What is The Covenant of Sustainability?

The Covenant is a non-binding, voluntary agreement to help the State of New Jersey reach its greenhouse gas reduction goal as set forth in its Greenhouse Gas Action Plan. A congregation can adopt the Covenant by passing a simple resolution at its governing board meeting. By signing the Covenant, a congregation makes a declaration of commitment to work as a community toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions in support of New Jersey’s goal.

PEQ encourages faith-based institutions to adopt the Covenant of Sustainability and help New Jersey fight global warming. Faith-based institutions meet the Covenant’s goal of reduced emissions either through energy conservation, through the use of renewable energy], or both.

Congregations that sign the Covenant receive a certificate signed by a representative of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and information from PEQ on measuring and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

How will adopting the Covenant of Sustainability benefit my congregations?

Adopting the Covenant of Sustainability benefits congregations in several ways:

Financially, congregations benefit through reduced energy costs. These savings can be directed into other programs.

The Covenant also becomes a vehicle through which congregations express their belief in the importance of providing stewardship for the environment. Through their actions they become models for congregations and the community.

What other steps can my house of worship take to protect the environment and fight global warming?

Schedule a time for PEQ staff to speak to your congregation about spiritual values and traditions that reinforce our shared commitment to protect the environment.

Set up a Green Team/Environmental Committee within your congregation to identify environmental actions your congregation can take. Ask PEQ staff to visit you and assist you in designing an environmental program your congregation can implement

Schedule an energy audit for your congregation to identify ways for your congregation to conserve energy. The cost of an audit is easily paid off in one-two years and the savings continues for the lifetime of your building.

Encourage your youth, teen or adult groups to sell water conservation kits as fundraisers. Surprisingly, the process by which water is purified and delivered to our homes is energy-intensive. By conserving water, a house of worship or individual is also conserving energy.

Implement suggestions from the Energy Star Congregations Stewardship Action List for NJ. These suggestions can help your congregations reduces its energy costs and reduce greenhouse emissions.