Hawaii Senate Paperless Initiative

Governor Neil Abercrombie recognized the Hawaii State Senate for its participation in the Hawaii Green Government Challenge on April 20, 2011.

"We're off to a great start in reducing waste," said Senate President Shan Tsutsui. "The credit for our success in reducing paper waste while simultaneously improving public access goes to the many dedicated staff members who work here every day. Our intention is to continue to push forward in this direction."

The Hawaii Green Government Challenge, administered by the State Energy Office within the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, provides an opportunity for government agencies to work towards smart energy and resource-efficient operations. This directly benefits the government through reduced operational and utility costs.

In 2008, the Senate leadership team launched its Paperless Initiative with two goals in mind -- to enhance public access to the legislative process by making sure more documents are available in electronic format and to reduce paper waste generated by the Senate.

The Paperless Initiative has significantly reduced the Senate's paper usage by 80 percent since the program was put in place. During the 2010 session, only 1.5 million pages were printed, compared to 8.3 million pages in 2007. Over the last three years, the Senate has saved half a million dollars in purchasing paper and copy machine expenses.

For the public, participation in the legislative process has become more accessible, as individuals are able to submit testimony by e-mail as well as view all measures, committee reports, and testimony submitted on any measure via the Legislature's website. Public hearing notices posted on the Capitol website are also interactive, containing links to documents previously mentioned.

The Hawaii State Senate is also supporting and participating in the Capitol's conservation initiatives, including: energy conservation, recycling, emissions reduction and water conservation.

"The Senate Paperless Initiative"
A video overview of what it took for the Hawaii Senate to go paperless.
Produced by Searider Productions.

For more information on the Paperless Initiative: