Environment and Social Justice

Shrinking the Footprint

In August 2009, the Dean & Chapter of Exeter Cathedral adopted an Environmental Policy, committing us to assessing the environmental impact of all our activities, and to considering ways in which to minimise and mitigate any environmental damage we may cause.

Exeter Cathedral is also working with Exeter Diocese and the wider Church of England on its Shrinking the Footprint campaign, to address the issues of climate change and wider ecological impacts. For more information on the campaign, see the Diocese's dedicated website.

Exeter Cathedral set up its Environmental and Social Justice Group in 2008

The group considers all aspects of care for the environment (prioritising but not limited to climate change) and social justice and and aims to:

- Deepen our relationships with each other, with our neighbours, our planet and with God;
- Put environmental and social justice concerns firmly on the Cathedral's agenda;
- Seek to minimise the environmental impact of all aspects of the Cathedral's life.

To achieve these aims, the Group undertakes activities in the following five key areas: buildings, travel, supplies, personal lifestyles, theology and worship. Priority is given to Fairtrade, energy consumption in the Cathedral and its buildings, and recycling.


Fairtrade stalls are being held after Sunday services roughly every six weeks. The Cathedral is currently working towards Fairtrade certification.


The Cathedral's energy consumption and supply were audited in 2008, and the group are supporting Cathedral officers and Chapter to achieve the best eco-friendly heating system.


The Cathedral Cafe recycles or composts most of its waste. Further focus is given to recycling in the Cathedral offices, the composting of flowers and separation of waste from the Cathedral Green.