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Environmental Stewardship Agenda - Archdiocese of Indianapolis

Environmental Stewardship Agenda - Archdiocese of Indianapolis

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Published by: Keepers of the Earth on Feb 08, 2011
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Environmental Stewardship Agenda
Today the great gift of God’s Creation is exposed to serious dangers
and lifestyles which can degrade it. Environmental pollution ismaking particularly unsustainable the lives of the poor of the world 
… we must pledge ourselves to take care of creation an
d to share itsresources in solidarity.
Pope Benedict XVIAugust 27, 2006
The Archdiocese of Indianapolis recognizes the growing importance of making careful and efficient use of 
the Earth‟s resources, and further re
cognizes that the daily operations of its facilities, grounds, andtransport needs has a direct impact on the environment. This Environmental Stewardship Agenda has beendeveloped as a first critical step toward implementing a strategic environmental program to reduce the
Archdiocese‟ environmental impact through the more
conscious and efficient use of resources.The benefits of implementing an Environmental Stewardship Agenda are clear, and include: cost savingsthrough the more efficient use of resources and reduction of costly waste, fulfilling a moral obligation tocare for creation and the poor, improved employee and public health, a reduction of risk, and helping tofoster further educational, spiritual and economic growth within the Archdiocese.The unique challenges and opportunities associated with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis as an organizationwere evaluated as part of the development of targeted stewardship recommendations. Likewise, the
key environmental impacts were examined - including all utility use at the Catholic Center andXavier building for the past two years. While not an exhaustive environmental audit, this preliminaryevaluation serves as an indicator of the full impact the Archdiocese has on the environment in the course of its daily operations. During FY 07
09, for example, the Archdiocese spent an average of $17,448 permonth on employee mileage reimbursement. This represents an average of 32,965 miles driven, 1,303gallons of gasoline burned, and 15.6 tons of CO2 emitted each month
a tremendous impact on theenvironment, those vulnerable populations most affected by air pollution and climate change, and the
Archdiocese‟ financial budget
.Section 4 broadly outlines an Action Agenda for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis to greatly reduce its ownenvironmental impact while encouraging its parishes, schools, employees and parishioners to do the same.The section is divided into seven main areas: (1) Energy, (2) Water, (3) Waste, (4) Land Use, (5)Transportation and Travel, (6) Purchasing, and (7) Communication and Outreach. Comprehensiveenvironmental stewardship recommendations are made within each section.Many of the recommendations outlined in the Action Agenda can save the Archdiocese of Indianapolismoney in the long term. By initially focusing on those projects that will produce a significant cost-savingsand then
strategically reinvesting to support other projects, the Archdiocese‟ environmental stewar
dshipprogram can be designed as largely self-supporting. The Archdiocese can additionally make use of a broadrange of funding options to support its environmental stewardship goals. Funding options are detailed insection 5 and include a variety of creative internal financing mechanisms, grants, rebates, and privatedonations.It is recommended that a formal implementation structure - led by an Environmental Project Manager andsupported by the input and oversight of a staff Environmental Committee - be put in place to ensure thatthe Archdioc
ese‟ environmental stewardship efforts are successful and sustained.
Designed to begin with early action and lay a foundation for continued success, a 12-month implementationtimeline is proposed in section 6. Recommended first-year steps include: a kick-off meeting to engage staff;
sharing „best prac
tices, with parishes and schools; establishing a formal implementation structure to drivethe effort; implementing visible, low-
cost “jumpstart projects”
; engaging in ongoing communication withemployees, parishes, schools and parishioners; working to formalize environmental policy and goals; andimplementing first large environmental projects. First projects have been recommended based on their cost-
savings potential and the Archdiocese‟ own priorities and
needs. They include: (1) energy audits andretrofits; (2) a campaign to reduce the amount and impacts of employee driving; (3) strengthening andsupporting a
“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” ethic
, and (4) supporting the completion of several planned IS projectsw
hich will significantly reduce the organization‟s environmental impact.

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