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Greening Sacred Spaces Certification

Why Certification?GSS certification

Motivate! Our Certification program is a measurable way to motivate action.

Recognize! Receive recognition for the greening efforts that your faith community undertakes, no matter how big or small.

Celebrate! Celebrating your achievements is important because it gives you the drive for future goals, and inspires others to do the same.

Developed in 2011, the Greening Sacred Spaces (GSS) Certification program motivates, recognizes, and celebrates those faith communities that demonstrate commitment to caring for the environment through action. There are 3 levels to aim for and complete: Light Green, Medium Green and Deep Green. Each certification level has a corresponding checklist of possible actions in 8 categories such as Community, Energy, and Water. 

Whether you are just getting started or are ready for the next level of greening, the GSS Certification program is an excellent way to engage your faith community in stewardship right at your place or worship. It is an opportunity to showcase what you have accomplished together.

How it Works

There are 3 levels of certification to aim for and complete: Light Green, Medium Green and Deep Green. Light Green is a prerequisite for Medium Green, and Medium Green is a prerequisite for Deep Green.

Each level has a corresponding checklist of possible actions in 8 categories which are:

  • Spiritually and Worship 
  • Community 
  • Operations and Maintenance
  • Energy 
  • Water 
  • Waste
  • Kitchen
  • Environmental & Climate Justice


Use the checklist that corresponds to the certification level to select actions with your Green Team or committee and review your achievements prior to submitting your application. 

Your faith community is eligible to apply for certification once you have completed a minimum of 12 greening actions, which includes 4 required actions at each given level. 

For example, on reviewing the Light Green Certification checklist a faith group might complete 12 Light Green Actions as follows: 3 in Spirituality and Worship, 5 in Energy, 1 in Operations and Maintenance, 1 in Energy, and 2 in Environment and Climate Justice. They successfully completed 12 actions from the list, including the 4 required actions highlighted in green in the Light Green Checklist (see below). The faith community can be awarded Light Green Certification. 

NOTE: These checklists are applicable to faith communities with traditional properties as well as to groups who meet for worship in homes, community centres, or rented spaces. We include actions you take as a group within your faith community and at home.


Download which printable checklist your faith community wants to complete.



Faith & the Common Good charges a nominal fee of $75 per application to offset the costs of administering the program. Each level (Light, Medium, or Deep Green) is considered a separate application. Payment is accepted online through PayPal or credit card (both go through PayPal's secure site - PayPal account is not required). You will automatically be taken to the payment page once you have completed the form.

If cost is a barrier, please contact us at [email protected].

Apply for Certification


How to Apply

  1. Register your faith community and join our free online network.
  2. Log in to your account.
  3. Refresh this page and click on the application button above.
  4. Scroll through the page and select the online link for Light, Medium, or Deep Green Certification to submit and pay for your application. Each level (Light, Medium, or Deep Green) must be applied and paid for separately.
  5. For Light, Medium, and Deep Green applications, ​​you can upload a photo of your Green Team or greening work (1 MB max).
  6. Pay the $75 application processing fee through PayPal. (The form will take you there automatically.)
  7. Successful applicants receive a beautiful certificate suitable for framing, indicating their level of achievement (Light, Medium, or Deep Green) and online recognition in our national network.


Applications are reviewed monthly. 



For questions about certification:

David Patterson, Energy Coordinator

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 1-866-231-1877 x 103

For questions about online registration or problems accessing the application form:

Email: [email protected]


Acknowledgements: Faith & the Common Good would like to thank the organizations that contributed to formulating several of the protocols used in the Greening Sacred Spaces Certification program including: the Enviro Action Committee of the Diocese of Huron of the Anglican Church of Canada; the Anglican Dioceses of Niagara and Ottawa in Ontario; the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster in BC; KAIROS Canada; Churches’ Agency on Social Issues (CASI) New Zealand; Cedars Unitarian Universalist Church, Bainbridge Island, Washington and the Toronto United Church Council.

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