New tool helps measure carbon footprint

More than 3,000 churches are using a tool created by the Church of England to understand their carbon footprint.

The tool aims to help parishes measure their carbon output and energy use and provides pointers for making improvements to efficiency.

Churches are asked as part of their annual statistics return to include information from their energy bills and some basic dimensions for their church buildings. The tool then provides a calculation and issues a rating in the form of an energy chart, similar to those found on household appliances.

In February, the General Synod announced an ambitious target for the Church of England to become net zero by 2030. This tool is an important step in measuring a baseline of current emissions, and to measure progress towards achieving this goal.

This is a first step for the Church of England to understand and monitor the footprint of some 40,000 buildings across England. More and more parishes are getting involved and adding their data every day. 

The tool was formally launched in April following a rigorous trial of test parishes.

In time, parishes will be able to login to an online dashboard to track their carbon footprint year on year.

Our Director of Outreach, Debbie Dalby is delighted that such a practical and accessible tool is now on offer. “For the last few years our environment forum has been working to encourage parishes to become Eco Churches. The question is always where do we start?

It is exciting that parishes can now do something so quick and easy to give them really useful information about their energy use, which in turn can help identify next steps. By doing this we are also helping to improve our knowledge of a bigger picture of energy use so that we can join that wider national ambition of becoming net zero. It is a practical way to show our care of God’s creation.”

Dr Sam Nunney, of the Church of England’s Research and Statistics department, who helped to develop the tool, said: “We are thrilled by the response from parishes, many of whom have provided feedback and sent thanks for the ideas the tool presents to help improve energy efficiency. The reporting takes only 10 minutes to complete and will prove to be a vital step to reach our church-wide net zero commitment.”


Page last updated: Thursday 10th September 2020 9:12 AM
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