Toolkit to take the "Encyclical to Action"

Toolkit to take the “Encyclical to Action”

Success Stories From Every Sector

Examples of Climate Action in Business

  • Mi Rancho, a family-owned supplier of Mexican foods in California, had no interest in sustainability, but they wanted to sell tortillas to Walmart. Natural Capitalism Solutions helped Mi Rancho meet Walmart’s Sustainability Scorecard through such measures as:
    • Implementing a lighting retrofit for their warehouse, production area, and office. The program cost $12,000 but cut their carbon footprint from lighting 63%, and delivered a $32,000 return on investment (ROI) every year.
    • Installing more efficient ovens increased their capacity 12% and cut their energy use in half with a $70,000 a year ROI
    • Reducing waste in their packaging is saving them $90,000 a year.
    • •
  • UK supermarket chain, Sainsbury’s, is making a serious effort to reduce its carbon footprint.

Examples of Climate Action in Religion and Faith

  • St. Johns Episcopal in Boulder has discovered a direct-investment method for funding rooftop solar.
    • Because the church is a non-profit, it cannot use the tax credits for rooftop solar. However, with a Limited Liability Company comprised of parishioners investing in the array, the church will save 40% of its monthly electric bill, about $500/month and the investors see great returns.
    • St. Johns will significantly reduce their carbon footprint, keep hundreds of tons of carbon pollution out of the atmosphere, and save the church more than $80,000 over the life of the panels
    • See “Solar Power for St. Johns” at
  • St. Peter’s Church in Maney, Birmingham is engaging the congregation and making significant efforts to become sustainable.
    • The Church has installed 39 PV panels and planted bee-friendly flowers to attract wildlife to their gardens.
    • Their Eco Maney project aims to inspire Church members and foster alliances among other churches and community groups.
  • The Network of Buddhist Climate Action Network is using Buddhist teachings and practices to mobilize a network for collective action, and welcomes interfaith collaboration.
    • Local branches across the country are taking part in climate action, and collaborating with other Buddhist groups, as well as interfaith and secular climate movement groups.
    • Engaging and communicating with others to address these pressing issues and brainstorm solutions is the first step towards making change!
  • Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Decatur has formed a Green Ministry to promote stewardship and sustainable practices in the Church and local communities.
    • Holy Trinity is hosting a bicycle festival, Bike Solar, which features bike rides to solar arrays in the area.
    • The Church also has a solar array, which produces enough energy to sell some back to Georgia Power, and is working on several other energy conservation projects.

Examples of Climate Action in Government

  • The city of Fort Collins has adopted bold new carbon reduction goals
    • To reduce community carbon emissions by 20% below 2005 levels by 2020, by 80% below 2005 levels by 2030, and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
    • The city reduced its municipal carbon by 12% between 2005-2014 – a higher rate than that of the overall community, which reduced emissions by 3%
    • •
  • New York City’s PlaNYC lays out an ambitious agenda to make the City truly sustainable and resilient to climate change.
    • New York’s strategies are extensive and address a wide variety of areas, such as transportation, energy and buildings, and waste and recycling.
    • The program is hugely successful; New York was named the “Greenest City in America” and plans to lower its greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050.
  • Arlington, Virginia’s General Land Use Plan sets out clear guidelines and a vision for a sustainable growth and land use.
  • As part of the Urban Heat Island Initiative, the roof of Chicago’s City Hall has been turned into a massive rooftop garden.
  • Through the adoption of cap-and-trade, New England and Mid-Atlantic states are experiencing an economic surge, as well as a huge reduction in energy costs and carbon emissions.
  • The state of California is a leader in Renewable Feed-In Tariffs, which are designed to expand small-scale renewable energy generation.
    • The program involves the state legislature, public utilities commissions, and individual investor-owned and municipal utilities.
    • California’s ambitious goals should inspire other cities and states to start developing their own programs.

Additional Resources:
Simple Actions For Individuals

  • Transportation: Carpool, use public transportation (take a bus to the airport), combine errands into one trip, reduce highway speeds, maintain correct tire pressure
  • Heating/Cooling: Adjust thermostat and AC, buy more efficient units, caulk/weather-strip your home
  • Household: Use LED bulbs, use warm or cool settings for washers and dryers, switch to energy-efficient appliances, replace damaged windows with high efficiency units, use power strips to cut phantom load

 Resources For Business, Government, Faith

  • The Environmental Protection Agency’s Smart Growth Program provides communities with resources, such as funding avenues, detailed strategies, case studies, and access to webinars and conferences.
  • The 3% Solution provides stories and detailed strategies for making sustainability a cost-saving business opportunity.

  • Laser (Local Action for Sustainable Economic Renewal): A Guide to Community Development.

  • Presidential Climate Action Report: the complete Action Plan, recommendations by agency, and a summary are all available.

  • Michigan Interfaith Power and Light has a list of free resources for congregations.