Reducing Our Carbon Footprint


The Climate Emergency means that the Church needs to reduce its carbon footprint at every level: national, diocesan, parish, household and individual.

At a national level, the General Synod of the Church of England (CofE) has set a target for it to become carbon ‘net zero’ by 2030. The first step is to calculate, as a baseline, the present carbon footprint and so it has developed an Energy Footprint Tool for entering energy returns, calculating a carbon footprint and benchmarking carbon use for churches.

At a diocesan level, Birmingham Diocesan (CofEB) Environmental Board, led by the Bishop of Birmingham, has been formed. A Net Zero Environment Group (NZEG) has also been set up to focus specifically on the 2030 net zero carbon target, which will report to the CofEB Environment Board. The project is divided into several workstreams including: CofEB Buildings & Land, Parsonages, Parish Buildings & Land, Schools, and Transport. The programme will be assisted by the staff of the Diocesan Property Team, to whom enquiries should be directed. 

At deanery level, within the People & Places framework, the new CofEB Environment Board envisages that each deanery will appoint an Environmental Champion to liaise with parish environmental contacts or leads and spearhead the net zero carbon agenda. Environmental champions are to meet periodically across the six deaneries to compare progress and report to the Area Dean lead on the CofEB Environment Board.

Parishes are encouraged to make use of the sections on Buildings and Land in the Eco Church Survey material. They have also been asked to complete an Energy Footprint Tool each year; the closing date for 2021 was the end of September.

Households and Individuals will also be helped by the other sections of the Eco Church survey - Worship and Teaching, Community and Global Engagement, and Lifestyle - to become aware of, and then to reduce, their own carbon footprint. In order to make the calculations, use may be made of one of the many websites which give information and advice: Carbon Footprinting Guide