News Update: YCC’s Sustainability Progress

It’s unbelievable to think that it was only 7 months ago that we set out on our mission to become more sustainable – in such a small space of time we are proud to have achieved so much!!

Since the Sustainability pledges were made in August 2022, our charity has taken huge strides in our sustainability initiatives. We have dramatically reduced the amount of paper and ink that is used, fully enhanced our recycling procedures, adapted lighting across all of our buildings, created a sustainability forum, set up the cycle to work scheme, started shopping locally, created a sustainability eBook for EVERYONE to access, AND MUCH MORE!!

We’ve been keeping you up to date along the way, ensuring full transparency in everything we do. And since our last newsletter in January, we have done EVEN MORE! Here’s a glimpse…

1. Glass recycling (Phase 1): As we aren’t able to recycle glass using our recycling bins just yet, we have set up a system at Brian Jackson House to bring in glass to reception, who have arranged for them to be taken to a nearby bottle bank – avoiding them unnecessarily going to landfill.
2. International Book Swap Day: We took part in book swap day by promoting the benefits of book sharing rather than buying new. Plenty of staff and tenants brought in books and took home different ones, with lots of left-over books from the event going straight to our charity shop and a permanent book swap shelf now in place.
3. Recycling: Our recycling initiatives have been so successful that we have had to invest in bigger recycling bins! This is fantastic to see, and we’ve also done a lot of work on learning about what can and cannot be out into the recycling bin.
4. Local engagement: We’ve been spreading our learnings far and wide through our social media & website, to help everyone understand the massive benefits (health, financial, wellbeing….) of taking sustainable actions. With the cost-of-living crisis affecting all of us right now, one small sustainable step can go a very long way!
5. Save water! We’re in the process of assessing the water quality at all of our sites, so that we can start to remove some of the water coolers (made up of lots of plastic) and move towards using tap water and refillable bottles.

YCC’s Book Swap
YCC’s Sustainability Pledge
Recycling at YCC

What’s next?
We’ve got big plans and a big strategy so here’s what you can expect to see us doing over the next few weeks:
1. Soft plastic recycling – frustratingly we can’t put this into our recycling bins so we will be setting up a separate recycling process to make sure our soft plastics don’t go to landfill.
2. Plant swap! It’s Earth Day on 22nd April and we want to mark it by doing lots and lots of gardening, on our sites and at home! Keep an eye on our socials for updates coming soon!
3. Save more water! We’ll be completing our research on our water quality and making some small changes around the buildings.

A huge thank you to everyone who has made our progress possible, from volunteers transforming our outdoor space, to the sustainability forum engaging in important topics, employees embracing small changes such as reduced printing and bigger recycling. If you would like to participate in the Sustainability Forum, or get involved in any way, we would be delighted to hear from you – just get in touch!

Samantha Latchayya, Sustainability Champion [email protected]