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What we do: Shrinking the Footprint

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Shrinking the Footprint is the Church of England’s national campaign to reduce the environmental impact, and especially the energy use and carbon footprint, of every church, congregation and church member.

The Diocese of London adopted Shrinking the Footprint in 2006. In 2009, the Church of England established its long term plan, Church and Earth – which the Diocese of London has also adopted.

The Five Marks of Mission

The Five Marks of Mission were established by the worldwide Anglican Communion. Care for the environment is mandated by the Fifth Mark of Mission, ‘striving to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth’. It also involves aspects of all the others:

  • The Good News of the Kingdom includes the redemption of ‘all things’ (Col 1:20).
  • The teaching of new believers should include communicating the need to care for God’s Creation.
  • Human need includes the needs of the many people caught up every day in the effects of environmental degradation.
  • Unjust structures include the promotion of consumerism, the dominance of economic growth at any price, the accumulation of disproportionate resources by a few.

Targets

The Church of England aims to reduce its energy use and carbon footprint by 42% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. We must start by putting our own house in order – planning and managing reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for which the Church in the Diocese is directly responsible.

Route 2050 is the Diocese’s long-term plan to reduce the carbon footprint of its buildings and property by these amounts at least – including St Paul’s Cathedral, our 480 churches, all our church schools and houses.

Progress

From 2005 to 2013, churches in the Diocese saved 23.2% of their energy use, reducing their carbon footprint by 15.9%.

2013 and 2011 were our best years so far. 2009, 2012 and 2014 showed increases, partly due to the weather. We need to concentrate on saving electricity, which is not showing the same savings as gas and heat.

View a full analysis in this article, ‘Brighter picture of church energy use’.

At the same time, the diocesan office at 36 Causton Street has exceeded our targets and achieved net carbon neutrality for fuel and power from 2014. See London Diocesan House slashes carbon footprint.

Read more about our environmental work so far.

To find out more

Contact Brian Cuthbertson, Head of Environment and Sustainability.

External links

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