BECOMING CARBON NEUTRAL; AND HOW WE DID IT Written By: Joe Grimstad, Vice Chairman November 27, 2019 – Over 10 years ago, Decorah & Cresco Bank identified an important core value; to be kind to mother earth. Efforts were made to focus on both energy efficiency and clean/renewable production. The Bank set a goal of becoming carbon neutral and achieved that goal as of November 2019! Carbon neutral means a zero net release of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and is achieved by calculating a carbon footprint and reducing it to zero. Here are some of the things we’ve done over the years to accomplish carbon neutrality: We started with periodic calculation of the company’s carbon footprint. This includes staff commuting, business travel, building energy consumption, and waste. We manage the energy efficiency of our buildings. Tight envelope construction. Converted to 100% LED lighting. Programmed HVAC controls to optimize efficiency. Two largest buildings are ENERGY STAR® certified. We produce clean, renewable energy. 133 kW of total solar PV capacity installed on all three properties. We offset the small remaining carbon footprint. Annually purchase Oneota Tags from Winneshiek Energy District. Even now that we are carbon neutral, we’re still working at reducing our initial footprint. We are always looking for ways to improve energy efficiency, to add more renewable energy, and to lower the impact of employee business travel and commuting. Beyond our own footprint, the Bank helps others lower their impact. To date, the Bank has financed over $10 million in solar and wind energy loans in Northeast Iowa and Southeast Minnesota. Join us and become involved in the clean energy movement by using our digital banking services, or contact us to learn more about how you can make your home or business more energy efficient. Learn more about our commitment to the environment.