As a Christian organisation, YMCA Exeter acknowledges the cause and effect relationship between human activity, climate crises and their link to current and future homelessness and poverty in various areas of the planet. As part of one of the oldest international charities in the world working for and with young people, we are convinced that protecting our shared environment is of fundamental importance and a command from God as detailed in Genesis. We therefore recognise our own environmental accountability towards current and future generations.

YMCA Exeter is committed to taking action towards the reduction of its carbon footprint through making conscious decisions and changes in the way we deliver our service to young people and stakeholders.


  • We will comply with applicable local and national regulations.
  • We will continually seek to improve the environmental performance of our projects and services.
  • We will protect the health and safety of our employees, service users and surrounding communities.
  • We will use resources, including energy and water, as efficiently as possible.
  • We will champion ethically sourced and energy efficient products and materials.

Training & Behaviours


  • We will ensure staff receive regular Health and Safety awareness training including environmental training where appropriate. Information detailing our environmental practices will be included in staff and volunteer induction procedures.
  • We will evaluate products, purchases and services to minimise chemical risk and effects on the environment, dedicating ourselves to finding better alternatives that prevent pollution.
  • We will evaluate products and services in relation to good ethical practices, fair trade agreements dedicating ourselves to finding better and more sustainable alternatives
  • We will offer workshops and training sessions on environmental issues within our services to help service users to be more informed about environmental issues.
  • We will work collaboratively with our clients, suppliers, supporters and the surrounding community on environmental issues.
  • Wherever possible we will work with suppliers who share our environmental outlook.

Reduction, Re-use, Repurposing & Recycling

  • We will use eco-friendly cleaning products as much as possible: we will prioritise brands using plant-derived ingredients and / or that are officially recognised via institutional labels as eco-friendly. Wherever possible, we will decrease our use of chemicals and replace with less harmful products.
  • We will ensure utilities and fuels are not unnecessarily used, ensuring heating systems are well serviced and managed, offices are fitted with light timer sensors and electrical equipment is switched off (remotely where possible).
  • When developing new housing stock we will commission contractors on their ethical policy alongside value for money. We will champion energy efficient homes, achieving quality marks where possible, such as Passivehaus.
  • We will use LED lightbulbs whenever possible.
  • Every work area will have recycling facilities and staff will be actively encouraged to recycle as much as possible.
  • Wherever possible items will be reused or repurposed before they are considered for recycling.
  • We will encourage the use of organic and / or locally sourced products, promoting home-made cooking and reducing our carbon footprint.

Travel & Transport

  • We will encourage staff to walk or cycle to work through supplying sufficient bike storage and implementing a cycle to work scheme. Where this is not appropriate we will encourage staff to use public transport or car share.
  • We will encourage service users to walk or cycle wherever possible, through linking with local bike charity ride on. Where this is not possible we will advocate the use of public transport.

Promoting Partnerships

  • We will seek to support local initiatives specialised in promoting environmentally friendly measures for companies and charities and our support will be made public through our website, social media and press releases.