The target is to achieve carbon net-zero. Net -zero is defined as achieving an overall balance between emissions produced and emissions taken out of the atmosphere of the earth. In 2019, the UK Government set a legally-binding net-zero carbon emissions target for 2050. The Church of England is setting the target as 2030. GST has not currently committed to 2030 but as our buildings are owned by the Diocese it is likely that we be asked to work towards this date. In order to do this we propose a GST Carbon Charter.
As a Trust we will:
1. Reduce Energy Usage
a. Gather and collate current information on energy and carbon emissions.
b. Ensure the central Shared Services Team will support individual schools in decreasing their energy footprint by supplying the skills and resources necessary to formulate a local plan for energy reduction and a path to carbon neutrality.
c. Actively manage buildings and equipment so that they reduce heat loss and energy wastage.
2. Prioritise Decarbonisation
a. Commit to taking steps to achieving carbon net-zero by 2030.
b. Prioritise funding for estate management projects that contribute to decarbonisation
c. Ensure decarbonisation is integrated into GST estate management decision making.
d. Commit 10% of SCA funding to decarbonisation of the Trust estate.
e. Include Carbon offsetting schemes in local plans to carbon zero where decarbonisation in not possible.
3. Use Increased Renewable Energy
a. Endeavour to support the switch to renewable energy by centrally procuring energy at a competitive and sustainable rate.
b. Encourage schools to generate renewable energy on-site where feasible.
4. Promote Sustainable Travel
a. Encourage our schools to use sustainable travel by promoting walking buses.
b. Encourage the use of zero-emission transport by installing electric charging points where possible.
5. Engender Sustainable Practice in Culture, Communication and Collaboration
a. Form Sustainability Council that will hold the Trust accountable to this charter.
b. Ensure that pupil and staff voices will be represented in the Council and have the opportunity to influence decision making.
c. Encourage our Schools to form their own sustainability/environmental councils at a local level.
d. Commit to including environmental sustainability in the curriculum and encourage schools to consider the eco-school scheme .
e. Actively promote and publicise steps to carbon neutrality to the wider school and Diocesan communities.