This working paper outlines the development process of an emissions survey tool for faith actors as well as the results of its pilot study and recommended actions for other faith actors to take up the survey tool model. The Episcopal Church in the Philippines (ECP) implemented this project in collaboration with the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities (JLI), the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), and the World Resources Institute (WRI) Faith and Sustainability Initiative. Classifying respondents into five types of assets including churches, schools, buildings, and mixed assets, GHG emissions were calculated for each type of asset across four sectors – energy, water, waste and refrigerants. Results of the survey, based on actual data collected, show that on a per-individual-asset basis, schools emit the most emissions (153.78t) and churches emit the least (6.31t). In schools, refrigerants ranked first in terms of the contribution to total emissions, while nearly all emissions for churches were due to energy consumption.

The survey also highlights the mitigation and emission reduction strategies already practiced by a majority of ECP assets, such as tree-planting, harvesting rain water, raising environmental awareness, and reducing electricity consumption. The development and pilot run of the survey demonstrates the desire and capacity of faith actors in measuring the emissions of varied assets and documenting environmental activities. Once faith actors calculate emissions measurements, they can begin developing targets for emission reductions to be tracked on an annual basis and will prepare them to engage with and evidence their contribution to climate action. The ECP plans to rerun the survey annually and report on emissions in its annual parochial reports. We hope that other faith actors that want to measure their emissions to inform science-based emission reduction targets will take up this model.

Key findings:

  • Faith actors have a role to play in addressing climate change by measuring, reporting, and reducing the emissions of their assets.
  • This paper outlines the development process of an emissions survey tool for faith actors and presents the results of its pilot study with the Episcopal Church in the Philippines (ECP).
  • The survey presents opportunities for the ECP and can guide other faith actors in terms of mapping assets, building capacity, and starting the process of developing emissions measurements.
  • The pilot study provided an estimate of the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions for the ECP, and an overview of the existing emission
    reduction strategies and environmental activities already practiced by a majority of ECP assets.
  • The ECP will repeat the survey annually and we hope the model will be adapted and implemented by other faith actors. To support this process, this paper includes a step-by-step guide.
  • Recommendations for survey adaptation and implementation by other faith actors include factoring in adequate resources, developing an inventory of assets, instigating early internal communications to explain the survey tool, and conducting training with nominated survey coordinators.

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