Environmental Policy

LeafSt. Mary’s is a church that seeks to be shaped by the Five Marks of Mission. The fifth mark is a commitment “To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth”. We are committed to a green agenda for our church community. In the light of that, the PCC has endorsed our Environmental Policy. It is to be noted that this is an aspirational document. We are on a journey into this fifth mark of mission and adherence to the Policy is always a work-in-progress. However, the intention is there – and we do all we can to honour our moral commitments in this area of mission life.

General Clauses
1. We affirm the Fifth Mark of Mission (‘to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth’) as a central part of our life, work and mission.

2. We will take environmental concerns fully into account in our mission, worship, study, education, training, pastoral, administrative and other programmes and projects.

3. We will identify environmental issues in our village and devise appropriate action on them.

4. We will work with the PCC to devise appropriate ways of bringing environmental concerns forward on a regular basis.

5. We will seek appropriate information from a Christian environmental group (eg. Christian Ecology Link, Eco-congregation, Parish Pump Programme) and keep abreast of current thinking.

6. We will undertake an ‘environmental audit’ of our premises and property, make a list of the most significant aspects of the natural world for which we are responsible, and devise appropriate plans to care for them.

7. We will consider the environmental impact of all our policies and plans, and accept that additional costs may be incurred.

8. We will ask our members to consider their personal impact on the environment in their daily lives.

9. We will support the work of local and national environmental organisations, as appropriate.

10. We will hold a formal debate or discussion on environmental issues and policy at least once every three years.

Group Clauses

Finance Committee:
11. We will pay attention to environmental concerns in our banking and investment practice, and continue to pay regard to the national church ethical investment policy.

12. We will continue to use, and recommend to others, rates of car mileage payments that encourage the use of more environmentally-friendly vehicles.

13. We will seek ways to assess the value of our land and property for wildlife, and to manage them to conserve biodiversity, wherever possible.

14. We will encourage architects and contractors to take environmental concerns into account in their work.

Specific Clauses

15. We will encourage environmentally-friendly forms of transport, walk, cycle, use public transport, share cars, keep journeys to meeting venues short, and keep fossil fuel emissions as low as we can, wherever possible.

16. We will make an energy audit at least every three years, look for economies in heating, use thermostats, fit low-energy light bulbs, improve insulation, consider switching to ‘green’ energy suppliers, and seek to save energy in our use of heating and lighting, wherever possible.

Purchasing and Waste:
17. We will seek ways to reduce consumption, particularly of paper and envelopes, and the impact of our activities on the environment, use recycled paper, re-use and repair materials where possible, recycle waste, use low-environmental impact cleaning materials (avoiding chlorine-based and phosphate-rich powders), avoid using disposable and plastic items, avoid artificial fertilisers and pesticides.

18. We will assess the value of our land and property for wildlife, and manage them to conserve/ increase biodiversity, wherever possible.

19. We will seek to purchase food and drink that meets the LOAF principles (Locally-sourced, Organically-grown, Animal-friendly, Fairly-traded), avoid over-catering, use seasonal foods, and avoid using genetically-modified foodstuffs, wherever possible.

20. We will avoid using water unnecessarily and check for leakages regularly.