Within our current strategy for 2021-2024 is a focus on the Environment, alongside Prayer, Team and Partnership.

We want to maintain our net zero status, and will be asking questions about our use of resources and how we can become better stewards of the beautiful created environment we inhabit.

As part of our communications around this, we begin a series of blog posts from Lisbeth Macmillan and look forward to others that will give appreciation of what we are doing, and help us consider what we could be doing.


Why am I passionate?

Young people care about the environment. As part of our strategy work, we looked at the key issues which Scottish children are concerned about today. Analysis for the Scottish Youth Parliament showed that across all age groups, climate change was one of the top risks with many saying their church doesn’t do enough about it. So, the children and young people we engage with every day are concerned about it – but what should SU Scotland do about it? Leave it to the specialists or begin to engage to both ensure that we are accountable to our young people – and to God?

During 2020/21, we reviewed our existing footprint and engaged with a Christian environmental organisation called A Rocha. They fundamentally believe that looking after the world is a core part of being a follower of Jesus:

  1. God made the world, and he loves it – Genesis 1
  2. God created us to look after it – Genesis 1/2
  3. It has gone wrong because of us – Hosea 4
  4. God has a purpose for it – Revelation 21

So, as Christians, we are responsible for the impact that we have on the environment around us. As Christian leaders, we are responsible for the example that we set to the young people we engage with and what we teach them. 

So why am I passionate about the environment? We are constantly hearing statistics about how we live impacts the future of the Earth – CO2 levels are significantly up; increased flooding; polar icecaps melting; species becoming extinct…. This makes me think of my responsibilities and what I will leave behind.

Our review of SU Scotland’s impact showed that we were broadly neutral due to all of the forestry at Lendrick Muir (LM). However, this assumes that the biomass that heats Lendrick Muir is net neutral – which is debatable. It also hides areas where we could do better – efficiencies of our buildings, unnecessary car miles, resources that could be reused….

As a Christian, I believe that God has provided an environment that is uniquely created for us to be sustained and flourish. He clearly set out for man to look after the ‘garden’. So, I believe that we should all ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ whenever possible and look after God’s Earth sustainably – while teaching the next generation to do the same. So, over the coming months, we will update you about what SU Scotland is doing to gradually improve our footprint and share a passion for the environment with the next generation.