What can a faith community do on its own to conserve energy?
On September 9th, 2019 through Faith and the Common Good’s Energy Benchmarking program, our Hamilton implementer, Environment Hamilton co-organized a “DIY Energy Audit for Places of Worship” in partnership with St John the Evangelist in Hamilton, Ontario. The goal was to start a conversation about potential energy retrofit ideas and plant some seeds of what could be accomplished.
December 20, 2019
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ClimateWise Business Network is excited to be in Year 3 of a partnership with Faith & the Common Good to deliver the energy benchmarking program to the York Region community. I wanted to share our journey to date.
Learn about what it's like to participate in the Energy Benchmarking Program, to ask energy-saving questions to an expert, and to be inspired by the amazing work of this congregation!
In this free webinar, Steven Law, P. Eng., the Holy Trinity Thornhill Green Team leader. Steven Law is a licensed Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Guelph. Steven has over 20 years of experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors, including participation in renewable energy projects, leading the Holy Trinity Green Team and teaching a short course on renewable energy and storage technologies.
Watch the free webinar to learn more about Holy Trinity Thornhill's green journey, including first steps, a green audit, energy retrofits and joining the Energy Benchmarking Program.
Mission and Background: Church of the Incarnation strives to offer excellent hospitality. They are a contemporary, inclusive parish for Christians of diverse ages and backgrounds. Children are especially welcome. They gather together to worship, pray, sing, laugh and grow. They are located in Oakville, ON and have been serving their community since 1987 when they started in the library of a local high school. They opened the doors of their church building, their home amongst the trees, in January 2000. The building is 9,282 square feet of space that are used for social events, community groups, and tenants.
This is a faith community that has always felt it is important to be responsive and proactive with the environment. They have always tried to be a green building. They reduce waste, promote reusable items and avoid single-use items, and they work towards improving their energy consumption. So, when it was time to replace their HVAC system, they had to decide: will they make a short-sighted decision or be long-sighted and take a risk?
Motivated by the desire to stop burning fossil fuels, they started looking at implementing a geothermal system. It would cost an additional one-third of the price of a traditional HVAC system; it was an unknown technology to most of the congregation, and no one was sure if the changes were worth the large price tag. It was a risky proposition resulting in a two-year-long debate about the cost and understanding the technology.
Download PDF (410 KB) to learn more about the Anglican Church of the Incarnation in Oakville and what you can learn from their journey.
Check out the blog post "Getting to Yes: How to convince others to green your Faith Building" for more information on Anglican Church of the Incarnation's greening story.
Understanding your current energy use is the first step in reducing it. Launched in 2017, our Energy Benchmarking Program is helping faith communities take practical and economical climate action by lowering their energy use and emissions.
The Energy Benchmarking program:
1. Supports stewardship of environmental and financial resources. 2. It allows you to target carbon consumption (buildings account for about 42% of a typical faith community’s carbon footprint). 3. Saves time and money, allowing you to target the lowest hanging fruit. 4. Assists future reporting requirements.
Monthly Meeting Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
The Quaker House is an unassuming place, tucked away in a residential neighbourhood, on a quiet street.
Over the years, members of the Quaker House have been actively undertaking a number of energy retrofits. Despite facing similar challenges that are common with places of worship, such as a diminishing congregation and financial constraints, their members completed a number of eco-projects over the last few years.
Longstanding member, Don Woodside, sat down with Juby Lee, project coordinator of the Energy Benchmarking program in Hamilton.
Parishioners practice waste reduction, composting and conservation. They welcome diverse members of the neighborhood and take care of the hungry and homeless through their numerous programs.
That’s why this inclusive, compassionate parish, situated in Toronto’s Danforth area since 1927, was selected by Faith & the Common Good (FCG) to receive a Green Sacred Spaces Award. This annual award recognizes faith groups that have achieved excellence in greening their places of worship as well as engaging the broader community in the care of the environment.
As an independent K-12 school located in Richmond Hill, Holy Trinity School (HTS) proves to be an aspirational leader when it comes to educating, promoting and advocating for sustainability. After joining ClimateWise Business Network in June 2018, HTS has participated in Faith and the Common Good’s Energy Benchmarking for Faith Buildings program and they are currently in the process of creating an action plan to achieve their greenhouse gas reduction goal. In May 2019, Holy Trinity School received recognition for their commitment to sustainability as they received an award for Engaged Green Team at ClimateWise’s York Region Sustainability Awards.
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.
Mission and Background: We are a vibrant, Christian community. We are located at Yonge and Centre Streets in the Village of Thornhill, City of Vaughan, worshipping and serving our community since 1830. A heritage building, we have over 22, 000 “Sq. ft.” of space that is regularly used by the congregation, a pre-school and numerous community groups.
In 2015, the Diocese asked each parish to learn more and act faithfully on climate change. At our annual VESTRY, held in February, a MOTION was passed to support the Diocese’s Advocacy at the provincial and federal government level for effective policy on climate change.
We recognized that the main source of our Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and operating costs relate to faith building energy consumption. This lead us to decide to investigate opportunities and consider suggestions from parishioners to reduce our carbon footprint over the next year and report results and recommendations for future action to VESTRY and the congregation, at large.
Download PDF (230 KB) to learn more about Holy Trinity Church, Thornhill journey.