Ridley’s Journey to Net Zero Continues

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June 2023

Ridley’s Journey to Net Zero Continues

The Church of England, as agreed at General Synod, have set an ambitious but necessary goal for all parts of the Church to reach, by 2030, a position of net zero carbon. Domestic Bursar Lucy Thompson gives an update on our journey so far.

Domestic Bursar Lucy Thompson heads up Ridley's Carbon Net Zero Working Group
Domestic Bursar Lucy Thompson heads up Ridley's Carbon Net Zero Working Group

As defined in the Church of England Routemap, net zero carbon is “the reduction as far as possible of all in-scope carbon emissions and the removal of an equivalent amount of carbon from the atmosphere for the remaining in-scope emissions by use of accredited offsetting schemes.”

As a Theological Education Institute with listed historic buildings at the heart of our site, this is no small challenge. Whilst Ridley Hall has long held the importance of hearing the call to care for God’s earth close to its mission, whilst creating a sustainable place to learn — demonstrated recently by achieving the Silver Eco Church award — there is a lot more still to do!

What have we got planned?

We have created a Ridley Hall “Net Zero Working Group” to monitor progress, offer helpful thoughts and discussion, and share responsibility for any actions required. Membership of the working group includes staff across all departments, our Principal the Revd Dr Michael Volland, and our Student Environment representative. The group’s priorities over the coming months are: feasibility, achieving some quick wins, and completing a robust Ridley Hall Routemap to 2030.

With the help of expert consultants, we are having our whole site surveyed, and the way we use it analysed, to measure our carbon footprint and allow a detailed feasibility study to reveal the most effective methods to help us meet our 2030 target. We will be exploring all sustainable initiatives; from air source heat pumps and solar panels to improving our building insulation and introducing green policies amongst our staff.

In the first instance, we will be ensuring that as many of our lights as possible are using LED bulbs, to make an immediate impact on our energy efficiency. Whilst this is already the case in our shared teaching spaces, we will be rolling this out across all our student accommodation, with an aim of completing 50% of the site by the end of 2023.

Alongside this, our staff teams across all departments are committed to developing individual annual Green Pledges, beginning in September this year. Our pledges will share the ways in which each area of our site is operating in the most sustainable way possible, and commit to these becoming policy for the way forward.

It is important we continue to talk about the challenges and achievements of our journey to Carbon Net Zero. In sharing the progress we are making and the plans we have so far this year, we hope the conversation continues to grow beyond our community.

For more information visit www.churchofengland.org/about/environment-and-climate-change