For several years, Z/Yen has been working with The Church of England’s Research & Statistics team, developing an Energy Footprint Tool as an adjunct to The Church’s on-line parish returns system – the latter work was reported on by Now & Z/Yen in 2012.
Keen, long-time readers of Now & Z/Yen, might also recall work that Z/Yen did with Tomorrow’s Company some years before that, on carbon footprint modelling.
The Church of England’s Energy Footprint Tool emerged as a collaboration of the above existing initiatives and ideas that were emerging in Church of England dioceses to measure and improve energy usage in church buildings. The project came together remarkably smoothly and successfully, despite the Covid-19 lockdowns.
Now & Z/Yen was delighted to learn, in the autumn of 2021, that the Energy Footprint Tool had been nominated for and indeed had won an Innovation Of the Year award at the National Energy Awards. That good news was reported in Church circles at the time – click here. Indeed, Now & Z/Yen investigative reporters have even managed to uncover a picture of Dr Sam Nunney, who leads this element of the Church of England’s Research & Statistics team’s work, joyously collecting the award – click here.
But the real thrill for us at Z/Yen is to learn that the Energy Footprint Tool is really starting to make a difference for the Church of England. Results from the toolkit, published towards the end of 2021, show that 7% of churches are already achieving net zero carbon emissions.
Of course it is still early days, but this is very promising progress with many church people now able to share good practice with those responsible for other similar church buildings. We are also thrilled to learn that the toolkit’s success is generating enquiries and interest in ecumenical circles beyond the Church of England.