Net Zero Environment Group

The Church of England Birmingham (CofEB) is focussed on the Church of England target for all parts of the church to work to become carbon ‘net zero’ by 2030

The Net Zero Environment Group (NZEG) has been set up to focus on the delivery of this 2030 target, and reports to the CofEB Environmental Board. NZEG consists of members of the CofEB Property and Communications Teams, Revd Patrick Gerard (Bishop’s Adviser for the Environment) and volunteer members of Birmingham Anglican Climate Action (BACA).

There are a number of ways that you can work with us to meet this target by reducing energy usage and associated carbon emissions at your church.


Measuring your church ‘carbon footprint’

In considering how to work towards this net zero carbon target it is important to understand where we are starting from. The main focus of NZEG for 2021 is to gather information on current energy usage and carbon emissions across the CofEB so that we have accurate baseline data which will help us understand our progress in reducing carbon emissions in future years. There are several tools available to help you to understand the present energy usage and carbon footprint of your church.

CofE Energy Footprint Tool – This simple to use tool will tell your church what your existing carbon footprint is, based on the energy you use to heat and light your buildings. All churches are encouraged to engage with the Energy Footprint Tool to help you calculate the carbon footprint for your church. The Tool is available to all CofE churches through the Online Parish Returns System

Climate Stewards 360° Carbon – This tool helps you to capture the complete carbon footprint for your church in terms of energy, food, water, travel and procurement. It is an excellent next step for churches wishing to reduce their carbon footprint. The Eco Church scheme now asks that churches use this tool to qualify for an award.


Switching to green energy tariffs

A simple way to reduce carbon emissions at your church is to switch to a green electricity tariff, which uses renewable energy sources rather than fossil fuels. If all electricity-using churches switched to a renewable tariff, the estimated total net carbon footprint for church buildings would be around 22% smaller.

Different green electricity providers are available and churches should seek several quotes when considering energy providers.

Parish Buying – The ‘energy basket’ provided by the CofE uses the bulk buying power of the Church to obtain competitive prices for your gas and electricity. 100% of the electricity in the Energy Basket is green, all from UK-based renewable sources. Energy bought through Parish Buying automatically updates the CofE Energy Footprint Tool, showing the carbon footprint for your church building. Visit the Parish Buying website.

Green Journey – The green energy broker, Green Journey, procures 100% renewable energy suppliers for both gas and electricity for churches, with no upfront costs. They also offer a site visit and energy survey for your church buildings free of charge. Visit the Green Journey website.


Consider getting an Energy Audit

Energy audits can be a useful way to gain a fuller understanding of energy use for your church building and to gain advice on potential improvements to reduce energy usage and associated carbon emissions, as well as improve efficiency.

Green Journey – The green energy broker, Green Journey, offers a free visit to carry out an energy survey for your church buildings. This survey and subsequent report with recommendations are provided free of charge. Churches can then consider signing up to Green Journey’s green energy tariff.

Parish Buying –The usual cost of an energy audit through Parish Buying is £445 (+ VAT).


Practical steps to reduce energy use

New national CofE guidance on reducing energy usage for your church buildings has been published and offers a 'practical path' to net zero carbon, setting out where most churches should start, building up to bigger, more complex projects for high energy use churches. For advice and guidance visit the CofE website.

If you are considering a project to reduce energy use that will involve changes to your church building, please contact the CofEB Property Team for further advice and assistance.



For further information about caring for the environment in the CofE Birmingham please click here