TURNING AMBITION INTO ACTION
General Synod affirmed in 2020 that the Scottish Episcopal Church should commit to working towards Net Zero carbon emissions by 2030. The Church in Society Technical Committee produced 10 points of guidance in 2021 to set the direction for practical action at Provincial, Diocesan, Church, and individual level. Thanks are due to the Committee for all the work they carried out, which has now been taken on by the Provincial Environment Group (PEG).
What is Net Zero?
This recorded webinar gives an overview of Net Zero and how the Scottish Episcopal Church intends to use this concept to take urgent, effective and measurable action to address the climate emergency. By watching this video you will gain an understanding of what Net Zero is, how it compares to Carbon Neutral as well as delve into the eight building blocks that are being used to create a robust, legitimate and transparent Net-Zero Action Plan.
In February 2023, a consultation for the Net Zero Action Plan (2023-2030) was launched, to give people the opportunity to help shape the future of our church’s environmental sustainability plans. This live stream event, hosted by the Rt Rev Ian Paton and consultant Robert Woodford, provided an overview of the proposed plan, including the values and principles that underpin it, its core objectives, and how you and your church can take action to address the climate emergency. You can watch a recording of the launch event here.
The first step in the Net Zero process was to produce a Toolkit and Checklist, embracing the 10 points of guidance. It included the Energy Footprint Analyser (EFA), enabling churches to calculate the carbon emissions associated with the energy usage in their buildings as well as create a baseline from which future emissions can be tracked. PEG are asking that the data collected by churches is shared with the SEC in order to collectively monitor the progress being made to deliver on the goal of reaching net-zero by 2030. The original version of the Toolkit and Checklist can still be accessed here but churches are advised to use the new version (see next paragraph).
An updated version of the Net Zero Toolkit was released in 2023 to celebrate the start of the Season of Creation.
This online resource has been completely redesigned to complement the ten core objectives identified in the Scottish Episcopal Church’s Net Zero Action Plan (2023-2030), approved by General Synod in June 2023.
The new toolkit:
- Provides an overview of Net Zero and how the Scottish Episcopal Church has defined it, as well as the values that have guided the approach.
- Helps churches identify specific tasks they can take to work towards Net Zero 2030.
- Demonstrates where help and support is available, including third-party tools and a list of grants to apply for.
- Provides a simple guide to the process, recognising that one size does not fit all.
- Integrates the online version of the new Net Zero Cards, also available now.
Integrating the online version of the Net Zero Cards directly into the toolkit enables a seamless link between the objectives identified in the Net Zero Action Plan (2023-2030), the many tasks outlined in the Net Zero Toolkit, and the individual actions described on the cards. Together, the new Net Zero Toolkit and online Net Zero Cards provide a one-stop resource, enabling all churches to take immediate steps to work towards Net Zero 2030. You can find out more and access the toolkit now at https://toolkit.secnetzero.org
All churches are encouraged to engage with the updated Net Zero Toolkit and the Net Zero Cards, and liaise with their contacts in their Diocesan Climate Change Groups.
Churches are also encouraged by the Provincial Environment Group to sign up for HeatHack workshops as part of the Scottish Episcopal Church journey towards Net Zero emissions by 2030.
The SEC is working in partnership with HeatHack, an organisation which arranges facilitated group sessions for community groups – such as churches – to help them understand what a net zero future holds for their own buildings.
A number of SEC churches have already signed up for workshops, and any churches unsure about what to do next to address Net Zero targets can get help by engaging with this helpful resource.
The workshops are based on the HeatHack programme funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Ingenious programme and already running across the UK. HeatHack have adapted a programme specifically for the SEC, and workshops are available which will address two of the ten ‘petals’ of the SEC Net Zero plan – energy efficient improvements, and clean energy – to help with the practical use of energy on the premises.
Provincial Environment Group Membership