GPN – Green Pilgrimage Network


The GPN is a global network of 28 pilgrim cities and other sites sacred to many different religious traditions around the world. They are all united in wanting to be models of green action and care. Members of the GPN share a vision of pilgrims on all continents, and the pilgrim cities that receive them, becoming models of care for the environment and leaving a positive footprint on the earth.

Who is in the Network?

There are now 28 members around the world. The GPN is hosted by the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC), and works in partnership with ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability).

The Network will inspire Pilgrims to

  • Prepare mindfully for their pilgrimage..
  • Travel responsibly in the spirit of their faith..
  • Choose sustainable tourist agencies..
  • Eat and drink sustainably and ethically..
  • Minimize their water use..
  • Dispose of their rubbish… and pick up after others..
  • Support a fund to green the city they are visiting..
  • Bring greener ideas for living home with them…

The Network will inspire Pilgrim Cities to

  • Receive and accommodate pilgrim visitors sustainably..
  • Green their religious buildings, energy and infrastructure ..
  • Safeguard their wildlife and parks..
  • Create a green pilgrim fund..
  • Create ‘green maps’, highlighting the environmental projects
  • Enable achievements and opportunities for volunteering in their cities..
  • Bring faiths and local authorities together to create sustainable cities..
  • Provide clean, accessible drinking water ..
  • Improve sanitation for pilgrim routes..
  • Work with tour operators, airlines and other transport providers to provide carbon neutral travel..
  • Spread greener living habits among their own population..
  • Publicize their status as Green Pilgrim Cities..
  • Celebrate their pilgrims and green their faith festivals …

                   ‘Be the change  that you wish to  see in the world’

                                                                                                          – Mahatma Gandhi

Pilgrims leave behind millions of litres of untreated sewage and mountains of plastic and paper litter. They create pollution, deplete ground water systems and damage fragile eco-systems. The recent worldwide growth in pilgrim numbers has exacerbated this problem. This is a challenge, but also an opportunity, to influence the behaviour and attitudes of millions of people to care for the environment and promote new ways of sustainable living to protect our planet.

Pilgrims come to be inspired to go back home changed; the potential for bringing about a transformation in attitudes and actions is unsurpassed. 








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