Home / What we do / Shrinking the Footprint

What we do: Shrinking the Footprint

Table of Contents Share this page

Share an article by email

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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.

It forms a major part of the Diocese’s programmes on the Environment and Sustainability. In short, to help care for God’s creation.

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 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.


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.


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.

View a full analysis up to 2014 in this article, ‘Brighter picture of church energy use’; and an update from 2015 in Record Annual Returns show ups and downs of energy and carbon saving.

2016 showed net savings by our churches since 2005 as 14.1% for energy and 10.4% for carbon. This is less progress than we would wish for. However low energy lighting is being rolled out more and more, which we hope may lead to the graph heading south again.

The diocesan office at 36 Causton Street has exceeded our targets and achieved net carbon neutrality for fuel and power, since 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

to top
More in this section

Capital Vision 2020

Capital Vision 2020: Confident, Compassionate and Creative

We share a vision of a Church for London that is Christ-centred and outward looking.

Strategic programmes

People from the Engine Room at Hale Village in Tottenham

London constantly changes and is home to large development and regeneration projects. We must be responsive to these changes and re-evaluate how we deploy our valuable resources.

See Also


People from all works of life contribute their time and effort in the ministry of the Church of England.

See Also

Our presence in the community

We are present in every community through our network of people, parishes and other organisations.

See Also

Our global links

Clergy procession into the Consecration of Bishop Carlos Matsinhe

In today’s interconnected world loving your neighbour starts at home but extends throughout the world.

See Also