recent graduate fellow and fit in with Hawaiʻi’s sustainability goals

Funding & Vision

Funding, or a vision/ path to acquire funding (e.g., through a grant), for a fellow

Project Team

A “Project Team” which may consist of only one dedicated supervisor or a collaboration of staff (even if from different organizations). The Project Team will be responsible for assigning tasks, accepting deliverables, and providing feedback to the fellow

Supplies & Equipment

All on-site supplies for the fellowship, which may include: office space/ work site location, computer (requiring fellows to use their own computer is an option) and/or phone

Sustainable Sector

A desire to contribute to workforce development in Hawaiʻi’s sustainability sector

Hiring Process


Interested parties meet with Kupu Coordinators to discuss interest in the program and discuss the perspective Sustainability Fellowship position including logistics such as funding and timing.

Position Description

With Kupu assistance, create and finalize a fellowship position description.


Kupu will review the position description to ensure the position qualifies as a Sustainability Fellowship

Contract & Funding

Contracts and funding is produced for the fellowship position with Kupu .


Kupu conducts the application, recruiting, and selection process. This process may include the Project Team as desired or conducted independently by Kupu staff


After the initial orientation, fellows begin projects at the site

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