Getting Started

Below are some resources to help you get started.

Carbon footprint calculator

The 360° Carbon calculator enables local URCs to track the carbon footprint of their buildings and activities across different areas – energy, travel, food, waste, water and other expenditure. The tool is free to use, and multiple team members can be given access.

Eco Church resources

Guidance about how you can make practical changes in five key areas of church life: Worship and Teaching, Building Management, Land Management, Community and Global Engagement, and Lifestyle. Includes materials for children and young people.

The Net Zero Carbon church – Church of England

Regularly updated material on reducing the carbon footprint of buildings, with links to webinars (old and new) and Historic England advice guides.

For more in-depth guides, visit Energy Saving Trust (travel, transport, and energy efficiency for domestic properties) and Carbon Trust (guides for ‘business’ energy procurement and the running of offices, shops and hospitality venues).

Watch a recording of the URC Buildings Forum conference in October 2021 which offered lots of practical advice, starting with ‘Where do we begin?’: URC Buildings Forum – Climate Crisis – YouTube

Include regular topics in your worship and teaching relating to caring for God’s creation and the environment. This could cover activities at specific times of the year for example Environment Sunday and Harvest Festival as well as participation in initiatives such as ‘Time for Creation’ and Climate Sunday. We found some of the below websites helpful and inspiring.

Climate Sunday

Season of Creation

World Environmental Day

Manage resources more efficiently by adopting the waste hierarchy of reduce, reuse, recycle, recover and safe disposal. Go paper light and plastic free. You might find the below websites helpful


Plastic Free July

Ensure that food and drink supplied on church premises are produced in ethical and sustainable ways and use Fairtrade products where possible.


Look after church land so as to encourage biodiversity of birds, animals and plants and to foster its use by church members and the local community.

ECO Church – How to Look After Your Land in Wildlife Friendly Ways.pdf

Does your church have funds held as investments? Consider how these can be ethically manage with due consideration of the environmental implications, taking account of the updated guidelines produced by the Mission Council in May 2019 (see page 7 of the document below.

URC Environmental Policy 2019.pdf

Communicate with other churches in the local community through Churches Together  groups to share information and activities relating to climate change and the environment.

Identify and work with others in your local community who are involved in climate action and environmental initiatives such as councils, schools, low carbon and transition town groups, plastic-free and tree planting initiatives.

Support international environmental and climate justice programmes through organisations such as Christian Aid, Tearfund and Toilet Twinning.