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Net Zero Carbon

emissions by 2030

Man leaning on a metal fence looking at a waterfall surrounded by trees. The sun flares on the lens of the camera

We have a local plan for the Diocese of Guildford to get to Net Zero Carbon (NZC) emissions by 2030. It's in line with the National Church of England's Net Zero Carbon plan. We'll be working with people across the diocese to reduce carbon emissions and take advantage of opportunities for funding to improve energy efficiency. 

Why are we doing this? 

At the heart of Christian discipleship lies a deep theological understanding that our relationship with God, with each other, and with creation is interconnected. Caring for creation is therefore an act of honouring these relationships.


By caring for creation we honour the God who loved creation into being and made human beings in his own image to care for it. 


When we recognise the Earth as a shared home, our actions reflect that. We think about impact of our choices on the wellbeing of others and honour them through our actions.


Acknowledging creation as a divine masterpiece, that reflects God’s handiwork, we aspire to pass on this gift to future generations. We consider the value that it holds and become stewards of this precious gift.

A summary of our Diocesan NZC Strategy 

Over the next six years, we will:

  • Build on the existing information, resources and training
  • Decarbonise schools, Diocesan-owned clergy housing, offices and glebe land  
  • Support churches to decarbonise their buildings 
  • Create a Net Zero strategy for the Cathedral and future Diocesan Offices at Stag Hill  
  • Write new policies and schemes to reduce the carbon footprint of work-related travel
  • Use carbon offsetting where we cannot reduce carbon emissions further.

Read our Diocesan Net Zero Carbon strategy summary.

What have we done so far and what are our plans for 2024? 

So far:

  • We’re investing £4.3million into updating and decarbonising schools' energy systems
  • 86% of churches in our diocese have submitted reading to their Energy Footprint Tool, this is the best in the country.
  • We’re building our knowledge of what we can do to reduce energy use and carbon emissions of clergy housing through the quinquennial surveys
  • Energy efficiency improvements are part of the renovation works for the new diocesan offices at Stag Hill.

Read our 2023 Net Zero Carbon report.

In 2024 we will

  • Build a team to deliver the work, and support churches, schools, the diocese and clergy.
  • Make the biggest difference we can by working with churches that emit the most carbon so they can develop and progress their net zero carbon plans.
  • Develop a fuller picture of what we need to do to improve our clergy housing to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Continue to install air source heat pumps in schools, through PSDS funding. We will use this experience to learn from and look for new ways to both apply for funding and use new technologies like this.
  • Work with Guildford Cathedral to develop their net zero carbon plans.
  • Make the most of net zero carbon and environment networks to learn from the experience of others and fast track our progress.

Governance of our NZC Strategy

The Bishop of Dorking, Rev Paul Davies, is our senior clergy champion for our Net Zero Carbon Strategy.

We have a Net Zero Carbon Steering Group, which has been set up under a Terms of Reference approved by Bishop’s Council. On the Steering Group are:

Steering Group

• Kate Darwent (CHG Head of Governance & Operations) - Chair
• Steve Collins - Net Zero Programme Manager
• Alex Tear (Diocesan Director of Education) 
• Nick Nicolaou (Finance Manager) 
• Andrew Johnson (Head of Property) 
• Matt O’Grady (Director of Operations, Guildford Cathedral) 
• Peter Coe (DAC Chair) 
• Rev Moni Babatunde (Clergy Rep from Bishop’s Council Representative) 
• TBC (Lay Rep for PCCs from Diocesan Synod) 
• Ebert Spreeth (external member – Quality Assurance) 
• Prof Ian Christie (external member – Technical input) 

Our NZC Staff Team

Steve Collins – Programme Manager (shared with the dioceses of Chichester and Portsmouth)

Diocesan Environmental Office - currently being recruited

NZC Specialist – currently being recruited

Andy Wells – volunteer (currently working Mondays)

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