Honolulu – September 10, 2012 – Senator Mike Gabbard (West Oahu), Chair of the Energy and Environment Committee, presented a certificate from the State Senate to Oka's Body Shop in Waipahu today.

Senator Gabbard recognized Oka's for being one of three companies in the nation to receive the FIT Sustainability Award from the AkzoNobel Automobile & Aerospace Coatings Americas in San Antonio, TX on July 19, 2012: Other winners were Keenan Auto Body of Clifton Heights, PA and Enterprise-Rent-A-Car of St. Louis, MO.

Gabbard said, "When we think of auto body shops, we don't necessarily think of green practices. That makes it even more impressive that Oka's has taken such a huge step in generating all their power with solar PV panels. They're truly a leader in helping our state become more sustainable."

This was the third annual FIT Sustainability Award, an industry recognition program devoted to honoring businesses and organizations actively engaged in practices that advance the concepts of sustainability through “Focus, Innovation and Talent”, the three key principles of FIT.

Eddie Okahara, the owner of Oka Auto Body for the last 47 years, has been dedicated to recycling the cardboard and other materials from his shop for many years. They also use car refinishes that are waterborne and gentler on the environment. In 2010, Oka’s Auto Body and contractor Hawaiʻi Energy Connections, LLC worked together to install a photovoltaic system that allows the shop to operate 100% off the grid.

Senator Mike Gabbard presented a certificate from the State Senate to Oka's Auto Body owners, Eddie & Marlene Okahara, and their team in Waipahu on September 10th to recognize them for receiving the FIT Sustainability Award.