Our relationship with Earth is one of sacred stewardship, and many orders take this responsibility seriously when thinking about the transition of sites and land in their care, as evidenced by the many orders that have explored transitions to conservation land trusts.
The green building movement offers a robust example and body of best practice for creating a design process that listens for what the land and community are calling for, and for envisioning properties that are intentionally designed for 100+-year sustainable futures.
The Green Building movement also offers creative ways to think about meeting the financial needs of sister sites: for example by creating long-term contracts to fund the installation of new technology or retrofit buildings to significantly reduce operating costs.
Two Case Studies
Case Study: Clinton Climate Initiative
The Clinton Climate Initiative created three-way partnerships between energy-service providers, investors (banks), and property portfolio owners to make initial investments in building energy efficiency retrofits at no cost to current owners by offering a loan which was paid back in time through savings in operational costs. The program was used to finance green building retrofitting costs of schools, universities, and even the Sears Tower.
Case Study: The Dept of Energy’s BlocPower Program
The BlocPower program “uses funding, audits, and retrofits to enhance the energy efficiency of buildings in low-income communities.”
Through the program Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church—along with the Center for Sustainable Communities, and Green Faith— have conducted a energy comprehensive audit of Ebenezer’s buildings and are pursuing grants and investments for the long-term sustainability of their properties.