Painting of Hillwood and the Lunar Lawn

Sustainability at Hillwood

Climate Action

In September of 2020, Hillwood transitioned from purchasing electricity generated by coal to procuring only sustainably based wind power. With this simple yet powerful change, we eliminated hundreds of tons of carbon emissions that result from burning coal to produce electricity. Through we are not the only ones in D.C. that have taken the step to transition to 100% sustainable power, we are in a small but expanding group. Sustainable power generation is a growing industry, and we are happy and proud to be part of it and to support its use in D.C.

Partnerships and AwardsEPA Certificate

  • EPA Green Power Partner
  • Member of the Energy Star Small Business Network
  • Founding member of the Phipps Climate Toolkit
  • 2020: DCSEU annual report case study
  • 2019: First ever award of $30,000 through the District of Columbia Sustainability Energy Utility (DCSEU) Pay-4-Performance program

Ongoing Initiatives

  • RecyclingRecycling of batteries, stationery, disposable gloves, florescent light bulbs, and electronic ballasts. These items are sent to certified recyclers for proper processing and reuse in other products. We have recently initiated a pilot program to study the viability of rechargeable  technologies to further reduce the dependency of single use batteries. 
    • Teaming with TerraCycle and Bic to keep recyclable products out of landfills while generating funds to support charitable organizations throughout the country
    • Participating in an electronic waste recycling program. We are partnering with an organization that is committed to reusing electronics when applicable, donating usable computers and other peripherals to non-profit organizations, and recycling materials locally with no exports.
  • Implementing a replacement plan of conventional gas powered horticulture equipment with electric/battery-powered equipment
  • Installing Energy Star rated windows in office areas
  • Harvesting rainwater

Major Milestones

  • Since 2017, we have reduced our annual campus-wide electrical use by 24% and have cut our natural gas use by more than 50%. This has helped to reduce our carbon footprint by more than 1.64 million lbs per year.
  • Hillwood has recently taken a bold step to reduce the impact of our natural gas use. Starting in September, all natural gas used will be carbon-offset. Guaranteed through a multi-year gas purchase contract, and paid for, in part, by our monthly utility bill, we will fund carbon-offset programs such as reforestation, carbon sequestration research, sustainable power development and energy savings programs. 
  • Thanks to recent HVAC systems upgrades, Hillwood has significantly reduced our use of R-22, a very common yet environmentally harmful refrigerant. 
  • We have installed cutting edge water quality monitoring equipment in the central plant to reduce our cooling tower usage by more than 10,000 gallons per year. 
  • Our lighting retrofit program has incorporated over 500 LED lights in just 3 years. We have a goal of expanding the program by 20% in 2021.
  • Due to Hillwood's use of only renewably-sourced energy and a natural gas contract that incorporates carbon offsets, Hillwood's carbon footprint reduction initiative has surpassed 2 million pounds per year.