An initiative launched by The YMCAs of Québec’s employees to promote sustainable practices and collectively improve our environmental habits and practices.
Sustainable Development at the Y
Being an Association that advocates change and is committed to improving the quality of life of communities, concern for the environment came naturally to the Y. As such, the Association’s Facilities and Development management teams have committed to making structural changes in their methods of operation.
2007 - 2010: Kanawana goes green. For more information, visit www.ymcakanawana.com
2010: Opening of the new Cartierville YMCA
An 88,000 square-foot fitness and community centre built in collaboration with the City of Montreal, the borough of Ahuntsic-Cartierville, and the MELS, the Cartierville YMCA was built with sustainable practices in mind.
Sustainable Y Committee
The YMCAs of Québec’s employees founded a committee to promote sustainable practices within the Association. Its mission is to promote, adopt, and implement policies and practices within the Y that are ethical, responsible, and viable.
The goal of this initiative is to ensure that The YMCAs of Québec exemplifies corporate social responsibility, which is defined as “managing business procedures in a manner that produces a positive global impact in society”. For the Y, this translates into a commitment to behaving ethically and reducing its ecological footprint, as well as contributing to education and human development with the aim of improving the quality of life of employees, volunteers, members in local and international communities.
In July 2010, representatives from the centres and Association Services met to discuss environmental issues and sustainable development at the Y as part of the Sustainable Y planning day. This laid the foundation for the creation of the Association’s sustainable development action plan.
Three main areas were identified for priority action:
- Communication, education, and outreach;
- Sports and environment for improved health and a better quality of life;
- Sustainable management of the operations and equipment.
Sustainable Y Newsletter
Intended for the Association’s employees, the Sustainable Y newsletter provides eco-friendly tips that can be applied to our everyday lives as well as information on the Y’s achievements in the area of sustainable development.
Here are a few actions taken by Sustainable Y:
- Participation in World Water Day, Earth Hour, Earth Day, and Défi climat, as well as outreach events across Montreal, Québec, and around the world;
- Collaboration with the international initiatives on a water related campaign;
- Purchase of eco-friendly leaning products;
- Use of multifunction printers/photocopiers in order to reduce paper use;
- Providing free bicycle tune-ups to employees of The YMCAs of Québec;
- Organization of the now annual Cartierville-Kanawana bicycle trip for employees and volunteers of The YMCAs of Québec;
- Providing every centre with access to a bicycle and/or BIXI key for use by employees and volunteers for their travels during work hours;
- The Y centre gardens (Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and Pointe-Saint-Charles);
- The use of certain centres as distribution points for organic food baskets from family farmers or rooftop farmers;
- Partnerships with eco-designers from Québec in order to recycle old Y uniforms;
- Creation of recycling protocols for batteries and ink cartridges in all the Y centres;
- Annual audit of the centres’ residual waste;
- A resolution to purchase only 100% recycled paper as of January 2012;
- Implementation of composting projects in some of the centres;
- Collaboration with the Energy Efficiency Committee in order to improve water management and reduce energy consumption in all of the centres.
These actions would not be possible without the contribution of our volunteers and partners. Thank you to all of our employees, interns, and volunteers who are dedicated to seeing Sustainable Y successfully fulfill its action plan.
If you have any suggestions on how to improve the sustainable actions taken by the Association or to show your support, we invite you to contact our Eco-Advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org