University of Cambridge > > Sustainability in the Built Environment (GreenBRIDGE) > The environmental challenge - Climate action programme in the Diocese of London

The environmental challenge - Climate action programme in the Diocese of London

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Aaron Gillich.


The talk will be held in two parts.

1. Stragic choices: assessment and planning We will explore how to evaluate our environmental impacts, the risks they impose and their abatement and mitigation; also the need and potential for adaptation to a changing climate. We will set our energy use and carbon footprints in the context of a wider range of environmental issues including water and waste, wildlife and biodiversity, transport and food. We will locate our policy within UK national statute and policy, and the C of E’s national Shrinking the Footprint campaign. We will examine the implications for an organisation and its members who live in society and may be expected to apply shared principles to their own daily lives. We will ask what are the motivators for taking action? How do we deal with scientific uncertainty? Do we only act if others do the same? And political or practical dilemmas like how to balance environmental and economic challenges. Does it all come down to the money?

2. Implementation: learning and application In this second part we will home in on the Diocese of London’s Route 2050 long term plan and specifically its Climate Action Programme for church buildings. We will study how energy use is recorded and carbon footprints calculated then reduced, with reference to the three strands in Climate Action Programme:

- Environmental Audits - Generic Building Solutions - Energy-saving Benchmarking

This programme was introduced in the GreenBridge Symposium in June 2012. We will briefly recap then survey the outputs of these projects and their application to existing buildings, especially historic buildings. We will see how the three strands have reinforced each other, how their conclusions have contributed to an iterative cycle of learning and action while informing specific projects eg for solar panels. We will look forward to our upcoming Generic Building Solutions pilot projects. We will consider the complementary roles of zero and low cost savings and capital works. Finally we will observe how the lessons and techniques learned in London can be exported elsewhere.


Cambridge educated (Pembroke 1972-’75, ‘76-’78), an architect in private practice for 14 years, Brian Cuthbertson was involved with historic buildings including the National Gallery from 1982 to 1991. From 1993 he managed the Diocese of London’s Advisory Committee for church buildings, before taking on the new role of Head of Environmental Challenge. Since then he has been working for the Bishop of London to deliver the Diocese’s environmental commitments. He also edited the C of E’s long-term plan for the environment, part of a UN project with Alliance of Religions and Conservation.

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This talk is part of the Sustainability in the Built Environment (GreenBRIDGE) series.

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