For the seventh year in a row, the YMCA of Greater Toronto has been selected as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers.
Our journey in environmental sustainability has included green roofs, energy-efficient technology, projects built to LEED standards (our Cooper Koo Family Cherry Street YMCA), energy upgrades, solar energy generation, and an organic farm.
We are also proud of our work with community partners towards building a sustainable future. As a “partner in power reduction” through Ontario’s Save on Energy conservation programs, the Brampton YMCA recently received a certificate of recognition for their efforts to reduce electrical demand, increase energy efficiency, and contribute a cleaner and healthier environment.
Energy reduction is an association-wide effort, and it’s making a real difference. “Since 2008 (FY2009) the carbon footprint of the YMCA of Greater Toronto’s owned sites (natural gas and electricity) has been reduced by 37%,” says YMCA’s Senior Vice President, Property Management and Development, Alex Versluis. “This is from a combination of energy reductions at our sites and Ontario phasing out coal.”
In addition, the Y is a proud part of the Live Green Card promotion program from Live Green Toronto. New members at five of our Health and Fitness centers will receive a free reusable water bottle when they show their card at registration, eliminating the need to bring disposable water bottles for their workouts. Live Green Toronto was also instrumental in supporting the Toronto Central Grosvenor St. YMCA Centre’s green roof and projects at the Toronto Scarborough Town Centre Ct. YMCA Centre.
The Cooper Koo green roof, which was designed though a multi-staged community engagement process, kicks off programming this spring. It features an outdoor walking path, as well as a space for classes, workshops, or simply unwinding while being immersed in the peaceful natural surroundings.
Being selected as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers is an incredible honour, and provides us with feedback that against national standards, our programs are considered earth-friendly and progressive. We have a lot to look forward to, and the future looks green.