Creation Care and Carbon: Saint Mark’s Cathedral Net Zero Initiative
Saint Mark’s Cathedral believes that, as people of faith, our commitment to Earth stewardship must encompass climate solutions. Therefore, as a congregation, we are committing to move towards Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2030. We are enacting a comprehensive plan that systematically reduces the carbon footprint of our Cathedral’s campus as well as launches programs to collectively reduce and offset the carbon emissions of our members.
Reducing the Cathedral’s carbon footprint: We have committed to a set of carbon reduction initiatives that will demonstrate how a historic, urban, large and sprawling church campus can make strategic investments to reduce energy use and embrace renewable energy sources. We are prioritizing our actions and investments based on a comprehensive facilities energy use assessment scheduled for completion in 2020. The Cathedral has a dedicated budget to fund the carbon reduction initiatives that will be identified in the assessment. Initial projects are likely to start with a package of low cost/no cost operational improvements. Capital projects are likely to include upgrades to heating systems, improvements to doors and windows, and viaible projects such as electric vehicle charging stations and solar photovoltaic installations.
Collective action: We are educating and motivating the Saint Mark’s community to be more aware of personal, congregational, and global environmental challenges through educational forums that range in focus from the personal (carbon footprint) to collective ways we can offset emissions and achieve long-term carbon drawdown. We are exploring ways that we can collectively contribute to carbon offsets, thus increasing the scope and power of these types of investments. We are forming partnerships with other communities of faith and community-based organizations to share best practices and lessons learned. We aspire to serve as an example and inspiration to our larger Episcopal community (i.e., the Episcopal Church in Western Washington)
Earth stewardship and justice ministries: Saint Mark’s Cathedral has a long-standing engagement in confronting issues of justice and supporting those who are in need. In choosing to act boldly in the face of climate change, we acknowledge that climate change exacerbates inequities and we commit to taking collective action to educate and motivate our community to confront climate justice.