Footprint Tools for Churches, Offices, Programs

Getting Started Measuring Your “Carbon Footprint”

If you search on “carbon footprint” or “measuring carbon footprint” you’ll find many diverse checklists, surveys, calculators and spreadsheets, pledges, on and on.

Consider these questions when you pick your tool(s).

cob_environ_carbonftprnt Callout1. “Who will be using this tool in our setting?”

Maybe a congregation’s  or UMW Unit’s green team,

a campus ministry’s leaders,

a ministry’s board of trustees,

a bishop’s office manager,

a pastor and lay leader,

an annual conference director of connectional ministries…

2. “What kind of tool would be most accessible or “user friendly” for us?”

Tools and guides are very numerous-and diverse.  But the depth of detail, difficulty in data research, and the end product of the process vary from general to more complicated to complex.

A suggestion:  an important goal of any process/tool is to raise

awareness and provide information that will engage individuals in

doing more to reduce their organization’s impact on the environment.

Pick the tools, guide or process

that are most accessible and user-friendly for your

leaders who will actually use them.

A few tools or processes we found helpful… from general to more complicated:


Seven Simple Steps to Green Your Church - an excellent step-by-step guide from building awareness to taking your footprint measurements to acting on the results, by UMC Rev Rebekah Simon-Peter. Read more about this important, very user-friendly resource available from Cokesbury.

www.coolcongregations.orgInterfaith Power and Light’s user-friendly piece for small to large congregations. – Evangelical Lutheran Church of America’s Environmental Audit Guide is very good with more detail and thorough review. - Presbyterian Church USA’s Earth Care Congregations resources are very good and comprehensive.

http://www.carbonfund.orgsee the “Carbon Calculators” tab… helpful for individuals, businesses… even weddings. - ENERGY STAR for Congregations  How-to Guide and technical information that can help reduce energy consumption by 30%. -The Tear Fund cooperates with the Climate Justice Fund.  At this site the Anglican Church encourages calculation of footprints and then donations to offset the use of carbon to the ministries of the Tear Fund. Shrinking the Footprint is the National Church of England’s Environmental Campaign.

Note: The  Central and Southern Europe Central Conference of The United Methodist Church adopted a policy last spring to measure the footprint conference programs and activities, then donate a comparable amount to specific ministries and charities of their churches. Read more about this faithful “offset” strategy. - The Home of the Green Congregation Program with many resources, training manuals and guides, thanks to the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Web of Creation: Ecology Resources to Transform Faith Communities and Society.  Click here for a brochure on “Greening Your Apartment.” – Earth Charter Initiative is a diverse, global network of people, organizations and institutions promoting the values and principles of the Earth Charter.  At this site is a global map of Earth Charter activities and member groups. -The Mennonite Creation Care Network has a variety of resources for congregations, including the Green Congregation Stewardship Score sheet. For this user-friendly, step-by-step one-pager Click Here.  Also of interest is Creation Care: Keepers of the Earth by Luke Gascho, Director of th Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College.

And for home, business, office or ministry: An eye-opening list of energy use of many appliances.  Start with awareness – this list will do it!

3. “What community or state utilities (energy, water, waste) can provide free audits for us?”

For example, Energy Crossroads provides a list by US state of utilities that currently offer audits and possibly other programs to augment your own assessments.

4. “What community or network partners are involved already?”

Connecting with others in your community is a real asset, including, for example your ministerial association, campus network or Church Women United.  Several other denominations have their own tools and their own “green” or “sustainable” designations as incentives. Check it out.

Watch for the new tools and guides coming from the National Council of Churches currently working with many groups and faith communities to publish the latest in helpful and effective assessments, studies and theological foundations for RENEWING ENVIRONMENT in STEWARDSHIP.

  • Need Help with A Carbon Footprint?

    Need Help with A Carbon Footprint?

    There is help available when you start assessing your conference, congregation or Area footprint… calculators, tools, study guides, web resources, and even a personal consultation.


  • An Episcopal Carbon Footprint

    An Episcopal Carbon Footprint

    The bishops of one of the world’s largest protestant denominations are at work assessing the carbon footprints of their offices, illuminating interesting and helpful information.