Bishop Budge Urges Care for the Earth

For the second time in five days, a leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gave an address on the importance of caring for the earth.

On Saturday evening, October 1, 2022, Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé spoke in the Church’s general conference about environmental stewardship. And on Wednesday morning, October 5, 2022, Bishop L. Todd Budge, Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, spoke on this topic in the opening session of Utah Valley University’s “Why It Matters” conference. The three-day conference is discussing 17 United Nations sustainable development goals designed to help people create a longer-lasting world.

Bishop Budge’s topic was “The Divine Gift of Creation: Our Sacred Duty to Care for the Earth.”

Downloadable B-roll & SOTs

In the video below, Bishop Budge’s remarks begin at 1:00:30

“When it comes to taking care of the earth, we cannot afford to think only of today,” Bishop Budge said. “The consequences of our actions, for better or worse, accumulate into the future and are sometimes felt only generations later. Stewardship requires feet and hands at work in the present with a gaze fixed on the future.”

Bishop Budge highlighted six ways the Church of Jesus Christ is reducing its own environmental footprint.

Agricultural Land Management

The Church uses sustainable farming and ranching practices, such as cover crops, crop rotation, no-till farming, grazing management and other greenhouse gas capture methods, such as feed additives. The Church also encourages its membership to grow gardens. The faith’s Humanitarian Services helps families in urban and rural areas apply sustainable techniques for food production, nutrition, diet and home food storage.

Water Conservation

The Church of Jesus Christ employs best management practices for all new landscape designs and remodel projects of temples, meetinghouses, welfare facilities and educational buildings. At its headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, Bishop Budge said, the Church has reduced water consumption by more than 30 million gallons annually since 2018. The Church published a statement in June 2022 about the importance of water conservation.

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Bishop L. Todd Budge, Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, speaks at the opening session of Utah Valley University’s “Why It Matters” conference on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, in Orem, Utah.2022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Energy Management

The faith has a long-standing practice of increasing energy efficiency. It is always seeking to improve its heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems and to use energy-efficient lighting. Bishop Budge said the Church’s Facilities Department has reduced its annual energy consumption by 17.8 gigawatt hours since 2018 — the equivalent of heating over 13 million households. The Church also has on-site solar projects on meetinghouses in various locations globally.

Waste Reduction

The Church strives to avoid material waste and to reduce, reuse and recycle. Bishop Budge said that in 2019, the faith’s Print and Distribution Center recycled 3,679 tons of paper, 303 tons of cardboard, 175 tons of plastic, 173 tons of metal and 55 gallons of used oil from machinery. The Church continues to evaluate opportunities to reduce its use of single-use plastics and in some instances exceed global and local regulations.

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Patrons gather at the Sorensen Student Center at Utah Valley University for the “Why It Matters” conference on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, in Orem, Utah.2022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Transportation

The Church seeks to improve air quality and transportation emissions. The Church is increasing fuel efficiency standards on its global fleet of vehicles, and it encourages employees to take public transportation, bike and walk where possible.

Sustainable Building Practices

The Church has increasingly prioritized the adaption of local building materials and methods to reduce emissions and transportation costs, support local economies and minimize disruption to the local environment by avoiding cutting down trees, erosion and laying excessive water lines. The Church also owns several LEED- and WELL-certified buildings.

“We have an obligation to be good stewards, to pass to future generations an earth better than we found it through the habits and values of wise stewardship,” Bishop Budge said. “We have the power within us to not only conserve and preserve but to be co-creators with God in beautifying and replenishing the earth. In doing so, we not only show our reverence and love for God, the Creator, but love for His greatest creation — each of us, humankind.”

Read Bishop Budge’s full address, titled “The Divine Gift of Creation: Our Sacred Duty to Care for the Earth.”

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Bishop L. Todd Budge, Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, speaks at the opening session of Utah Valley University’s “Why It Matters” conference on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, in Orem, Utah.2022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Download Photo

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