Quarterly News & Updates
A symbol of hope and resiliency, this young sunflower photographed last week at the family farm of our founders, Bob and Kelly King, is entering its stage R2 (R representing the reproductive flowering stage) leading up to the full bloom.
April 2020
Our refinery on Hawaii Island is running at full capacity to meet the renewable energy needs in our state, including serving our largest industrial and utility customers, like Hawaiian Electric and Hamakua Energy and large fleet customers like the City & County of Honolulu. At the same time, we are heartbroken to see the impact COVID-19 has had on many of our customers statewide – like Extended Horizons (our first and longest biodiesel marine customer in Hawaii) who like so many other marine and tourism-related companies, and hotels and restaurants, have been forced to shut down to flatten the COVID-19 curve.
Yet Hawaii’s spirit of Aloha and resiliency seems stronger than ever. I am inspired when I see volunteers, front line workers and first responders caring for our community – people like nurses, doctors and healthcare workers caring for the sick; grocery store teams who keep store shelves stocked; food banks and restaurants and industry groups rallying together to bring food to us in innovative new ways while helping to feed our kupuna, keiki and the community’s most vulnerable populations, and residents stepping up to volunteer where help is needed most. Innovation is thriving as local businesses are rising up and shifting gears to serve the community in new ways – like Maui Brewing Company producing hand sanitizer at its distillery and donating it to first responders and non-profits, and the restaurant team at Tin Roof who prepared hundreds of meals for kupuna as part of the Show Aloha Challenge, and so many others. Even Co-Founder Kelly King spent hours over the last week sewing face masks for our Hawaii Island refinery team.
Kelly King Covid19 Mask
Masks Made with Love – Co-Founder Kelly King sewed several dozen masks for the company's refinery team on Hawaii Island, using leftover material from past sewing projects for her two granddaughters.Click here to download the pattern.
And as the world’s communities #stayhome, our Earth is taking a deep breath – fossil fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions have precipitously declined, drastically reducing air pollution to reveal blue skies and clear waters in cities around the world. Our planet, with its climate still in crisis, is showing us that a significant reduction in pollution can drastically improve the health of our environment. We’re just sorry that it took a global pandemic to prove this point.

Read more about these and other topics in this special Earth Day issue. By the way, the cover photo of this issue is a simple image of a sunflower plant entering its regenerative (flowering) stage. I took this photo last week at our family farm in Maui’s central valley. When I showed it to Kelly, she smiled and said: “Truly a symbol of resilience – the sunflowers will bloom again!”

Sending much Aloha to all of you,
R King Signature


Bob King
Founder & President
Pacific Biodiesel
Pacific Biodiesel Reaches 25th Anniversary Milestone This Year
25th Anniversary logo
In 1995, Bob and Kelly King founded Pacific Biodiesel as a way to recycle waste cooking oils at the central Maui landfill for the production of renewable fuel to power the site’s generators. That led to their creation of the first commercial biodiesel pump in America, on Maui.
 
This year marks the 25 th anniversary of Pacific Biodiesel, the nation’s longest operating biodiesel company and still Hawaii’s only commercial producer of liquid biofuels. “In this challenging time of COVID-19, we are proud to support energy security in Hawaii and keep our local team working,” said Director of Operations Jenna Long. “A big part of our mission from the beginning has been to keep energy dollars in Hawaii and we’re still doing that today.”
To kick off this anniversary year, Biodiesel Magazine published a comprehensive feature article on Pacific Biodiesel in its January issue. “Coming Full Circle,” written by Editor in Chief Ron Kotrba, includes interviews with Bob and Kelly King along with Jenna Long. The article states, “Celebrating 25 years, the Hawaii-based company that has built biodiesel plants across the U.S. and Japan has gone back to its roots, focusing on sustainability and local energy independence for the archipelago.” Read the full article here .
Bob and Kelly early years
Bob and Kelly King, back when they founded Pacific Biodiesel on Maui in 1995.
25th picture collage
A few photos from the early years of Pacific Biodiesel.
Throughout 2020, follow Pacific Biodiesel on Facebook and Instagram for #TBT (Throwback Thursday) informative posts as well as interviews with founders Bob and Kelly King who will share memories of the company’s journey and the many interesting people, community partners and biodiesel advocates who have loyally supported our locally made biodiesel. Below, watch the first interview in this series featuring the very early years, when biodiesel was just being introduced in the U.S., including the Kings' transition from vision to reality and Pacific Biodiesel's unexpected expansion to Japan.
Here Comes the Sun(flowers)
This week, the sunflowers are blooming once again in Maui’s central valley. This colorful crop is sustainably farmed for culinary oil and cosmetic ingredients by our founders, Bob and Kelly King.
 
“The current field was planted two months ago as we had planned to have blooms by Earth Day. But none of us could have predicted we'd be in this situation of social distancing and extreme caution as our community faces COVID-19,” said Marketing Director Joy Galatro.
Sunflower Field in Bloom 04-2020
This photo, captured this morning on the 50 th Anniversary of Earth Day, shows the sunflowers in full bloom.
Over the past week as the sunflowers began their reproductive (flowering) phase leading up to full bloom, the Kings’ farm team has been posting photographs and interesting facts about the sunflowers on social media with reminders to the public to please #stayhome and not stop to take photographs of the sunflowers or enter the farm at this time.
 
“We understand why these bright yellow blooms bring such happiness to people but this time we all need to stay safe by staying home and enjoying the Maui Sunflowers online only,” Galatro said. “We will be posting photos on social media every couple of days – and more sunflowers will bloom again at the farm in the future for all of us to enjoy.”
It’s been exactly three years since the first field of sunflowers bloomed at the Kings’ farm around Earth Day 2017. Those dozen acres of sunflowers captivated Maui residents and visitors alike who had never before seen that colorful crop in Maui’s central valley.
 
“My mind goes back to the amazing spirit of cooperation that Bob and I experienced with our first sunflower field, planted after the announcement that Maui’s sugar cane fields were closing forever,” Kelly recalled. “Every day during the first bloom, we had thousands of people, locals and tourists, walking through the fields, most of them taking only pictures with them. After the harvest, Bob reported finding only two pieces of trash in the entire 14 acres! It still brings tears to my eyes when I think about the respect and appreciation our farm “visitors” exhibited, and the hope we saw in their reactions to the sunflowers.”
 
In this second in a series of interviews as part of Pacific Biodiesel’s 25 th Anniversary in 2020, watch incredible drone footage of the Earth Day 2017 sunflower blooms as you listen to Bob and Kelly King share their memories of that first field and all the hard work leading up to this unforgettable new crop for Maui. Mahalo to Randy Hufford of RandyHuffordArt.com for sharing his drone footage of this first field of sunflowers.
Follow Pacific Biodiesel on Instagram and Facebook for photos and updates about the Kings family farm and the #MauiSunflowers.
Earth Day 2020 – Signs of Hope and Reminders for Vigilance

This 50 th Anniversary of Earth Day people are abiding by the new rules for staying safe during this pandemic. It is a tragic way to get there, but all this #stayhome and #socialdistancing is drastically reducing pollution and the results speak volumes. Los Angeles is experiencing the longest stretch of clean air in 40 years, the famed canals in Venice, Italy are filled with clear blue water while satellite imagery shows a 50% reduction in pollution over Beijing. Here in Hawaii, the absence of visiting beach goers is bringing new life to coral reefs and an dramatic increase in marine life activity.

Despite these hopeful signs, let’s not forget that our Earth is still in peril while it faces the #ClimateCrisis. The dramatic changes that have taken place just over the last few months show us that the environment can recover and restore itself when pollution and fossil fuel reduction occurs. We have all made lifestyle changes during the pandemic. With less trips to the grocery store and more time at home, gardens are sprouting up in yards all over the country; walking and biking around neighborhoods has increased as people stay off the roads to follow the stay at home guidelines. This Earth Day, don’t waste this opportunity to maintain the few bright spots resulting from this pandemic. Let’s retain these positive changes and commit to reducing the use of fossil fuels for the long-term benefit of our planet.

Kelly King recently offered her thoughts in an interview for the Honolulu Star Advertiser. "I'm impressed that the premier newspaper in Hawaii decided to highlight those who "Walk the Talk". We don't act out of recognition, but I hope it inspires others." Read the April 19th article here .


Earth Day Tips from Sierra Club

Even though we're celebrating Earth Day differently this year, there are still many ways we can make a difference for our planet. On this 50th Anniversary, we're sharing some ideas Sierra Club has curated over the years .



  • 4 Tips for Composting Leaves - A yard of fallen leaves may seem like a mess. But hidden in all that decomposing foliage is the perfect organic matter for a great pile of compost.






Sharing Aloha By Supporting Hawaii's Restaurants and Farmers
Food A Go-Go
Support local restaurants, suppliers and their employees that are open during the pandemic. Find the most updated list of restaurants and farmers throughout the state who are offering take-out, delivery, or curbside pick-up options at this link .
Food A Go-Go logo
Show Aloha Challenge
Local restaurants, businesses, and nonprofit organizations are collaborating to deliver free hot meals to our kupuna. Click here to find out who is participating and how you can help.
Go Farm Hawaii
Go Farm Hawaii has put together a state-wide list of local farmers and farmers' markets offering CSA boxes & fresh produce with online ordering, farm pick-up and/or delivery. For more information, resources and a full list of participants click here.
Go Farm Hawaii UH logo
Aloha for Hawaii
First Hawaiian Bank created the Aloha for Hawaii program to support Hawaii’s restaurant industry and local nonprofits that are helping to provide food, health and human service programs that are critical to our community. Use any First Hawaiian Bank debit or credit card to purchase a meal for takeout or delivery in Hawaii and First Hawaiian will make a $1 donation on your behalf to the Aloha for Hawaii Fund. Click here for more info .

 Biodiesel Tax Credit Signed into Law

After an almost two-year lapse, the Federal Government reinstated the Biodiesel Tax Credit shortly before the end of 2019. As a result, and in honor of National Biodiesel Day in March, Pacific Biodiesel in early March rolled back retail prices by 25 cents per gallon on its clean, locally made 100% biodiesel for both on-road and off-road fuel at its Maui and Hawaii Island retail pump stations. The savings also extended to commercial customers. .

Biodiesel Magazine offers a comprehensive look at the biodiesel tax credit in this article .

Pacific Biodiesel Named to Hawaii's Best Places to Work for 10th Consecutive Year

Based on input from employee surveys, Hawaii Business magazine has named Pacific Biodiesel one of Hawaii's Best Places to Work for 2020. Employees cited fuel discounts, employer match to 401Ks, and being a part of Hawaii's renewable energy future as some of the benefits of working for the company. Only 31 medium-sized companies in the state were honored with this award.

"We know our employees strive hard each day to make this a great place to work," noted Director of Operations Jenna Long. "This award is as much an honor to all of them as it is to our leaders, Bob and Kelly King."

Beginning in 2011, Pacific Biodiesel has received this honor each and every year, making 2020 the tenth year in a row.
The Pacific Biodiesel Team Celebrates National Biodiesel Day
The Pacific Biodiesel team celebrated National Biodiesel Day on March 18, the birthday of Dr. Rudolf Diesel, inventor of the diesel engine, which was unveiled at the Paris World Fair in 1900. His combustion engine, designed to run on peanut oil, was developed out of a desire to improve upon the inefficient, cumbersome and sometimes dangerous steam engines of the late 1800s, and marked the beginning of plant oils as a replacement for fossil fuel.
Big Island Group Shot 03-2020
Maui Group Shot 3-2020
Celebrating both National Biodiesel Day and the company’s 25 th Anniversary, Pacific Biodiesel employees posed for group shots at each island location, some prior to "social distancing" was put into effect. Top: Big Island; Bottom L to R: Oahu and Maui.
Kelly King Chairs New Climate Action and Resilience Committee

Now in her second term on the Maui County Council, Kelly King was recently appointed Chair of the new Climate Action and Resilience Committee at the Council.

The new committee followed a resolution passed at the end of last year, authored by Councilmember King. Among its goals, the resolution “commits the County of Maui to implementing an immediate just transition and emergency mobilization effort to restore a safe climate, including work to drastically reduce countywide emissions of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases and safely drawing down carbon from the atmosphere no later than 2030, while accelerating adaptation and resilience strategies in preparations for intensifying climate-change impacts.”
 
The committee will focus on issues affecting Maui County relating to sea level rise, shoreline erosion, managed retreat, deforestation, drought, wetlands, carbon emissions, pollution, and other related contributors to climate change. 
 
At the first meeting of the Climate Action and Resilience Committee, King stated, “My goals for this Committee are to act to help prevent further damage to our environment and atmosphere, assess and create solutions where plausible for the damage that has already been done, and to propose additional actionable strategies to do our part to lower Maui’s carbon footprint and mitigate our contribution to climate change.”
 
Climate Action and Resilience Committee meetings are open to the public and held in the Council Chamber.
Industry News
Biodiesel remains ‘fuel of choice’ for fleets looking to improve sustainability credentials
According to Biofuels International, “Biodiesel has ranked as the most widely used alternative fuel option by fleet participants in NTEA’s Fleet Purchasing Outlook Survey in four of the past five years.” Read the full article here .
Could Hawaii become the first state in the nation to pass a carbon emissions tax?
Hawaii Public Radio Logo
One version of a carbon tax has already passed the State Senate and Maui Representative Tina Wildberger has authored another. Will Hawaii be the first to pass a carbons emission tax? Read the March 9 story here from Hawaii Public Radio.
USDA funds biodiesel blending and commits to fuel its fleet with higher blends of biodiesel and renewable diesel.
National Biodiesel Board Logo HORIZ
The National Biodiesel Board reports the USDA has announced $14 million dollars in funding to support biodiesel blending. It has also committed to increase the use of renewable fuel in its current fleet of diesel vehicles.
Read the NBB press release here .
Archer Daniels Midland Company starts year-long B100 demonstration
Biodiesel Magazine
A year-long project with ADM and Optimus Technologies in underway to demonstrate the viability of its new biodiesel technology in real-world, high-mileage fleet applications. The Optimus Vector System is designed to allow conventional diesel engines to run on 100 percent biodiesel in a wide range of climates. Biodiesel Magazine reports on the project here .
70% of On-Road Diesel in Iowa Contains Biodiesel
Fuel Iowa logo
In the 2019 Retailers Fuel Gallons Annual Report, Iowa retailers reported selling 636.9 million gallons of taxable diesel fuel, with 70% of on-road fuel containing biodiesel. Iowa’s strong policies are credited with the successful increase in biodiesel usage statewide. Biodiesel Magazine provides the details here .
Around Town
Some of the other places we've been
Ahupua’a Summit – February 1, Maui
Vice President Kelly King was an invited speaker at the Ahupua’a Summit , sponsored by Responsible Markets , a Maui-based venture catalyst firm, working to integrate environmental care, social responsibility and good governance (ESG) into investment policies and practice. In the presentation held at University of Hawaii Maui College, King focused on the topic of “greenwashing” and how to determine legitimate proposals and companies. .
Whale Day Celebration – February 8, Maui
In support of a healthy ocean environment and our marine customers, Pacific Biodiesel participated in Whale Day events on Maui. In the morning, employees and biodiesel supporters waved sunflowers as they walked alongside our biodiesel-fueled truck, driven by Pacific Biodiesel President Bob King, while passenger Vice President Kelly King greeted parade attendees. Parade enthusiasts lined the mile-long parade route on South Kihei Road and cheered as the Pacific Biodiesel team waved hashtag signs including #OceanFriendlyFuel, #LocallyMade, and #FossilFreeFuture.

Immediately following the parade, Whale Day activities continued with environmental and educational displays, entertainment, craft vendors, food trucks and more at Kalama Park. The Pacific Biodiesel team in their information booth met with visitors from around the globe as well as island residents interested in our locally produced renewable fuel and line of sustainable products. The sunflower backdrop proved a popular attraction as guests posed for selfies at the event.
Parade goers cheered on the Pacific Biodiesel team as they made their way down South Kihei Road.
Attendees learned about Pacific Biodiesel's sustainable, community-based renewable energy from Marketing Director Joy Galatro.
East-West Center, The Exchange – March 2, Oahu
The Exchange is the East-West Center Education Program’s series of evening events, exploring the pressing issues, histories, challenges, innovations, and vibrant cultures that make the Asia Pacific region unique. Kelly King joined a panel earlier his month addressing the theme for the Spring series, The Road to Regeneration: Uncovering the roles we play in determining our climate future” . King’s topic: the role of biodiesel in energy and technology. Over 100 students participated in a “Shark Tank” activity, at which teams pitched their best idea on energy innovation for various facilities at the University.
Kelly King Manao Anniversary
Manaʻo Moon Celebration – March 8, Maui

Co-Founder and music lover Kelly King was among the supporters celebrating the 18th birthday of Maui’s KMNO 91.7FM Mana‘o Radio earlier this month at the Altitude Deck in Kihei. Pacific Biodiesel was proud to be among the community sponsors for Maui’s only commercial-free, independent radio station.
Hawaii Buildings, Facilities and Property Management Expo – March 11- 12, Oahu
Representing Pacific Biodiesel at the annual two-day Hawaii Buildings, Facilities and Property Management Expo were Supply Chain Manager Tony Baduria, Senior Account Executive Dana Shinsato and Maui’s Island Assistant Manager Ferd Ballesteros.

At right, Ballesteros and Shinsato ready for the doors to open during day one of the Expo.
Founded in 1995, Pacific Biodiesel is the nation's longest operating and most experienced biodiesel producer, and the only commercial liquid biofuel producer in the state. A Maui-based company with nearly 100 employees statewide, we established the first retail biodiesel pump in America and for more than two decades we've been an innovative leader in the renewable energy industry. With a nameplate production capacity of 5.5 million gallons annually, our refinery on Hawaii Island utilizes advanced distillation technology to produce the highest-quality biodiesel in the country and in 2016 became the first facility in the world to be certified by the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance. Our company has always focused on recycling with a zero waste philosophy that incorporates development of value-added co-products. Today, our collaborative, community-based "agriculture and energy" production model demonstrates a full-circle sustainability system designed to fight climate change and help Hawaii achieve a clean, sustainable energy future.
Our Mission:   To promote a clean, sustainable energy future through the community-based production of renewable fuels

On Earth Day 2016, the Pacific Biodiesel plant on Hawaii Island became the first biodiesel facility in the United States to earn certification by the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance for showcasing sustainable biodiesel production and distribution practices.
Pacific Biodiesel
40 Hobron Avenue, Kahului Hi 96753

Editor: Joy Galatro, Marketing Director
Staff Writer & Layout: Beth Mathias, Marketing Associate

For more information visit our website
or contact Beth Mathias at



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