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Environmental work so far

This page summarises work done under the Diocese’s Shrinking the Footprint campaign.

We are on a journey – this is how far we’ve travelled:

Campaign organisation and support

  • Diocesan Environmental Policy
  • Environmental Consultative Forum
  • Full-time Head of Environmental and Sustainability.

Measuring and reducing energy use and carbon emissions

  • Energy consumption figures with Parish Annual Returns – 2005-2017; more than 50% response rate
  • From 2005 to 2017, 14.6% of energy use saved by churches, reducing carbon footprint by 13.7% (17.2% after reduction in carbon intensity of electricity); annual footprint down from 21,000 to 17,400 tonnes CO2e
  • Route 2050 long-term plan for energy, carbon emissions and climate mitigation
  • Climate Action Programme – Environmental Audits, Generic Building Solutions, Energy-saving Benchmarking
  • 24 audits and resulting projects in Islington churches, paid for by local charity Cloudesley
  • Generic Building Solutions; pilot projects progressing to two churches, beginning with St Mary Magdalene Paddington and St John at Hackney
  • Professional advice commissioned on smart metering
  • DAC study days for quinquennial inspectors on energy conservation and climate readiness.

Water and waste

  • Deanery and Synod motions on recycling of waste from churches
  • Extension of Energy-saving Benchmarking to include water consumption, waste disposal and recycling
  • Zero to landfill waste disposal from Diocesan House; up to 75% recycled.

Wildlife and biodiversity

  • Churchyards Ecology Survey in progress, 31 sites visited so far (Greater London wide, with Dioceses of Chelmsford, Southwark and Rochester)
  • DAC advice on wildlife in churchyards
  • Guidance on trees in churchyards.

Parishes and people

  • Eco Church launched at St Paul’s Cathedral – more than 50 participant parishes signed up; 15 awards including one Gold, three Silvers and 11 Bronze awards
  • Network of Parish Environmental Champions
  • Support for the Environment and Mission Action Plans
  • Advice on energy efficient lighting and heating
  • Advice on switching to green electricity suppliers
  • Climate Action Projects – at least 34 solar PV panels installations to churches and halls, houses and schools
  • Green roof and energy piles at St Paul Hammersmith Church Centre (RIBA Award winning)
  • Advice upon energy-saving and sustainability, many other parish building projects, with Parish Property Support Team and DAC
  • Numerous parish audits and policies, local green initiatives eg in saving energy, lightbulb replacement, water and waste reduction, ethical food
  • Green Corners awards to churchyards
  • Lent Carbon Fast, Environment and Education Sundays, Creation Time
  • Participation by local churches in ‘Transition Towns’, including Transition Ealing
  • St Paul’s Cathedral – extensive environmental programme.

Church schools

  • Diocesan Board for Schools environmental policy and action.


  • Home energy surveys and upgrades to parsonages
  • Programme of double glazing progressing to parsonages
  • Low carbon parsonage development projects – new Code 6 Vicarages for St John Wembley and St Nicholas Perivale complete; Wembley awarded the then highest score ever by Building Research Establishment
  • More low carbon and ‘Passivhaus’ clergy houses completed and in the pipeline.

Diocesan office

  • Environmental audit and upgrades to 36 Causton Street, Display Energy Certificate (Band C)
  • 2012 savings target exceeded, 2020 and 2050 targets part achieved
  • Now net carbon neutral for fuel and power, after planting trees annually through the Woodland Trust
  • Exclusive use of recycled paper
  • Zero to landfill, 75% recycling
  • Energy-saving IT systems, reconditioning of used computers.

Risk management

  • Diocesan risk analysis on extreme weather and flooding
  • Rapid response to flooded communities.

Wider outreach

  • Public events programme
  • Policy and engagement on Heathrow airport expansion (opposing a third runway)
  • Collaboration with national C of E Environmental Programme
  • General Synod motion, jointly with Truro Diocese, passed February 2019, to raise C of E’s contribution to the environment and climate change mitigation
  • Involvement in consultations by Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • Collaboration with other national and local government bodies, NGOs and educational charities
  • Articles in Church Times, RICS, British Wildlife and other journals
  • Participation in national Climate Week, International Year of Biodiversity
  • Interfaith cooperation on climate change and the environment, with national Church and Lambeth Palace, Alliance of Religions and Conservation, the UN Secretary-General and the C of E’s ‘Church and Earth’ long-term plan, as well as individual faith groups.


  • Collaboration with ALMA (Angola London Mozambique Association), eg in Lent Appeals for water projects
  • Partnership visit to Anglican Province of Southern Africa
  • Route around the World event in St George Bloomsbury.

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