BUUF Carbon Neutral by 2050

The Climate Action Team

The Climate Action Team’s (CAT) mission is to lead the congregation of the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in addressing the climate crisis by becoming Carbon Neutral by 2050 while advocating and supporting climate and environmental justice.

We are called to this work by a moral and spiritual imperative guided by our 7th Principle, “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

We are using the UUA’s Green Sanctuary 2030 and Interfaith Power and Light‘s Cool Congregations for guidance and help in the following areas: Mitigation, Adaption & Resilience, and Climate Justice.

The Fellowship’s January, 2019 resolution, Responding to Climate Change, calls upon us to be a prominent and faithful voice of witness, advocacy, education, and protest, if necessary, in the public sphere, by supporting community partners and coalitions working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Congregational Carbon Footprint Dashboard

BUUF Buildings & GroundsTravel to BUUFBUUF Households
Footprint Gauge, showing the 2019 footprint of 32.26, the current footprint 31, and the 2030 footprint goal of 14.97travel footprint, 2019 footprint, 2030 goal 7,1, 2023 value 7.3TBD


Our goals:

  • A 45% reduction of the emission of greenhouse gas from the 2019 levels by 2030
  • 100% reduction — net-zero — by 2050

Our Plan:

  1. Start with a baseline carbon footprint assessment
  2. Create a plan to reduce emissions and increase energy efficiency
  3. Work with community to promote reduction 

Adaptation & Resilience

  • How we will adapt to increasing heat, smoke and drought.
    • Provide climate-focused educational and spiritual content to worship services, religious education and congregational life.
  • identify a local or regional human community endangered or impacted by existing and intensifying climate change.
    • Could this be agricultural workers contending with heat, smoke and unregulated working conditions?  
    • Also, the unhoused have nowhere to shelter from climate emergencies such as heat and smoke.

Climate Justice

  • Working in partnership with communities who experience and confront the reality that the greatest impacts of the climate crisis are disproportionately imposed on those (a) historically oppressed and least responsible for the crisis (b) with the fewest resources with which to face the crisis while already under environmental stresses, and (c) future generations.
  • Deepen or expand an existing collaborative relationship or form a new partnership with a front-line community or front-line led organization that is battling the effects of climate change and the economic and political systems that sustain climate injustice.

Becoming a Carbon Neutral Congregation

A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gasses (GHG) (including carbon dioxide and methane) that are generated by our actions. Interfaith Power and Light and Cool Congregations provide carbon footprint calculators for both congregations and individual households. 

Congregational Carbon Footprint 

A Congregation has three distinct carbon footprints:

  1. The building and its outdoor area 
  2. Transportation: The carbon footprint of people traveling to congregation’s facility
  3. Households : The household carbon footprint of an average congregation member or friend

BUUF’s Congregational Footprint

The initial or baseline carbon footprint calculations use 2019 pre-pandemic data and 2023 outdoor sanctuary data. See BUUF Carbon Footprint for a detailed analysis.

The carbon footprints are:

  1. Building and Grounds: 32.26 mt/yr of CO2e
    • 2030 45% reduction Goal: 14.87 mt/yr of CO2e
    • Planned mitigations
      • enrollment in Idaho Power’s Green Program switches to 100% clean energy and reduces our footprint to 30.77 mt/yr of CO2e
      • Replacing natural gas using HVAC system with electric powered equivalent
        • The current system emits 23.8 mt/yr of CO2e which is 74% of our footprint
        • A complete replacement will reduce the footprint to 7 mt/yr of CO2e
        • A complete replacement meets and exceeds our 2030 goal
        • An engineering study has been commissioned to examine our options
  2. Travel to and from BUUF: 15.8 mt/yr of CO2e
    • 2030 45% reduction goal: 7.11 mt/yr of CO2e
    • This goal was met in 2020, 2021 and 2022 because the building was closed due to COVID 19
    • The forecast to 2023 when the building is open for both in-person and zoom attendance is 7.3 mt/yr of CO2e
      • This based on first quarter data
      • 40% of alternance is virtual via zoom and does not contribute to the footprint
  3. Members and Friends Household: TBD

Carbon Neutral Icon Vectors by Vecteezy