The Scottish Episcopal Church is a diverse church, with a wide range of different circumstances in different places. No one set of actions would suit every charge.

We are collectively guided by the Anglican Communion’s Five Marks of Mission as a common set of principles for the whole church.

Five Marks of Mission
To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptise and nurture new believers to respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform unjust structures of society
To challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth

These principles have helped to shape the Net Zero vision through the lens of discipleship, justice and hope, and are the foundations of the Net Zero Action Plan which underpins this Toolkit.

How we got here

In 2020, the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church, recognising the climate emergency which the planet is facing, called for the whole church to work towards a target of achieving Net Zero carbon emissions by 2030.

The Church in Society Committee worked with commitment and diligence to develop an action plan and, the following year, the Synod endorsed ten points of guidance and a programme of actions to help the Church on the way to becoming a cleaner, greener church, and put in place structures to support, resource and encourage us along the way.

As a result of this programme of actions the Provincial Environment Group was formed in late 2021 to advise the Standing Committee of the Scottish Episcopal Church on how to move forward.

The Net Zero Action Plan (2023-2030) has been developed in consultation across the Province. During the extensive consultation process it became apparent that updating and aligning the existing Toolkit would be of great benefit to many charges.

The changes required encompass almost all aspects of our church: not only our buildings where we use the energy created from the burning of fossil fuels, but in every area of our life, work and worship.

We do not underestimate the challenge, but there are many steps we can take which will make a difference and we need to plan now for the bigger challenge, so that they can be met within the desired timeframe. It must be done step by step and needs to cover church lands, buildings, halls, offices, and rectories, transport and church activities.

Each church’s plan of action will be unique to their situation and we hope this toolkit empowers you.