Harper Macaw is a fine-chocolate venture co-founded by a husband and wife—a Brazilian chocolate maker and a U.S. Marine veteran. One of the company’s environmentally conscious goals has been to turn their District-made chocolate into a force for rainforest restoration. Located on Bladensburg Road in Woodridge, the factory offers tours, tastings, and sales of chocolate bars. To promote rainforest restoration near their cacao sources in Brazil, the founders knew they could not lose sight of operational efficiency and sustainability at home. They chose small-carbon-footprint materials to use in the company’s café, packing materials, toilets, and hand dryers. When it came time to build out their factory’s warehouse space, the founders contacted the DCSEU.
After conducting energy assessment walk-throughs of the space, the DCSEU guided the founders on the types of lighting fixtures and equipment in which the company could invest, and estimated the energy and cost savings for installing the measures. Although they were already planning to incorporate efficient measures into their space, Harper Macaw’s founders were happy to discover that they could take advantage of the rebates, professional guidance, and technical assurance offered by the DCSEU. They chose to install an ENERGY STAR freezer, dishwashers, and refrigerators. They also upgraded the lighting in the space to highly efficient LED T8 lamps and A19 lamps with accompanying track fixtures and troffers.
“It was good for us to learn about what considerations a business owner needs to make when installing efficient equipment in a large warehouse space. As difficult as it can be and as much as it takes some initial up-front investment, green energy is really important,” said Colin Hartman, co-founder of Harper Macaw. “We were interested in energy efficiency from the start—our entire business model revolves around rainforest conservation, so environmental sustainability is essential to what we’re trying to do.”
The improvements will reduce the chocolate factory’s energy use by more than 21 MWh and 3 Mcf per year, resulting in reduced energy costs valued at nearly $3,000 annually. The measures installed would pay for themselves in approximately two years.