Kapalua Land Company, Ltd., developer of the Kapalua resort on Maui was named runner-up in the Condé Nast Traveler’s 1997 Ecotourism Awards. According to the publication, "Ecotourism is about responsibility – environmental and social, local and global. Interpretations of and approaches to this responsibility vary within the travel industry, and Condé Nast Traveler annually honors individuals, organizations and companies that push and exceed industry standards."

For the magazine’s third Ecotourism Award, over 60 nominations were received. One winner was selected (Clive Stockil) and the following nine runners-up: Kapalua Land Company, Ltd. on Maui; Lapa Rios Hotel in Costa Rico; Earth Sanctuaries in South Australia; Pepe Herrero of Fundación Cuero y Salado; Na Bolom of Chiapas, Mexico; Horizontes Nature Tours in Costa Rica; British Airways; Victor Emanuel Nature Tours; and Kenya’s Amboseli National Park, Tortilis Camp.

Kapalua Land Company, Ltd. is a development and operating company for Kapalua, a 1,650-acre master-planned luxury golf resort community on West Maui. The resort encompasses three accommodations (The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua; The Kapalua Villas and Kapalua Bay Hotel); seven residential properties; three championship golf courses; two tennis facilities; over 20 shops; and 11 restaurants.

From the earliest phases of resort design, Kapalua’s parent company Maui Land & Pineapple Company, Inc., owner of 23,000 acres on West Maui, used the ancient concept of lokahi (right balance and unity) in the creation of their master-plan for Kapalua. Today, the resort blends with the natural beauty of the land, rather than imposing upon it. Environmental harmony is prevalent throughout the resort from protection of wildlife to preserving unobstructed view corridors and vast open spaces in development projects. The fact that this huge tract of land was an original Hawaiian ahupua'a or land division, under single ownership has enabled Kapalua to pursue and achieve its goals.

A traditional ahupua`a contained within its boundaries great natural diversity. It encompassed a complete watershed system ranging from nearshore coral reefs, sandy beaches, cultivated lowlands and valleys to mountain slopes with dry upland forest and lush rain forest zones. The company’s vast lands, of which Kapalua is a part, stretches from the top of Pu'u Kukui Preserve on the slopes of Hale Mahina (a.k.a. West Maui Mountains) to the edge of the Pacific Ocean. The land begins and ends in two immense nature preserves. In between the two, Kapalua has positioned itself as "a sanctuary for man and nature." The philosophy is centered on the ancient Hawaiian principle, malama ka 'aina, care of the land. Kapalua is dedicated to preserving the island’s rich natural and cultural heritage.

The following as some of the company’s stewardship efforts to date:

Protection in perpetuity of an 8,661-acre native Hawaiian rainforest and critical watershed for West Maui, the Pu’u Kukui Preserve, through a permanent conservation easement to The Nature Conservancy of Hawai’i.

Preservation of the Honokahua Preservation Site fronting The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, containing over 2,000 Hawaiian burials dating between 850 AD to early 1800s.

Having the state declare Honolua and Mokule’ia Bays a Marinelife Conservation District.

Full-certification of the resort by Audubon International as an Audubon Heritage Sanctuary, a program that encompasses water conservation, wildlife habitat protection, energy efficiency, integrated pest management and environmental/cultural education.

Full-certification of Kapalua’s Bay, Village and Plantation Courses by Audubon International as Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries, a program that includes water conservation, integrated pest management, wildlife protection, and environmental education.

Creation of the Kapalua Nature Society, a unique environmental education organization dedicated to educating the public about our island’s unique environment and culture and encouraging protection of our natural resources.

Establishment of a West Maui Native Hawaiian Plant Reforestation Project to rejuvenate our island’s native forests.

Presenting the annual Earth Maui Nature Summit, Maui’s premier island-wide environmental event which educates the public about Maui’s natural treasures and honors the businesses that are dedicated to protecting our natural resources.

Offering of hiking tours in the West Maui Mountains that educates participants about Hawaii’s native forests and the effects of introduced species on our natural heritage.