With climate change growing as a moral issue, faith communities are finding their own sustainability profile as an opportunity to lead. A growing number are taking action with the support of Green Economy Hubs, benefiting from a new partnership between Green Economy Canada and Faith & the Common Good.
In Sudbury, York Region, and five other communities, these faith-based organizations are investing time in measuring their environmental footprint and working to reduce it.
Six United Churches in the Sudbury area have joined Green Economy North, the Northeastern Ontario Green Economy Hub. Working with their support to set ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets, these churches are successfully reducing their utility costs while lowering their environmental footprint.
Hubs are helping faith communities assemble green teams and supporting sustainability leaders to achieve broader sustainability objectives. Improving insulation and heating efficiency are top project choices; examples include wrapping and/or sealing windows to minimize heat loss, particularly on the coldest days of the year.
Window wrapping has also inspired congregation members to take similar actions at home and in their workplaces. Insulation of new water pipes, using magnets to improve gas furnace efficiency, and installing smart thermostats also offer efficiency gains along side cost reductions. Lighting retrofits are another popular project.
The Jaffari Community Centre, in Thornhill, has been on its own sustainability journey with the support of their local Green Economy Hub, the ClimateWise Business Network. Having assembled an active Eco Board and set about to dramatically reduce waste generation from event hosting, the organization is now working with ClimateWise to benchmark energy use and identify opportunities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Together with Hubs across the Green Economy Canada network, and with the support of Faith & the Common Good, these faith-based organizations are becoming more sustainable and demonstrating leadership to their congregations and their communities.