Green efficiency in the Vatican City

St Peter's Basilica - Rome - British Gas Business

Pope Benedict XVI was known for many titles during his eight year reign. But the former leader of the Catholic Church had also been dubbed the ‘green’ Pope.

Benedict believed we should cut carbon emissions and reduce pollution. He was a champion for environmental awareness and promoted renewable energy. This resulted in the Vatican City declared as the world’s greenest state, producing 200 watts of solar energy per inhabitant – with the population of the Vatican City around 800 at the time. This came after the former Pontiff made a number of energy changes, aiming to make the city a carbon-neutral state.

Similar improvements can be made when it comes to your business.

Solar power

Benedict installed 2,400 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roof of the Vatican’s Paul VI auditorium. The Vatican converted sunlight into electricity and even won an award for producing a giant solar-powered generator.

The renewable energy source is scheduled to supply the 180-acre city state with 20% of its electricity needs by 2020, providing lighting, heating and cooling to a part of the entire country.

Businesses can also use solar energy to generate renewable electricity and save money on energy bills, and they also offer an attractive return on investment. Installation of solar PV can be simple and straightforward, with minimal ongoing maintenance required.

Another option to consider is solar thermal panels which can reduce the cost of providing hot water to your business. Depending on the type and size of installation, solar thermal systems can provide up to 50% of your total hot water energy requirements even during the winter months.

You can boost your sustainability credentials and also gain income from the government’s renewable heat incentive.


Pope Benedict made environmental issues big news. He joined a reforestation project in a bid to offset the Vatican’s carbon dioxide emissions. He also acquired a partially electric hybrid car as an eco-friendly initiative. The vehicle had a 44 kW electric motor and lithium-ion battery which allowed it to travel up to 105 miles without recharging.

An electric car can save on fuel consumption and lower carbon emissions. Electric vehicles will reduce the size of your carbon footprint, helping your business to become more energy efficient.

Do you have any tips or advice on how to run an energy efficient business? Leave a comment below.

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