Across the Diocese of Gloucester, we have committed to being net zero carbon by 2030. This is an ambitious target and one that we will need to work together to achieve, but how do we know if the steps we are taking are making a difference?
We need data and so we’re asking someone from every church to enter their energy information in the Energy Footprint Tool. You can access it through the Parish Returns Hub and it’s a really useful way to keep tabs on your progress as a church. A webinar on filling in the EFT is being offered by the central Church of England environment team on 24 January, 12noon-1pm.
When you fill in the EFT, you’ll get a score for efficiency based on building size and another for efficiency based on congregation size (a per person, per hour score). There will be some suggestions for changes you can make to reduce your emissions for the coming year.
It’s free to use and is a really good baseline for the changes we need to make in order to care for both nature itself and future generations. It can also help your church to work towards an Eco Church Award.
More than 400 churches across England are now reporting ‘net zero’ carbon emissions, an increase of 157 on the previous year, as part of the most comprehensive data collection to date.
The EFT was launched in 2019 to measure and record carbon emissions across the Church of England and is reporting data for the third time. For 2021, the data is now consolidated across all settings, including Church of England schools.
It estimates that overall carbon emissions were down by 5,000 tonnes of CO2e in 2021 to 410,000 tonnes overall, compared with 415,000 in 2020, despite buildings being open for more of the year than in 2020. The data also included travel-related emissions for the first time.
It is now open for bills from 2022 and will remain open until 31 July, accessed through the Online Parish Returns System. You will need to have the whole of last year’s electricity and gas/oil bills.
The national Church is running a training session on 24 January from 12noon to 1pm online.