environmental audit

environmental audit

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ELCAEnvironmentalAudit Guidefor congregations, schoolsand other groupsIntroduction“We of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in The purpose of this guide is to provide congre-America (ELCA) are deeply concerned about the gations or other groups with a simple, easy toenvironment, locally and globally, as members of use resource suggesting ways to reduce theirthis church and as members of society.… As con- environmental impact. This guide is organizedgregations and other expressions of this church, we into one-page sections covering various envi-will seek to incorporate the principles of sufficiency ronmental topics. In addition, sections on theand sustainability in our life. We will advocate importance of communication and environ-the environmental tithe, and we will take other mentally preferred purchasing are included tomeasures that work to limit consumption and increase the impact of your efforts. reduce wastes. We will, in our budgeting andinvestment of church funds, demonstrate our care Each section contains an explanation of thefor creation. We will undertake environmental issue, suggested activities, and resources for fur-audits and follow through with checkups to ensure ther information. Sections and activities can beour continued commitment.” selected independently, and do not need to beELCA Social Statement, done in order. Congregations can pick the“Caring for Creation: issues or activities that best suit their prioritiesVision, Hope and ...

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ELCA Environmental Audit Guide for congregations, schools and other groups
Introduction
“We of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in The purpose of this guide is to provide congre-America (ELCA) are deeply concerned about the gations or other groups with a simple, easy to environment, locally and globally, as members of use resource suggesting ways to reduce their this church and as members of society.… As con-environmental impact. This guide is organized gregations and other expressions of this church, we into one-page sections covering various envi-will seek to incorporate the principles of sufficiency ronmental topics. In addition, sections on the and sustainability in our life. We will advocate importance of communication and environ-the environmental tithe, and we will take other mentally preferred purchasing are included to measures that work to limit consumption and increase the impact of your efforts. reduce wastes. We will, in our budgeting and investment of church funds, demonstrate our care Each section contains an explanation of the for creation. We will undertake environmental issue, suggested activities, and resources for fur-audits and follow through with checkups to ensure ther information. Sections and activities can be our continued commitment.” selected independently, and do not need to be ELCA Social Statement, done in order. Congregations can pick the “Caring for Creation: issues or activities that best suit their priorities Vision, Hope and Justice” and resources. 1993 This guide could be used by an environmental committee, Sunday school class, congregation council, or ad-hoc group as they take action to care for God’s creation. Used on an on-going basis, your congregation’s progress can be monitored on the checklist found on the final pages of this guide. For additional information or resources related thin the
l Education in Society
©2004 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Permission is granted to reproduce this document as needed providing each copy displays the copyright as printed above. Thisresourcewasdevelopedasapartofastrategyduringaconsultationmarkingthe10thanniversaryoftheELCA social statement, “Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice.” The full text of the social statement can be found on the ELCA’s Web site at www.elca.org or by calling 800-638-3522 ext. 2281. This resource has been produced by the ELCA Division for Church in Society’s Environmental Education and Advocacy Program in partnership with Health Care Without Harm, Washington D.C., www.noharm.org , and the Healthy Building Network, Washington D.C., www.healthybuilding.net The Web sites listed in this text were current as of February 2004.
Communication
“Commitments of this Church: We will promote When starting a new topic in this Guide, reporting on the environment by church publica-consider which members of the congrega-tions, and encourage coverage of this church’s envi-tion, outside groups or staff will be affected ronmental concerns in public media.” by the suggested activities. Directly contact Caring for Creation: these members and invite them to partici-Vision, Hope and Justice. 1993 pate. Make sure they are notified of any deci-sions made, regardless of their participation. Communication can make all the difference in the success and longevity of the congregation’s • If announcements are made during the serv-environmental initiatives. The team using this ice, use this time to announce the decisions guide to reduce the environmental impact of and upcoming activities of the group using the congregation should carefully consider this guide. Invite members with particular who will be affected by any activities or deci- expertise in that area to offer their assistance. sions, invite them to participate in the discus-sion, and communicate any changes or deci- • Discuss your experience using this guide with sions that will effect them. Communicating someone else in the congregation who is not effectively with the congregation as a whole participating. Don’t pressure them to partici-and with the community at large can increase pate; simply tell them what you are doing participation in the effort, demonstrate leader- and how it is affecting you. ship in caring for God’s creation, inspire others to take steps, and strengthen the integrity of • Place updated information about environ-our witness. mental activities on the church’s Web site. Activity Checklist • If the congregation has regular adult educa-• Find a champion to be the team leader. tion sessions, arrange for at least one session to cover environmental issues and what the • Designate a staff member or volunteer to church is doing about them. Making this ses-develop plans to ensure that the congrega- sion part of a regular adult education series tion is made aware of the decisions made by may increase attendance. the group using this guide. Post the draft plan on your congregation’s Web site or bul-Resources letin board. Ask for comments. 1. The Religion Communicator’s handbook, How Shall They Hear? “provides nuts-and-• Set up a bulletin board or location in the bolts, no-nonsense information about every facility where members can find out about aspect of communications” for congrega-the different environmental initiatives or tions. Order it at www.religioncommunica-events happening at the church. Designate tors.org/handbook.html someone to ensure that the bulletin board is 2. See ELCA Social Statement “Caring for updated regularly. Creation: Vision, Hope & Justice.” For a com-plimentary copy call 800-638-3522 x2281. • Report regularly to the congregation through 3. See study guide based on ELCA Social the weekly bulletin or church newsletter Statement. For a complimentary copy call updates on environmental activities. 800-638-3522 x2281.
Purchasing
“The idea of the earth as a boundless warehouse has proven both false and dangerous.” Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice. 1993 All products purchased by a facility have an environmental impact. Certain controls can be put into place to ensure that environmentally preferable products are being purchased, prod-ucts that are less toxic, produce less waste, are least harmful and more efficient. Activity Checklist • Contact your office supply vendor and ask if recycled or environmentally preferred prod-ucts are offered and if they are marked in the catalog. If not, contact other local vendors or look on the internet for vendors that sell and designate these products. Support vendors who stock recycled paper, recycled toner car-tridges, and other environmentally preferred products. • Involve those who purchase the products tar-geted by other sections of this guide in the audit and decision-making process. If those who make the purchasing decisions aren’t involved, they are less likely to stick to the decisions to buy the environmentally prefer-able product. • Make the phone numbers of local stores that supply these environmentally preferable products readily available to all who pur-chase for the facility and to members of the congregation. Include this information in the weekly bulletin, on the Web site, and in the business office. • Get feedback from users. If a new product, such as recycled toner cartridge or compact fluorescent light, does not perform as well as the old product, talk to the vendor or manu-facturer to troubleshoot the problem. Don’t
give up and blame the environmentally preferable attribute for failure. The problem could be incorrect installation, not purchas-ing the correct product (such as the wrong kind of toner cartridge), or some other mis-take that can easily be rectified. • When selecting supplies, examine the pack-aging. Select products with less packaging or recyclable packaging. • When choosing appliances, including upgrades to your lighting, office equipment, heating and cooling systems, chose products that have the Energy Star ® logo. Resources 1. See www.pprc.org/pprc/pubs/topics/envpurch.html for an introduction to Environmentally Preferable Purchasing. 2. See www.newdream.org/procure/ for general information on starting an environmental purchasing program and information on specific product areas from the Center for a New American Dream. Order a guide to Responsible Purchasing for Faith Communities at www . newdream . org / faith / 3. See www.greenseal.org/recommendations.htm#prod-uct for brand-name environmentally prefer-able recommendations of commonly used products by Green Seal, a non-profit that develops environmental standards. 4. If you have questions about environmental options for different products, or want to find out what other facilities are doing to green their purchasing, subscribe to the EPPNet listserve, sponsored by the Northeast Recycling Coalition at ww r w ® .ne p r r c. o o d rg u /e c p t p s n s e e t. e h : tml 5. For a listing of Energy Sta www.energystar.gov
Pesticides
“…[W]e are to live within the covenant God makes • Inform staff and building users that they with every living thing (Gen 9:12-17; Hos 2:18), should discuss their pest concerns with the and even with the day and night (Jer 33:20). We maintenance staff. Staff will be responsible are to love the earth as God loves us.” for purchasing all pesticide products used in Caring for Creation: the building and grounds following the Vision, Hope and Justice. 1993 Integrated Pest Management plan. Allowing facility users to bring pesticides into the facil-Pesticides are used to control and/or kill plants ity without controls can result in excessive or or animals that exist in a location where inappropriate use, exposure risks, and unex-humans do not want them. Many pesticides pected hazardous waste costs. See are not only toxic to the plants or animals Communication page for suggestions on how they target, but also to humans (particularly to communicate this program to your con-children) or to desirable animals such as pets gregation. or butterflies. During rains they often runoff and contaminate water supplies. Integrated Pest Resources Management is a method of pest control that 1. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) minimizes the use of chemical pesticides and offers a simple guide to implementing an maximizes the use of non-chemical controls Integrated Pest Management Plan (IPM) in such as barriers (plugging holes in the founda- schools that is appropriate for most congre-tion) and preventative maintenance (such as gational facilities. See not leaving food in offices overnight). www . epa . gov / pesticides / ipm / brochure / 2. Healthy Families, Healthy Environments Activity Checklist offers advice on IPM programs including Work with maintenance staff to inventory biblical passages for reflection at storage of pesticides and all pesticide use. www.healthyfamiliesnow.org/Article_asp-Note whether the product is currently in use, Record=1086.html will no longer be used, or has passed its expi- 3. The IPM World Textbook provides detailed ration date. Call your solid waste handler for information on applying IPM to a variety of instructions on disposing of outdated pesti- landscape, indoor, and agricultural situa-cides or those that will no longer be used. tions at ipmworld.umn.edu/ Spanish version: You may need to contract with a hazardous www.ipmworld.umn.edu/cancelado/Spanish.htm waste hauler to dispose of these items. 4. The collaborative Database of IPM Resources can direct you to resources for your particu-• Develop an Integrated Pest Management lar IPM need at http://ippc.orst.edu/DIR/index.htm (IPM) Program using the resources listed below. Designate an individual or group (such as maintenance staff) as responsible for pesti-cide use decisions.
Mercury
We see the despoiling of the environment as noth-Host a mercury thermometer exchange for ing less than the degradation of God’s gracious gift your congregation or community. See of creation.” www.noharm.org/mercury/exchange for a guide Caring for Creation: on how to hold an exchange. Vision, Hope and Justice. 1993 Ensure that all fluorescent and other mercury-Mercury is a persistent, toxic chemical that can containing lamps (such as high-pressure sodi-impair the nervous system. Environmental lications) are mercury contamination is extremely wide- um lamps used in outdoor app m spreadintheUnitedStates,with43statescdoisnptoaisendmoefrpcruoryp,erelvye.nAltlhfolsueordeessciegnntaltaedpass warning residents to restrict their fish con- d be dis o d of sumptionfromcertainwaterbodiesbecauseguraelein,andshoulpsebyuusniinvgera-thefisharesocontaminatedwithmercury.sqalwfaisetdechoazmaprdaonuy.swCaosntseucltoymopuarnlyocoarlenvi-(See www.epa.gov/ost/fish/ for more information ronmental agency or phone directory to find a on fish advisories.) Mercury exposure can also company to recycle your mercury-containing result from breakage of mercury devices such lamps. as thermometers. Such accidents can result in high clean-up and liability expenses. Main facili sourcesofmercurytotheenvironmentincludeIlfaymopusr,youtmyaiysbuesianbgleTt1o2slainveeaernfelrugoyrebscyent trash incinerators (from the mercury devices retrofitting to T8 fluorescent lamps. In most disposed of in the trash) and coal-fired power an T12 plants.lcaasmeps,s.TC8olansmupltsycoounrtaliignhlteisnsgmveerncduorrytorhlocal ilit Activity Checklist tuhtefiyncaoncmiaplaandyvfaonrtaasgseisstoafnrceetrionfiettvianlugattoinTg8 Develop a mercury policy for your facility linear fluorescent lamps. establishing that no new mercury-containing equipment or devices will be purchased or Resources accepted by your facility except for fluores- 1. For more information on mercury contami-cent lamps. Mercury-free alternatives are a widely available for virtually all other prod- nation, s g o o u v r / c R e e s g , i a o n n5 d / i ai m r/ p me c r t c s, u r se / e nd-uct categories. See www.newmoa.org/preven-iwngw.wh.templa.yundersta tion/mercury/schools/Resolution.pdf for an 2. A list of companies that recycle fluorescent example. See Communication section for sug-re-gestions on how to communicate this restric- l c a yc m le p / s r e c c a yc n l e b rs e . h f t o m u l nd at www.nema.org/lamp tion to your congregation, staff, and building 3. For information on reducing mercury in flu-users. orescent and other energy-efficient lamps, see www . informinc . org / fact _ P3mercury lamps . php _ • Inventory all mercury in the facility and note 4. For recycling in your community see: whether the mercury-containing device www.earth911.org/master.asp?s=progs&a=local.asp should be immediately replaced, or should be or www.care2.com/near_home/getlocal_list_all.html labeled so that when it is disposed of, it is done properly. Lists of mercury-containing devices found in buildings can be found at http://abe.www.ecn.purdue.edu/~mercury/src/title .htm , www.informinc.org/fsmercalts.pdf and www.newmoa.org/prevention/mercury/mercury-products.pdf Contact a hazardous waste com-pany to safely dispose of any mercury found.
Paper Products
“God’s command to have dominion and subdue copies are usually made outside of the facili-the earth is not a license to dominate and exploit.” ty, inform those that make copies that they Caring for Creation: should make double-sided copies whenever Vision, Hope and Justice. 1993 possible. If your copier does not make dou-ble- i , evaluate the cost Paper products are all around us and include sided cop es er of leasing copy paper as well as paper products such as or buying a new copi that does. paper napkins, paper towels, and toilet paper. • Consider which docu rmal distrib-Using recycled paper products can save trees, uted as h ments no ly water,andenergy.Usingunbleachedorchlo-electronicaarldlyctohpryosuhgohutlhdebfeacmiliatdyesavWaeilbasbiltee. rine-free alternative paper products can also Such documents could include annual finan-reduce the environmental impact of the paper cial reports and weekly newsletters. Ask cur-products you use. rent recipients if they would prefer receiving the document thro h e-mail Activity Checklist ug subscription. • Inventory the paper products used in your • Consider writing only one worship service facility. If possible, include information on e purchasepriceandvolumeofproductsusedbAuslklectoinngprergaStuionndamyetombbeersusaettdebnydianllgseearrvliiceers. over a particular period of time. services to place bulletins in a basket by the door to be used n ater serv-Usetheresourcesbelowandcallthevendorsices.Keepthebubllyettihnossehoartttebnydionglylprinting you typically use to determine if recycled le in the Lutheran Book content and/or unbleached or chlorine-free m Wo a r t s e h ri i alonrototahvailab of alternatives are available for the types of p er hymnal. products you use. Note the locations where it Resources will be convenient for the facility to buy 1. See www.conservatree.com/ for brands of envi-these alternatives and the price of the alter- e a more in nativesyouidentify.Sharethisinformationtrioonnmoennteanllvyirpornefmereanbtlalipsspueers,relatedtfoorma-with those who purchase these items. If ti s on se. manyofyourpaperproductsaredonated,2.Speaepe w r, w a w n .a d i ga p sf.org/c r o ed m u m c i i t n te g e s p / a en p v e i r r o u nment/ inform the congregation and other donors of guide_chart.html for a list of environmentally your preference for recycled and unbleached/chlorine-freebleachedsupplies.3.SpereefRereaabclepaperbrands.!atwww.r .org GivethemthelistyoudevelopedofvendorshforUnbleaclhledlated f u to / whoselltheseproducts.fpoarpienrfbolremacathiionng.onpoutionre 4. See the Chlorine Free Products Association • If you are not recycling paper, talk to your at www.chlo roducts waste vendor about establishing a paper-recy- paper produ ri c n ts e f c re e e rt p ified as . o c r h g l / ofrionrel-ifsrteseo.f cling program for your facility. Set up recy- 5. To calculate wood and water savings and cling bins in convenient locations. Consider ol makingthebinsavailabletothecommunity.ppapleurt,isoener w ed w u w c .o t f i e o e. n g o f v r / o re m cy c u le si d/ n c g a l r -i e n c d y e c x l . e ht d m Share these results with your congregation. • If your facility has a copy machine with this feature, post a sign informing users to create double-sided copies whenever possible. If
Energy
“We will, in our budgeting and investment of gregation for an Energy Star award at church funds, demonstrate our care for creation.” www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=sb_success.sb_ Caring for Creation: awardsapp Vision, Hope and Justice. 1993 • Establish a policy that all new electric prod-rEonnermgeynutasleiismapalacrt.geCopaalr-tfofedouproswoecrieptlyasntesnvi-Sutcatrscpeurtricfiheads.edFobryatlhisetfoafciplirtoydwuicltlcbaeteEgnoerrigeys ir that supply power to large parts of the United and brand names, see States are a major source of mercury contami-www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=find_a_ nation. Most energy sources using nonrenew-product able resources contribute to acid rain and cli-mate change. Increasing demands for energy • If your facility is using T12 linear fluorescent are straining our energy distribution systems, lamps, you may be able to save energy by resulting in energy shortages and “brownouts.” retrofitting to T8 fluorescent lamps. In most See the Mercury section of this guide for more cases, T8 lamps contain less mercury than information on the connection between power T12 lamps. Consult your lighting vendor or plants and mercury. local utility company for assistance in evalu-ating the financial advantages of retrofitting Activity Checklist to T8 linear fluorescent lamps. • Do an energy audit of your facility each year. Ask your local power company if they offer Resources assistance with audits. Your local power com- 1. See www.energystar.gov for a wide variety of pany may also have other tools you can use tools you can use to reduce energy use, to become more energy-efficient, such as cus- including calculators to estimate potential tomized energy use reports or rebates on savings. energy-efficient equipment. Ask about these 2. A variety of self-guided energy audit forms and sign up for the ones appropriate for your are available at www.energy.wsu.edu/pubs/ (select facility. See resources below for energy audit energy audits and OM checklists from the menus forms. available) and www.webofcreation.org/estew/ 3. See www.christianitytoday.com/yc/2001/001/ • Consider purchasing “Green Power” for your 2.18.html for Seven Steps to Power Savings facility. Green power sources have reduced for religious facilities. environmental impacts when compared with 4. See www.newdream.org/procure/products/ traditional power sources, and include wind energy.html for information on buying green and solar power. Check with your local power such as solar- or wind-generated elec-power company for green power options and tricity. see the EPA’s Green Power partnership pro- 5. For success stories see: gram at www.epa.gov/greenpower/index.htmwww.thelutheran.org/0005/page40.html www.webofcreation.org/lens/metrochgo.html • Join the United States government’s Energy www.interfaithpower.org/ Star for Congregations at www.energystar.gov/www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=sb_success.sb_ index.cfm?c=small_business.sb_congregationssuccessstories Their free guide can help you reduce energy costs by 25-30%. After you implement the suggestions in the guide, nominate your con-