Net Zero

St Mary’s Convent has a plan to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030. Net zero means balancing out the amount of greenhouse gases we emit with the amount we remove from the atmosphere.

In 2022, we undertook an extensive survey with the help of independent environment auditor Matt Fulford of Inspired Efficiency (pictured below in our Boiler Room).  With the recommendations from this report, our Net Zero plan is broken down into a strategy of short, medium and long term objectives.

The first stage of the plan is well under way and focusses on reducing heat loss

The priorities in 2023 and 2024 have been:

    • Add secondary glazing on the ground floor of the Retreat Wing, Maribel Centre, Bursary offices and Sisters’ Refectory.
    • Add secondary glazing to all floors of St Raphael’s Wing.
    • Increase insulation where possible and move all lighting to energy efficient motion sensor LED lighting.
    • Install electric vehicle charging points.
    • Change to electric panel heaters and a point of use hot water supply in the Estates Building and Workshop.

The second stage looks to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels.

Longer term goals to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels, such as air or ground source heat pumps are being investigated.

Already our heating system is part powered by a biomass boiler, often making use of wood fuel gathered from our own site and a bank of thermal solar panels help to heat our water. Our electricity supply is from a 100% zero fossil fuel energy supplier.

As technology is improving at a rapid rate in this sector, we are researching thoroughly and waiting for the right time to make this significant investment into the Convent’s infrastructure.

The next five years holds significant change to the environmental impact of St Mary’s Convent, and we look forward to sharing with you our news on how we are reaching our objective of Net Zero.