SLIM’s founding partners were UH Maui College, Maui Land & Pineapple Company, and EARTH University. SLIM received seed funding from the Case Foundation and the Cole Family Foundation.
University of Hawaii – Maui College is a learning-centered institution that provides affordable, high quality credit and non-credit educational opportunities to a diverse community of lifelong learners. Maui College envisions building a world-class college that meets current and emerging Maui County education and training needs through innovative, high quality programs offered in stimulating learning environments. The College mission, goals and actions will be guided by the Native Hawaiian reverence for the ahupua`a, a practice of sustaining and sharing diverse but finite resources for the benefit of all.
Maui Land & Pineapple Company, Inc. (ML&P) is a Hawai‘i corporation and successor to a business organized in 1909. Its principal operating subsidiary is Kapalua Land Company Ltd., operator of Kapalua Resort, a master-planned resort community in West Maui. In 2009, ML&P worked with a group of former Pineapple executives to successfully spin-off operations of Maui Pineapple Company and Maui Gold®.
ML&P manages the Pu`u Kukui Watershed Preserve, which is the largest private nature preserve in the state of Hawai`i and home to some of the rarest endangered plant and animal species in the islands. The 8,304-acre preserve encircles the summit of Mauana Kahalawai, or West Maui mountains. ML&P employs five full-time conservationists to manage the preserve and participate in the West Maui Mountains Watershed Partnership, contributing to the health of a vital water source for Maui’s community.
Kapalua Land Company, Ltd. (KLC) is at the forefront of the creation and management of master-planned and holistic communities on Maui. KLC manages the Kapalua Resort community, the centerpiece of ML&P’s 22,000 acres of West Maui land holdings which are dedicated primarily to conservation and cultural preservation. Kapalua Resort is home to luxury vacation accommodations, prime residential communities, two championship golf courses, three pristine beaches, a network of walking and hiking trails and eco-friendly Kapalua Farms. It is also host to a signature series of world-renowned annual events.
EARTH University (EU) is a private, international, non-profit university offering an education in agricultural sciences and natural resources in order to contribute to sustainable development in the humid tropics. Created in 1990, EARTH is located on 3,300 hectares in the heart of Costa Rica’s humid tropical region in the province of Limon. One hundred students from twenty four countries around the world join the program each year.
The EARTH educational model is based on four pillars; social commitment, environmental awareness, an entrepreneurial mentality, and the development of human values. At EARTH, students receive a unique education that combines experiential learning, an integrated curriculum, a fusion of theory, practice, laboratory work and social interaction, professors as facilitators of the learning process, and the incorporation of ethical and social principles. EARTH is committed not only to providing a vanguard, holistic, world-class education, but, more importantly, to empowering the leaders of a new “Generation of Hope.” These new leaders trained in sustainable development and the proper use of the rich biodiversity found in the rain forest of the humid tropics will effect positive change both locally and globally.
In “Cradle to Cradle” (North Point Press, 2002), McDonough and Braungart use nature as a model to develop an approach to developing products that does not create waste. Instead, products are designed such that at the end of their useful lives, they provide biological or technical nutrients for future products. Thus, materials circulate within closed-loop cycles, eliminating the concept of waste and transcending ‘eco-efficiency’ to reach ‘eco-effectiveness.’