15 Congregations Win National Award for Climate Leadership

Jan 19, 2023 | Press Releases

Innovative projects installed solar, upgraded church facilities, slashing carbon emission

OAKLAND, Calif., January 20, 2023 — Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) today announced the fifteen national 2022 Certified Cool Congregations who have collectively reduced 8000 tons of climate change pollution. This Certification recognizes religious congregations around the United States for outstanding efforts to address climate change by reducing the carbon footprint of their facilities. 

These exemplary congregations have made permanent changes to their facilities to reduce the impact their houses of worship have on the environment, cutting their carbon emissions by an average of more than 40%. 

Prompted by deep concerns about climate change and rising energy costs, these congregations have installed solar, heat pumps, energy-efficient appliances, and heating and cooling systems. 

From a small 55-member Mennonite congregation in Taftsville, Vermont saving 15 tons of emissions, to a large 10,000-member congregation, Nativity Catholic Church in Burke, Virginia, that is saving 7700 tons of emissions, these Certified Cool Congregations are inspiring other congregations in their communities to follow their lead.


Two Certified congregations have cut their carbon footprint by 100% – Loomis Basin Congregational United Church of Christ in Loomis, California, and the Lutheran Church of Honolulu, Hawaii.

Steve Miller at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu shares, “Our congregation in Hawaii has always been attuned to the ‘Aina,’ the land and its life. Native Hawaiians have always held the land as a sacred trust to be preserved and nurtured for future generations.”

 “These Certified Cool Congregations are casting a vision for the kind of world in which they want to live, and then carrying out that vision with practical actions that make a real difference in creating lasting solutions to climate change,” said Rev. Susan Hendershot, IPL president.

The Cool Congregations Certification shows that people of faith are united by concerns about climate change and are taking action – with or without the support of government policies. The winners provide strong role models for their communities, and their activities have a ripple effect, demonstrating that acting on climate is a moral issue. Read their stories here: https://www.coolcongregations.org/get-certified/

Interfaith Power & Light’s mission is to inspire and mobilize people of faith and conscience to take bold and just action on climate change. These congregational leaders prove that the faith community is up to the challenge!  www.interfaithpowerandlight.org Twitter: #CoolCongregations @interfaithpower   Facebook: facebook.com/interfaithpowerandlight

Listed below are the 15 Certified Cool Congregations of 2022:

Aldersgate United Methodist ChurchLincolnNE
Bethany Christian ChurchLincolnNE
Central Baptist ChurchWaynePA
Congregation Kol ShalomBainbridge IslandWA
First Presbyterian ChurchConwayAR
Habitat for Humanity of Central ArkansasLittle RockAR
La Mesa United Methodist ChurchLa MesaCA
Loomis Basin Congregational United Church of ChristLoomisCA
Lutheran Church of HonoluluHonoluluHI
Mountain View United Methodist ChurchBoulderCO
Nativity Catholic ChurchBurkeVA
People’s Church of KalamazooKalamazooMI
St. John’s Lutheran ChurchStamfordCT
Taftsville Chapel Mennonite FellowshipTaftsvilleVT
Woodmont Christian ChurchNashvilleTN

Read their stories here: https://www.coolcongregations.org/get-certified/

To arrange interviews with any of the Certified Cool Congregations, please contact Sarah Paulos at sarahp@interfaithpowerandlight.org

Written by Sarah Paulos

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