Environmental Stewardship

Good Shepherd continues a long history of proactive environmental stewardship.

  • Carbon Neutral Initiative – A Carbon Neutral Initiative was voted on in June 2022.  This initiative was created to partner with Mission Green LLC to eliminate all use of fossil fuels.  Five original gas furnaces (4 rooftop units) were replaced with LG air-to-air heat pumps.  There was a total of 48 kW of solar (102 panels) installed.  A permeable paver courtyard, over a large French drain, was topped with a Douglas Fir post and beam pergola and a 37’x37’ solar array.  These upgrades created an all-electric campus and will provide nearly 100% of all electric needs, on-site, via solar energy production.  Good Shepherd is Carbon Neutral and Net Zero Energy use, and is certified as a Cool Congregation by the national organization Interfaith Power and Light.
  • Building Remodel – In 2019, a building remodel project included a closed loop, ground source, variable refrigerant flow [VRF] heating, venting and air conditioning system for the Fellowship Hall and Education Wing. 
  • Solar panels were installed on the Annex roof in June 2017 to offset electricity costs.
  • LED lighting was installed throughout the facility in 2016.
  • Energy Star Certification – In 2013, after acting on the 2011 Winneshiek Energy District’s recommendations for additional weatherstripping and insulation, the church received this Environmental Protection Agency’s certification.
  • Energy Stewards Program – Since 2012, Good Shepherd has participated in the Energy Stewards Program sponsored by the ELCA and Northeast Iowa Synod and works with an energy steward to reduce energy consumption 5% over 10 years.
  • Landscape – The Congregation Council formally adopted a policy that no herbicides or pesticides be used on the church lawn and landscape beds. Recent drainage improvements include sloping earth away from the building’s foundation and using river rock in landscape beds next to the building.  
  • Other environmental efforts include the use of “green” cleaning products and cloth dish towels, avoiding the use of paper or plastic cups and glasses, and recycling all recyclables. Motion sensors are installed throughout the building as well as programmed thermostats and a programmable water heater in the kitchen. LED bulbs are used both inside and outside the building.