Dales churches to trial pioneering new carbon calculator

Churches in the Ripon Episcopal Area are to take part in trials of a radical new carbon footprint calculator which has been created by  Lancaster University and will be rolled out across the whole diocese if succesful.  

The Church Carbon Footprint Calculator, created by Small World Consulting and Lancaster University for the Diocese of Leeds, is a new tool for churches to calculate their carbon footprint more easily.

The project is being organised by Andy Ive of  St Mary’s  Church Ingleton and an introductory session was held this week (Monday 25 September)  at All Saints church, Burton in Lonsdale to introduce the trials of the Church Carbon Footprint Calculator. Participating churches in the trial will be given the opportunity to contribute to pioneering research into the impact of this type of intervention on organisational change around the low-carbon agenda.

If the four week trials during October in the Ewecross and Bowland Deanery are successful, then the system will be rolled out and be available later this year to churches across the whole diocese.  

Carbon CalculatorChurches involved in the trial include Burton in Lonsdale, Thornton in Lonsdale, Ingleton, Bentham, Settle, Giggleswick and Rathmell.

Our  carbon footprint is defined as the total amount of greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support human activities, usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).  It is seen is a very powerful tool to understand the impact of personal behaviour on global warming.

The Church of England’s carbon footprint  target is online with the UK Government target to reduce emissions by 80%  by 2050. The new pioneering calculator aims to help solve the difficulty of calculating our carbon footprint.

Jemima Parker, Environment Officer for the Leeds Diocese, said, “I hope it will be a useful tool for all parishes and denominations to measure and reduce their carbon dioxide footprint.

“The Ingleton, Settle churches are trialling it for a 4 week period to iron out the glitches and then it will be available across the diocese- we hope to run training sessions in each area to equip parishes to utilise it.”

The work creating the calculator and supporting resources  has been carried out by Sarah Phillipson, a post graduate researcher at Lancaster University. Sarah is studying for an industry-focused PhD and has worked  closely with company Director and author Mike-Berners-Lee as well as lead academic supervisors Professor Nick Hewitt and Dr. Jess Davies.


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