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Footprints First Step on the Net Zero Pathway

There’s the 2030 Route map, a Net Zero Parish Pathway and a way to calculate your footprint. Ever feel someone’s telling you Net Zero is a journey? 

Whether you’re the outdoorsy type, never out of hiking boots; or more of a fireside cat, curled up and avoiding ‘weather’ at all costs, the truth still stands that every journey must start with a single step. And for your parish’s pathway to Net Zero, that step is the EFT, or Energy Footprint Tool.

You fill it in on the Parish Returns online system here, where you’ll find a (newish) green box for the purpose. All you need is a few details to hand, like what you spent on energy bills last year, any travel expenses for the parish, etc.

What’s the point, you might ask, of finding out the size of your carbon emissions? It might not be something you’ve given much thought to before now...

It's the simple fact that it’s a gateway to the rest of your journey. Going from A to B is impossible if you can’t locate A. We all need to know our starting point and each parish’s carbon footprint calculated by thirty minutes spent filling in the EFT provides just that. Once we know the size of carbon emissions we are starting with we can measure the reduction over time.

Goodness knows we need good news stories right now. How awful to have done all the great work of sorting out your buildings and have nothing tangible to show for it at the end. As long as you locate ‘A’, and know where you are setting out from by filling in the EFT, then you’re off to a good start.

And that’s not to mention the co-benefits. The fact that the National Church is spending £10,000s for Net Zero support to the diocese to get parishes going on their individual pathways and you’re going to need to have filled it in before you apply for funds. Any other Funders, like the council, trusts or charities, are likewise going to need a calculation of your carbon emissions. You might as well be funding-ready and have your EFT done and dusted well ahead of the curve.

We are suggesting a completion date of 31 May. The National Church has set a slightly later date but we think getting parishes funding-ready is the right move - the earlier the better.

And it’s not necessarily a clergy job – this sits really well as a Churchwarden, Treasurer or Administrator task to do. A ‘how to’ video is here. Just make sure someone has been allocated the job of completing it before 31 May. Then you can grab those boots, don an all-weather jacket and set out on a bracing walk. Or curl up fire-side. It’s up to you. But you’ll be safe in the knowledge that your parish net zero journey is underway.

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