The tool aims to help parishes measure their carbon output and energy use and provides pointers for making improvements to efficiency.
Churches are asked as part of their annual statistics return to include information from their energy bills and some basic dimensions for their church buildings. The tool then provides a calculation and issues a rating in the form of an energy chart, similar to those found on household appliances.
In February, the General Synod announced an ambitious target for the Church of England to become net zero by 2030. This tool is an important step in measuring a baseline of current emissions, and to measure progress towards achieving this goal.
This is a first step for the Church of England to understand and monitor the footprint of some 40,000 buildings across England. More and more parishes are getting involved and adding their data every day. Helping to build up a picture for the church to take action.
The tool was formally launched in April following a rigorous trial of test parishes.
In time, parishes will be able to login to an online dashboard to track their carbon footprint year on year.
The Bishop of Salisbury, chair of the Church of England’s Environmental Working Group, said: “General Synod has committed the Church to an ambitious target of reaching net zero by 2030, and to achieve this goal, all parts of the church must come together. We cannot take meaningful action in response to the climate emergency threatening our planet until we understand our own carbon footprint. Tools such as the Energy Footprint Tool and collaboration between parishes, dioceses and the national church are vital to help us on this journey.”
Dr Sam Nunney, of the Church of England’s Research and Statistics department, who helped to develop the tool, said: “We are thrilled by the response from parishes, many of whom have provided feedback and sent thanks for the ideas the tool presents to help improve energy efficiency. The reporting takes only 10 minutes to complete and will prove to be a vital step to reach our church-wide net zero commitment.”