November 29, 2016  |  

Energy Initiative Templates – Apply for funding

An article written by YMCA volunteer Silke Bölts

The Camp Climate-Program is filled every year with a lot of different activities and workshops. For 2016, one workshop of note was about “Energy Initiative Templates”. The World YMCA’s Resource Group on the Environment (RGE) has up to now had two working groups (WG). One is the WG on the COPs and the other works on Environmental Initiatives. The latter one developed templates for energy or electricity and water savings as well as for social or educational projects.

The aim of these templates is to help local YMCAs implement projects that reduce CO2-emissions. Projects can be, for example, changing or reducing the energy consumption of light bulbs, water-saving flushing systems or even insulation upgrades. With the support of the templates it is easy to calculate the reduction in electricity consumption, the monetary savings as well as the carbon emissions that were avoided. This way, you can compare the effectiveness of your project compared to other CO2-offsetting projects.


Y’s Men International, a global philanthropic organization, provides funding for energy saving upgrades in YMCAs. Local Y’s have to fill out the templates and send them to the Working Group on Environment Initiatives for evaluation. The projects with the best ratio of US$/tCO2e get their expenses refunded.

But why is it the responsibility of the YMCA to care about climate change or our environment? It is simple. First of all think of the Y  – we serve and represent Youth. We are the generation that is going to inherit this world one day. So we should take action in order to create the future that we want to live in. We have to act now, since changes are already happening. Further, think of the C – our Christian values. We have to protect God’s creation, the earth with which we have been entrusted. The environment even became one of the four official pillars of the World YMCA, amongst Health, Employment and Civic Engagement.

During the COP22 it was emphasized a lot of times that Paris was the COP of agreements, but Marrakech is the COP of actions. While sitting in a lot of different events, you can get nervous because you do not only want to educate yourself but also really want to take action, really change something. These templates give you an easy opportunity to do your part – start implementing Paris on your own –  on your way to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Start in your local YMCA and improve your carbon footprint by reducing electricity consumption. You as an individual or in a group can become a change agent.

Change Agents

There is no excuse! Time? Filling in the templates does not take that long. Money? Funding is available. Knowledge? Ask us, we are eager to help you. So get up and take action! And I repeat! Do not hesitate to contact the WGEI for further information or advice.


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Mike Roberts
Mike Roberts
There are few professions where you get to make a real difference, impacting individuals, families and communities on a global scale. The YMCA has given me so many opportunities - organizing soccer camps in Haiti, teen leaders programs in Zimbabwe, helping to develop cancer survivor exercise opportunities in America. The Y is so much more.

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