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Environmental Audits

This page is about the Diocese of London’s programme of Environmental Audits for church premises.

Our Environmental Audits form part of the Diocese’s Climate Action Programme for churches.

Our Climate Action Programme is part of Route 2050, the Diocese’s strategic plan to reduce the energy use and carbon footprint of all its buildings and property.

Reports with a summary of conclusions from our Environmental Audits in the Two Cities Area and Islington Deanery may be downloaded from the foot of this page. Learnings from these summary reports are applicable to any church, whether or not they have taken part in Environmental Audits.

Introduction

Environmental audits to measure energy, carbon, water and waste in individual churches were carried out in 2009 and after, to 60 churches in the Two Cities Area, and six churches in other Episcopal Areas of the Diocese. We worked on these audits with environmental consultants Aardvark EM Ltd, acting as the Diocese’s Assessors.

Further audits were undertaken in 2017 to all 24 church buildings in the Islington Deanery, part of Cloudesley’s 500th Anniversary Church Grant Programme.

This means that a total of 90 bespoke audits have now been completed to churches in the Diocese.

Purposes

The purposes of these audits are two-fold:

  • To assist the Diocese and its churches and church halls in achieving reductions in CO2 emissions, towards the Diocese’s targets of 42% by 2020 and 80% by 2050;
  • To indicate ways in which the broader environmental impact of churches can also be mitigated.

Scope

The scope of each survey in Environmental Audits is generally the church buildings, their installations and services, and how they are used by their occupants.

Outputs

Surveys analyse each church’s performance and impact in relation to the following:

  • Energy and fuel use
  • Carbon dioxide emissions
  • Water use
  • Waste disposal and recycling.

Individual reports are prepared, one for each church. Reports include banded ratings for each of the above parameters. The church’s total carbon footprint per annum is also given (tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2e)).

Public buildings above a certain size, other than churches, are required by law to post Display Energy Certificates (DECs). Houses and other buildings are required to have Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) – mainly when they are built, bought, sold or rented. Church buildings themselves (if in use) do not have to have EPCs or DECs (except for purposes of the Feed-in Tariff for Solar panels). A church hall may need an EPC before being sold or let. See Sustainable building.

However the Diocese’s reports from Environmental Audits have provided PCCs and those administering our churches with information equivalent to EPCs and DECs, and more (though they cannot be used for the purposes just mentioned).

In addition to churches’ individual reports, generic reports with summaries applicable to any or all churches may be downloaded from the foot of this page.

Recommendations

The report for each participating church made recommendations on where and how improvements can be made.

Clear recommendations and action lists are included for:

  • Items which can be implemented without cost
  • Those which require training and/or minor expenditure
  • Any of the above for which outside contractors are needed, e.g. plumbers or electricians
  • Those requiring feasibility study and/or major works.

Where expenditure is needed, budget costs are given. Estimated totals of feasible savings are stated.

Energy-saving Benchmarking

Outputs from Environmental Audits in the Two Cities area were the first to be fed into the Diocese’s Energy-saving Benchmarking scheme. This was developed in parallel with the auditing process. It is now freestanding. Energy-saving Benchmarking delivers the same key benefits as the previous audits. It can be undertaken without need for a full audit first.

Energy-saving Benchmarking delivers a certificate to each parish – in addition to their audit report.

Energy-saving Benchmarking has also been undertaken to all 24 Islington churches, in support of Cloudesley’s audits programme.

Cost and grants

The Environmental Audits programme in the Two Cities area was generously supported by grants arranged by the London Archdeaconry office, supplemented by small contributions from parish and guild churches.

Participants outside the Two Cities area have contributed a larger proportion of costs, in some cases with a diocesan grant for part. Churches outside Two Cities also took part in our Generic Building Solutions programme – and this was free to participating churches.

Cloudesley has generously funded its Environmental Audits in Islington, and is also offering grants to help with works recommended in those audits.

Environmental Audits of churches outside the Two Cities Area and the Islington Deanery can still be undertaken to the same model, at a church’s own expense. Contact Head of Environment and Sustainability.

Resources

FileAction
Environmental Audits generic report  Download  
Islington Deanery report AECOM.pdf  Download  

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