The City of De Pere’s goal is to conduct our business to reflect both environmental and economically sustainable alternatives in all aspects of our operations, activity and community development. There are numerous examples throughout De Pere that reflect this, including unique examples throughout City Hall and other City-owned buildings.

Perhaps the most unique effort is the “Green Roof” at City Hall. For those unaware, this was installed in fall 2016. This project took a roughly 8,000-square-foot portion of our flat roof and covered it with eight inches of soil and plants known as sedum.  The purpose of this innovative sustainability effort is to reduce heating and cooling costs throughout the year, which has just started to unfold over the past two years, and also extend the life of the roof itself. Estimates indicate that green roofs can last as much as 50-plus years. There are also key environmental benefits. All of the storm water (which is plentiful lately, right!) now gets absorbed and utilized by this green roof rather than dumping into our river, so there's also a value there we can't necessarily put a dollar to.

Going back even further, in 2014 we started gradually shifting to LED light bulbs in City buildings. The first was a 24-hour light in the hall at the Community Center. Since then, additional lights have been changed at the Community Center, Municipal Service Center (the mechanic’s shop has 80% of their lights changed over and all exterior lights are LED, for example) and City Hall. Staff has replaced florescent tube bulbs on all emergency/ 24 hour light to LED bulbs as well, and over the past two years continues to replace any damaged lights with LED fixtures. This trend will continue moving forward.

Beyond that, since 2010, a few of many other efforts include:        

Adding LED bulbs for street lights and bridge lights;

Installing energy-efficient pumps in pumping stations;

Adding motion sensor light switches in City facilities;

Purchasing compressed natural gas (engines) in fleet for garbage trucks, street sweepers and dump trucks; and the Park Department utilizes a hybrid vehicle purchased approximately 10 years ago. Public Works has also implemented a “no idle” policy with their vehicle.;

Improving HVAC systems for all City facilities for efficiencies;

Smaller ongoing efforts like installing hand dryers to reduce the use of paper toweling, automatic faucets to reduce water run-times; and installing water bottle filling stations through municipal buildings to reduce the use of plastic; 

And, for the last 10 years we have narrowed our purchase of outdoor amenities such as benches and tables to units only made from recycled plastics.   

Suffice to say, sustainability is a key focus for us. We are proud to be a leader in this regard in our region. Sustainability creates financial and environmental win-wins for our community, and, as always, we will continue our efforts to be innovative and hard-charging in serving our community in economically and environmentally responsible ways. 💚