HONOLULU – The State of Hawaii is taking a big step toward becoming a green state with the policy they have enacted with Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) in association with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The new policy will ensure that the state’s electric companies, Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light, will only purchase biodiesel fuel that will be produced only from sustainable feed stocks that are only grown locally. And it will only purchase palm oil that is in compliance with the rules that have been established by the international Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. This move is the beginning of an end of dependency on fossil fuels and is the start of environmentally-friendly energy in Hawaii.

The electric companies in Hawaii make up the largest utility that uses petroleum diesel fuel in the country. When they have completed the transition away from petroleum diesel, they will become the largest used of biodiesel in the county.

Before the policy was put into action, it underwent a review by a panel of academic experts in both Hawaii and California. Their aim was to make sure that it will encourage the development of a constant, sustainable supply of locally manufactured biofuels and that the feedstock is enough to meet the demand as well as to make sure that the forests and the other environmentally sensitive areas in Hawaii are protected. They also held a series of public meetings to get the views of the citizens on the project.

They would need to be in full compliance with the rules of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, which is an international organization made up of more than 200 members who represent all factors of the palm oil industry. They must also go beyond the rules of the Roundtable and have the additional restriction of not damaging any existing natural ecosystem by converting it to the cultivation of the feedstocks.

They must also exceed the Roundtable’s criteria before they make their first shipment to Hawaii.