Halifax Minster Environmental and Net Zero Carbon Policy Statement
The Leeds DAC is committed to encouraging best practice in every matter relating to church buildings. Increasingly, this includes environmental sustainability and energy efficiency, reflecting the Leeds Diocesan Environmental Policy and the General Synod commitment to reaching zero carbon by 2030.
We affirm these elements of our faith:
- Through Christ, God has created an breathtaking and majestic cosmos to bring Him praise and We are but one part of His created order.
- Jesus has redeemed the whole earth through His death and
- We recognise that we have a special responsibility to care for the Earth so that human life and all God’s creatures may be sustained in harmony.
The Halifax Minster Strategic Plan 2021-2026 indicates that:
“Whilst the Minster points to a heavenly realm, God remains incarnate in Jesus in this world, and we are called to play our part in the stewardship of the earth and its resources, and to recognise that as people of faith Climate Change is a very real challenge to the Minster community”.
Strategic Aim (Treasure) specifically states that
“Christians believe that God us the creator of the universe. Halifax Minster is committed to striving to safeguard the integrity of creation, sustain and renew the life if the earth and ensure that we respect all that surrounds us, thus acknowledging the imp we can have on the future.”
Our three Strategic Objectives are:
- Attainment of Eco Church Status;
- Ensuring all we do reflects care for the world around us : God’s creation;
- Encouraging others to live in recognition of our environmental
- As a church community, we will take environmental concerns into account in our mission, worship, study, education, training, pastoral, administrative and other projects and Programmes.
- We will make an appointment of a person as our Parish Environmental Representative/Champion to lead our programme and encourage them to bring relevant environmental issues and concerns forward to the PCC on a regular basis.
- We will undertake to calculate and report annually on our carbon footprint annually (using the Leeds Diocesan Parish Return’s Energy Footprinting Tool or the Climate Steward’s 360O carbon calculator).
- We will put in place an action plan striving to be a carbon net zero church by 2030, in line with the Church of England’s climate ambition (using the Six Steps to Carbon Net Zero Church Toolkit).
- We will use an offsetting website like Climate Stewards to calculate the cost of offsetting our annual emissions and commit to offsetting where appropriate, building up to 100% offsetting by 2030.
- We will undertake an environmental and energy audit of Minster premises and property, identify the most significant issues and impacts which should be addressed and make and implement plans and programmes to tackle them. We recognise that some additional costs may be incurred to minimise environmental impacts and that changes to buildings may need faculty permission, requiring consultation with the Diocesan Advisory Committee and external bodies to ensure historic buildings legislation requirements are met.
- We will seek to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the electricity and gas used in Minster premises by:
- Switching to “green” energy suppliers (renewably generated electricity and biogas) if appropriate
- Focusing on heating the people, congregation and the public, not the space
- Have a better understanding of the heating system and optimising how it runs to fit with when and how the Minster is in use
- Zoning the heating where possible
- Using thermostats for temperature control
- Fitting LED light bulbs
- Improving insulation wherever practicable and appropriate
- Turning off lights, appliances and computers when not in use
- Replacing old, inefficient boilers where practicable and investigating renewable heating alternatives
- external floodlighting energy consumption should be minimised as far as possible. Any additional energy consumption must be outweighed by the public and missional benefits of the proposals; and the installation will not negatively impact local wildlife or contribute significantly to light pollution.
- We will consider how the Minster is vulnerable to extreme weather from climate change and develop a climate resilience plan. For example upgrading rainwater goods to cope with intense rainfall, tree planting to provide shading in heatwaves, hedges for strong wind protection, having a flood plan. We will explore measures to minimise water waste and reduce pressure on local sewerage networks.
- We will work with others in our local community to identify environmental issues which should be addressed in our area and help develop actions to tackle them.
- We will encourage our staff, volunteers and community to reduce unnecessary travel using online communication, as appropriate. We will encourage forms of transport to work, meetings etc. which have minimum or reduced environmental impact – e.g. walk, cycle, public transport, car sharing, electric, hybrid, compressed natural gas or hydrogen vehicles.
- We will explore and seek to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the food we serve. We will raise awareness among the community of the environmental impact of food and aim to help our community to enjoy healthy, seasonal food with a low environmental impact.
- We will ensure that the Minster’s finances are being used ethically and our investments and bank account are divested from fossil fuels.
- We will seek ways to reduce material consumption and the impact of our activities on the environment by, wherever possible:
- using email rather than sending hard copies
- using recycled paper
- reusing/ repairing items
- using low environmental impact cleaning materials
- We will avoid using water unnecessarily, install water meters where appropriate, check for leakages, fit water minimising systems to taps and cisterns wherever practicable.
- In terms of our churchyard : if the felling of healthy trees is necessary, or hedge clearance needed, we will ensure that we have explored options for compensatory planting either within the churchyard or as part of a tree-planting scheme and that we have a clear proposal for the disposal of the waste timber and brash.
- When laying or relaying paths and hardstanding explore surfaces which are in natural stone or permeable material, and/or where it can be demonstrated that the design is detailed to prevent run-off to sewers and increased flood risk.
- We will assess our land and property for wildlife and manage them to conserve biodiversity.
- We will encourage individual members of our congregations to take actions in their personal lives to complement and supplement these actions of the church community.
The responsibility for this Policy lies with the Minster Council.
All staff, volunteers, contractors, and external users have responsibility to cooperate in the implementation of this policy. They will ensure that:
- They read this policy and understand what is required of them
- Comply with and rules, operating instructions and working procedures