Environmental measures in church buildings

Several environmental measures are reportedly used by Australian churches in their buildings or on site as part of their facilities.

When asked in the 2016 NCLS to select from a list of options, the most common environmental measures listed by local churches were the use of rainwater tanks or water recycling, energy saving measures, water saving measures and solar hot water or solar panels.

Environmental measures in church buildings or sites

Local churches were asked to report on any environmental measures they utilised within their buildings or facilities. Just over a quarter of churches (27%)  said they used rainwater tanks or recycled their water. Another 15% said they used energy saving measures. Some 14% reported using water saving measures and another 14% a solar hot water system or solar panels. Finally, 3% said they sourced their electricity from government-accredited Green Power.

Over a quarter of churches used rainwater tanks or recycled water

Given a list of options, the most common environmental measure reported by local churches at their building or site was the use of rainwater tanks or water recycling, named by over a quarter (27%) of churches surveyed in 2016.

Energy savings measures used by 15% of churches

The second most common response in regard to measures utilised by local churches was energy savings measures, reportedly used by 15% of churches. 

Water saving measures used by one in seven churches

Around one in seven, or 14% of local churches surveyed in 2016, reported the use of water saving measures in their buildings or site.

Solar panels or solar hot water systems in church buildings

Similar proportions of local churches, or one in seven (14%), said they used either solar hot water system or solar panels in their building or site. 

Conducting an environmental audit of church buildings

A few churches, only 7%, reported conducting an environmental audit of their buildings or site, as part of their environmental activities in the last two years, prior to the 2016 NCLS. 

Opportunities to use renewable and environmentally-friendly options in the infrastructure, architecture and energy regulation of buildings and facilities, are becoming more readily available within recent decades. As churches respond to changing environmental needs and opportunities to reduce their environmental impact, we see evidence of the use of environmental measures by a minority of Australian churches, most commonly rainwater tanks or recycled water. More detail on other environmental activities of churches is available in our article: Wide range of environmental activities reported by churches.

 

Authors:
Kathy Jacka, Miriam Pepper
Data Sources:

Powell, R. Sterland, S. Pepper, M. and Hancock, N. (2016). 2016 NCLS Operations Survey [Data file]. Sydney: NCLS Research. 

 

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