Catholic Earthcare Australia's Megan Seneque, visited Our Lady of the Rosary, Kenmore to offer a strategic, systems-based and integrated approach to becoming a sustainable parish.
"Megan's presentation gave us a clearer understanding of the Churches teaching on ecological responsibility and helped us to explore how we might understand our responsibility of the earth within the context of our faith." Peter Arndt, Kenmore.
Click here to visit our Assisi page to find out how you can become a sustainable parish.
Father Nick Lucas, a Franciscan Friar agreed to test Earthcare's new environmental audit tool at his St Charles Parish in Waverley. At a meeting with Earthcare and Carbon Systems Australia Father Nick provided copies of his recent utilities bills. Carbon Systems Australia then put the parish data into the newly designed system for the Catholic Church in Australia.
The audit tool, which was developed by Carbon Systems Australia, is called ECIS and stands for Energy Carbon Intelligence System. ECIS is 'software as a system' which means that we do not need to install any software or navigate our way with a new program to do the environmental audit. The ECIS system enables flexible data capture in an ongoing way; either automatically (with authorisation) from a smart metre or from a simple spreadsheet template that is filled in once per month and emailed which takes about 15-20 mins.
The system provides the parish with ongoing reports that track its water & energy consumption, waste outputs and carbon emissions. The data is provided in a flexible reporting format (whatever way you prefer) and action plans relating to reducing consumption can be stored as part of the audit system. The system enables benchmarks to be set and if you like alerts to be put in place to notify you if your parish is exceeding the set thresholds in a particular location or at a particular emission source, for example.
This system is being built to enable single parishes to track and monitor their own progress and also enables the parishes in their particular diocese to be grouped together to gain a measure of the footprint of the whole diocese (together with the schools). The system is able to compare across different parishes, schools and diocese too. It is scale-able to enable parishes, schools, hospitals, congregations, and every part of the Catholic Church to measure and reduce its footprint. In collaboration with Earthcare you can plan and run a variety of targeted programs that reduce your high areas of consumption. The goal is to reach sustainable levels of consumption which also reduces utility bills. After that you will be encouraged to discover ways to reuse, reduce and recycle water, waste and energy as well as considering offsetting carbon emissions.
Did I mention our delight at the very low cost for parishes and schools? To use this system over twelve months the initial cost will be as little as $300 per annum and over time, as more and more parishes and schools join, it is expected to cost as little as $100 per year for this service to Catholic schools and parishes.
St Charles is now waiting to find out what its baseline data is so that it can make intelligent decisions about where to begin reducing its ecological footprint so stay tuned...
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION
Earthcare welcomes notes and reports on what individual parishes are doing. Please Share your parish enviromental story with us and let others be encouraged by your work! Please send an email to the editor with details of your activities.
On Holy Ground Audit