Owners Michael Haft (left) and Harrison Suarez (right) show off Compass’s refillable coffee canisters.

Owners Michael Haft (left) and Harrison Suarez (right) show off Compass’s refillable coffee canisters.

The Greenbuild Greening Committee is working with restaurants near the DC Convention Center to help them green their operations, with support from the DC Sustainable Energy Utility and the National Restaurant Association. This blog series highlights sustainable businesses that are participating in the program.

Compass Coffee offers DC coffee drinkers a sip of sustainability with their morning java. Owned and operated by a pair of former Marines, Compass Coffee has taken steps to make their operations efficient from beginning to end.

Compass Coffee proudly proclaims its “Made in DC” philosophy

Compass Coffee proudly proclaims its “Made in DC” philosophy

In the Beginning: Sourcing Sustainably

Compass Coffee follows a “Made in DC” philosophy that emphasizes locally produced – and delicious – food and drinks. Among the local offerings are salads from Glen’s Garden Market, sandwiches from Broodjes and Bier, and Thunderbeast root beer. For their coffee, which sadly doesn’t grow in DC, they work with small and medium-size farms in Central and South America and Africa.

From Bean to Brew: Efficient Operations

Compass Coffee prioritized water and energy efficiency in its operations. From its plentiful daylight to its LED-lit sign, Compass uses efficient lighting strategies. It also invested in an energy-efficient Loring coffee roaster that reduces emissions by 80%. A Nest thermostat cuts energy use by 15%, and water-saving fixtures in restrooms maximize water efficiency.

End of the Road: Taking Out the Trash

Compass Coffee’s LED-lit sign

Compass Coffee’s LED-lit sign

Compass Coffee employs several strategies to minimize the amount of waste its operations, and its customers, create. Many of its packaging

materials, including hot beverage cups with a minimum of 30% recycled fiber and cold cups that are compostable. Its signature coffee canisters, are recyclable. However, Compass hopes its canisters never reach the recycling bin, and offers customers a discount for refills with a reused canister. In-store, Compass composts its used coffee grounds.

Compass Coffee is located at 1535 7th St NW, approximately an 8-minute walk from the DC Convention Center. You can connect with Compass Coffee on social media at @compasscoffeedc.

 Learn more about green venues and services in D.C., as well as other restaurants taking part in the Greenbuild Greening Committee’s sustainability program.

Greenbuild Greening Sub-Committee Co-Chairs

Allison Porter, LEED AP, Vice President, Sustainability Services, Cushman & Wakefield

Takehiro Nakamura, LEED AP BD+C, Associate, Perkins Eastman

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