Talks Business
March 2020

Shared Solar Testimonial: Just Coffee Cooperative

Just Coffee Cooperative is a worker-owned coffee roaster that began in Madison in 2002. The co-op imports coffee from small farmers worldwide, roasts and then sells its organic fair trade product to retailers, local cafes and food co-ops around the country. Products also are available online.  

Rob McClure, Just Coffee Cooperative

Rob McClure, Just Coffee Cooperative

Sustainability is one of Just Coffee’s core operating principles. That means making smart business decisions about the environment. 

“Coffee roasting can be an energy-intensive business,” said Rob McClure, an owner of Just Coffee. “We carefully monitor our carbon footprint and take steps to offset the emissions that result from our daily operations. Purchasing renewable energy from MGE is an easy and effective way to help achieve that goal.” 

Just Coffee plans to purchase 50 shares of renewable energy initially from MGE’s community solar program, Shared Solar. This will eliminate about 26,600 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually. Shared Solar gives business and residential customers in MGE’s electric service territory the option of powering their business or home with locally generated solar energy at a minimal cost. The second installation of Shared Solar, a 5-megawatt array in Middleton, will be online this year. 

“Shared Solar is enticing to us because it matches our sustainable beliefs and we will benefit from reduced electric costs for the 25-year lifetime of the community solar project,” McClure said. “It’s a win-win when we can cut emissions and electric costs—all without having to purchase and install solar panels on our facility.” 

“Our customers, too, appreciate that we walk the walk, exercising our commitment to environmental sustainability through voluntary programs like Shared Solar,” McClure added. 

Just Coffee also purchases clean energy through MGE’s Green Power Tomorrow program

Additionally, the co-op takes other steps to protect the environment: 
  • Purchasing energy-efficient roasting equipment. 
  • Working with farmers located closer to the United States to help reduce travel distance and import costs. 
  • Contributing 3 cents per pound on coffee imports to a fund that helps growers improve their procedures and cultivate environmental stewardship. 
To learn more about MGE’s Shared Solar program, visit