Java Jones, in conjunction with neighboring Sam’s To Go, is remodeling its Isla Vista location in order to implement “green” technology.
Co-owner Brett Winslow established Java Jones in 1992 when he was a second-year student at UCSB. Although the coffee joint has used organic beans since it first opened and has practiced fair trade standards since 1999, the owners hope to raise their eco-friendly standards even higher through methods such as natural lighting, recyclable coffee bags and solar power generation.
Winslow and fellow co-owner John Lewis said that remodeling Java Jones will bring them one step closer to their ideal of a completely environmentally friendly company. Lewis — who bought his share of Java Jones from Winslow last year — described their efforts as an attempt to create a “California lifestyle” brand that remains conscious of all those involved in the coffee business.
“You have to respect the land, you have to respect the farmers and you have to respect the customers,” Lewis said.
The co-owners are looking forward to a more efficient power system and expect to have solar panels installed within the year. Although investments in sustainable technology are initially costly, Winslow said that solar energy is becoming more economically sound for businesses to adopt.
“Solar energy is just becoming more and more economically viable every day. It is not there yet, but it will happen,” Winslow said. “Our goal is by the end of the year to get all of our stores to have solar panels.”
Java Jones has hired Sun (re)construction — a consultancy and management firm specializing in energy-sustainable construction — to complete the changes.
“We manage the design implementation and financing of deep energy savings,” Sun (re)construction Chief Sustainability Officer Lucas Johnson said. “In other words, with minimal upfront cost to our clients, we combine cutting edge energy efficient technology, on-site renewable generation and smart building management systems to save money while taking environmental action.”
According to the Sun (re)construction Web site, implementing energy efficient designs will eventually result in financial benefits for Java Jones by eliminating fluctuation of operating costs and decreasing their energy bill.
Furthermore, state level and IRS incentives — including rebates, performance incentives and tax credits — for “green” investment are offered for cooperating businesses. Southern California Edison Power Co. also provides a business solution package, which offers similar benefits as government-based incentives.
Despite the benefits of switching to environmentally friendly methods, Johnson said that the level of change being enacted by Java Jones is the first his company has seen in Isla Vista.
“Java Jones is our first client we’ve had in Isla Vista and we are working on developing more relationships,” Johnson said. “It’s really impressive. I’ve never seen a small business so dedicated to try to make a difference.”