The Eco Church Award, given by A Rocha UK, a Christian environmental charity, is given to churches and other church buildings that can demonstrate a movement towards greater sustainability and caring for the environment.
As well as office space, Church House operates as a large-scale events venue, hosting a range of conferences and events throughout the year both for church and external groups.
The site has adopted a number of practices to minimise the environmental impact of its operations by integrating sustainable practices such as bottling its own water in-house, reducing plastic usage, and donating surplus food to the local community.
Current renovations to the building will help to integrate sustainable practices into everyday operations, including the installation of green-energy appliances to replace old gas equipment, sensor-operated taps, motion-sensitive lighting, and smart-energy management systems all to help reduce water and energy usage.
Wildflowers will be planted in the first-floor garden as part of the building’s eco-diversity initiative.
Staff working for the National Church Institutions at Church House have also played their part in securing the award, with environmental themes forming part of the regular pattern of prayer and worship, and eco-news updates included in staff newsletters and webinars.
In addition to primary changes, Church House is now also requiring its suppliers to demonstrate environmental awareness, including ensuring food suppliers source produce locally, offer more plant-based menu options, and use ingredients with the minimum carbon footprint.
Church House is run and operated by the Corporation of Church House, a charity founded in 1888 by Royal Charter.
Stephanie Maurel, CEO for the Corporation, said: “At Church House Westminster, we are on a mission to work in the most sustainable way possible and are constantly finding new ways to help the environment through our working practices.
“Our ultimate success depends on our collective efforts as organisations and individuals to preserve the beauty of our country and planet, without which our clients and tenants will cease to come. Our future and the future of our environment are interconnected.”
Helen Stephens, Church Relations Manager at A Rocha UK, said: “We are really pleased to give Church House Westminster the Bronze Award, not just for the work going on to transform the building, but also for the way environmental concerns run through the conference operations.
“We hope it encourages other church offices to join the Eco Church award to help them identify ways they can become more sustainable.”