What You Can Do to Become Carbon Neutral
Becoming carbon neutral can be achieved in two ways:
1. Reduce carbon emissions
- Travel less. This can be achieved by using technology, for example video conference facilities for meetings.
- Organise meetings at locations that require less travel on average.
- Combine meetings.
- Use public transport, for example train rather than car.
- Co-ordinate multiple passengers in a car where possible.
- Purchase renewable energy power. The impact varies from country to country, because it depends on how the power is generated. If generated using hydro power stations, the impact is minimal. If power is generated using coal fired power stations the impact is much greater.
- Use low energy light fittings.
- Install solar hot water system.
2. Offset carbon emissions
Carbon offsets can be calculated and purchased from various sources.
YMI’s Actions to Reduce Carbon Emissions
1. Establish a ‘Green Team’
- The Green Team will be made up of representatives of each Area.
- Each representative will have knowledge, interest and experience in environmental issues.
- Each representative will serve for 3 years at a time.
- The Green Team will report to Mid Year Meetings (MYM) and International Council Meetings on activities and outcomes related to the proposed actions.
2. Measure and monitor ‘environmental footprint’
The Green team will be responsible for measuring and monitoring the ‘environmental footprint’ of Y’s Men International. The Y’s Men International Green Team will refer to the United Nations for data on measuring the Greenhouse Gas emissions related to its operations. Currently the data is provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
3. Raise awareness and understanding
- The Green Team will investigate and recommend actions that will take Y’s Men International toward being ‘carbon neutral’.
- Develop and promote actions by IHQ, ICM, Areas, Regions, Districts, Clubs and members that will encourage each to act in a more sustainable way.
- Encourage all parts of Y’s Men International to work collaboratively with relevant organisations to enhance a more sustainable existence, for example, IHQ with UN, Clubs with local government, etc.
- Y’s Men International will make reference to its environmental responsibilities in all staff position descriptions.
- The Y’s Men’s Movement will raise the awareness of environmental responsibilities throughout its membership.
4. Reduce travel
- Minimise travel.
- Use public transport when available, for example train, bus, ferry, etc.
- Use technology whenever possible, for example video conference.
5. Offset remaining greenhouse gas emissions
- Offset net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by investing in greenhouse gas emission reduction projects.
- The Green Team will determine the criteria for each of the above. Given the Y’s Men International Consultative Status to the United Nation, the Green Team will refer to the UN for background and data on appropriate offset projects. The criteria will include: i. Cost of GHG emissions reduced on a per tonne basis. ii. Cost and ease of measuring/verifying the rate of reduction of GHG emissions. iii. Life and rate of reduction in both early years and later years of the project. iv. The benefit of the project to Y’s Men International, the YMCA and local community.
- The Green Team will prioritise the appropriate projects that meet the criteria and recommend to the following International Council Meeting.
- The ICM will approve projects that fit within the budget. The initial budget (2009-10) will be CHF 14,000.
6. Reduce paper
- Paper is sourced from 100% sustainable plantations.
- Paper is recycled.
- The culture of the organisation includes ‘reduce, re-use, recycle’, for example recycle paper, envelopes, create notepads from used paper, etc.
- Email is used whenever possible and recipients are encouraged to read from the screen.
7. Reduce waste
- Raise awareness about waste reduction.
- Not purchase or distribute plastic promotional show bags, etc.
- Use recycle bins.
8. Conserve energy
- Minimise energy consumption.
- Consider energy efficiency when purchasing or replacing all appliances, etc.
- Purchase energy from 100% renewable energy sources whenever possible.