We believe it is essential to preserve the earth’s natural resources and support responsible sustainability practices. The SMSC is actively working toward a goal of carbon neutrality—with plans to reduce energy use, reduce emissions, produce renewable energy, expand recycling and composting, implement additional green building technologies, and continue to both conserve and replant forests and prairies, among other things.
Over the past several years, we have been working toward the transition away from fossil fuels with a focus on renewable wind and solar power—including the installation of 300+ solar panels, geothermal heating and cooling, electric vehicle car chargers, two large green roofs, and water reclamation efforts. Two of our buildings, Mystic Lake Center and Hoċokata Ti, feature electrochromic windows to manage the sun’s warmth and light automatically as the seasons change.
Greenhouse gases result from more than just buildings and vehicles—we have implemented several innovative recycling and reuse practices throughout our Community. The SMSC Organics Recycling Facility is the state’s largest composting site, and eliminates more than 10,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions every year. For many communities, water treatment is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. That’s why our award-winning Water Reclamation Facility is part of a 19-building investment-grade Net Zero emissions study that we’re working to complete in early 2022.
To help our Community Members realize their own goals for sustainable energy use at home, the SMSC partners with the Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) to offer expert energy efficiency consulting services.
The process begins with a thorough home energy assessment that covers testing of air leakage, insulation levels, heating equipment, ventilation, and more. The evaluations are also complete with detailed recommendations for sustainability improvement in the home and services to correct various energy concerns.
For new homes, CEE works with Community Members’ builders to achieve passive house, net zero, or other levels of comfort and efficiency. With services like these, custom homes (from brand new to Victorian-era rehab) in Minnesota are generating more energy than they need—meaning no gas bill and a yearly credit from the electric company!
Learn more about the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community’s environmental projects at shakopeedakota.org.