Our Green Initiatives

YMCA of Greater Toronto's Sustainability Reports

The YMCA of Greater Toronto releases annual Sustainability Reports informed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Standards. The Standards help organizations understand and communicate their impact on critical sustainability measures and compare their efforts against other GRI-reporting entities.

YMCA of Greater Toronto Named one of Canada's Greenest Employers

This award recognizes workplaces that are leading the nation in developing earth-friendly initiatives, raising awareness about climate change, and building resilience to it.

Our Environmental Footprint

At the YMCA, we believe a great future is a green future. Our investments in new technology, waste conservation initiatives and energy retrofit projects will ensure that we operate in a sustainable manner. By focusing our efforts on environmental initiatives that will deliver cost-savings to our operations, we can reinvest funds to support both sustainable and social initiatives. Our environmental priorities include:

a group of kids sitting on the field of Cedar Glen YMCA

Natural playgrounds let kids connect with their environment by providing a safe play space that uses natural elements such as mature trees, fallen logs, flowers, hills, valleys and boulders.

Green roofs and terraces are designed and built by volunteers and community members to encourage educational experiences, ensure accessibility for all persons with disabilities and use locally grown plants and shrubs.

Cedar Glen YMCA Outdoor Centre is an environmentally focused education space offering leadership development programs that give youth opportunities to gain independence and explore their potential. They also get the chance to experience the outdoors in its natural state, learn about environmental technology and help transform our planet to become sustainably green.

a person filling up a water bottle

Our YMCA centres are prime targets for education and conservation efforts such as low-flush toilets, low-flow showerheads, and efficient laundering and faucet shut-off sensors. There is so much we want to do, including the following projects:

  • Upgrading our appliances to low-flow technology
  • Upgrading our water fountains to include a spout to refill water bottles
  • Keeping our pools clean and clear with newer technologies and less chlorine
a pool at one of the YMCA centres

We want to reduce our carbon footprint by:

  • Upgrading to LED lighting and other more modern light technologies, which will have a huge impact on our large centres
  • Upgrading our heating equipment to reduce gas consumption
  • Installing waste heat recovery units for pool water at our health and fitness locations

You can help us build a healthy tomorrow.

To learn more about how our volunteers are helping keep our communities green, visit our blog.