Sustainability and Net Zero Carbon

Sustainability and Net Zero Carbon – Best Practice Notes

Over recent years, many of us have become increasingly aware of the climate crisis and the urgent need to reduce our carbon footprint.

Solar panels being fitted at a church in Sheffield.

In February 2020, Church of England General Synod recognised this crisis and called on all parts of the Church to plan towards ‘net zero carbon’ by 2030. The RIBA has recently stated “The climate emergency is the biggest challenge facing our planet and our profession. But to have a significant impact we need to turn warm words into impactful actions.”

Quinquennial inspectors have a pivotal role to play in advising church communities. Through the quinquennial inspection (QI) programme every church receives a QI Report, and we are also heavily involved in major change projects. We are therefore very well placed to guide and encourage church communities to make their buildings more sustainable while not compromising their heritage integrity. This guidance aims to encourage and equip inspectors to be sustainability champions.

Below are two “Best Practice” notes intended for building professionals. They have been approved jointly by the Church of England’s Church Buildings Council and the committee of the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association, to capture and share best practice on environmental sustainability. They have been produced by a working group comprising EASA members, representatives of the Church of England’s Cathedral and Church Buildings Division (CCB) and others; a list of working group members can be found below.

Both should be read in conjunction with the CCB’s Practical Path to Net Zero Carbon (PPNZC) document which provides a helpful guidance framework for churches.

While these documents, in places, refer to Church of England documents and terminology (PCC, faculty, etc.), it is hoped it will be of benefit across all denominations.

Best Practice Notes:

Sustainability and Net Zero Carbon – Quinquennial Inspection Reports

Sustainability and Net Zero Carbon – Church Projects

Working Group Members:

Bob Thompson, EASA committee

Graeme Renton, EASA President/Past President

Anna Joynt, EASA Vice President/President

Tom Crooks, EASA Membership Secretary

Nigel Walter (chair), EASA member and Church Buildings Council Member

Catherine Ross, Cathedral and Church Buildings Division (CCB) Open and Sustainable Churches Officer

David Knight, CCB Senior Church Buildings Officer

Simon Pugh-Jones, Architect & Bristol DAC Chair

Mark Eddison, Architect & St. Alban’s DAC Member

Joseph Elders, CBC Head of Church Buildings Strategy