The Capital District YMCA is a 501(c) not-for-profit focused on building strong kids, families, and communities. The YMCA’s mission is “to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.” Currently, the CDYMCA has ten branches, along with three summer camps, and three childcare centers. With 1,200 employees and 1,400 volunteers, it serves over 105,000 members. The CDYMCA is the largest childcare provider in the region, and has numerous after-school and scholarship programs available.
Last Year’s Recommendations
Of the recommendations from last year’s G3 team, the YMCA has focused on cost reduction in three main areas: paper usage, mileage from travel, and water usage. Currently, no measurements have been made as to the total cost savings of the recommendations.
Paper Reduction – The YMCA now prints double-sided when possible, uses recycled paper, limits packaging, and has moved to consent agendas for all board meetings, which reduced the size of printed packets. The savings from this area is estimated at $17,000 over the past year, but those savings were offset by the cost of changing the YMCA’s corporate logo on all paper.
Mileage from Travel – The YMCA is currently finalizing plans to use audio/video conferencing software instead of traveling to meetings. This of course will tremendously decrease gas and travel expenses.
Water Usage – Low-flow showerheads and sinks, and waterless urinals have been installed to save water.
Actions Taken toward Sustainability (already in progress or done)
Glass-Paper-Plastic – A comprehensive recycling plan was put in place three years ago at each YMCA for glass, paper and plastic. Keeping track of this program and measuring reduced waste management costs at each of the locations has proven very useful. Waste removal costs have been reduced by approximately 40% during that three year period from $75,000 to $44,000 for services at the 14 YMCA locations.
Electronic Recycling – Three years ago, the YMCA also signed a contract with a local company for all of its electronic recycling needs (computers, bulbs, ballasts, batteries, etc.); the cost of this program is negligible. The program complies with mandatory local and federal standards regarding the disposal of this type of waste.
Cleaning Products – The YMCA has reduced the number of overall daily-use cleaning products from dozens at some sites to an average of 2-4 products at each of its locations. These are green cleaning products, and are far more environmentally friendly than the previously-used products. One green product supplier takes care of all of the YMCA’s needs.
Lighting and Lighting Control – The YMCA is currently working on a lighting control performance contract that is set to begin in about two months. The bank is expected to close on this project by the end of May 2011. The $1.3 million dollar project will replace all existing lighting at 7 YMCA locations (about 500,000 square feet of building space). The contract includes the installation of ECS lighting software and calls for the installation of “time of use” electrical meters. This will allow the YMCA to purchase electricity differently than it has in the past, and also participate in demand/response programs. The cash savings generated from this lighting control system will be more than the monthly payment associated with the contract.
Variable-speed Direct Drives – These units control the speed of the pool filtration pump motors. A computer monitors what energy is needed by each pump based on water turnover ratios and adjusts the speed of the motor accordingly. This project saves about $8,000 per year.
HVAC System – The current HVAC pool pack unit uses condensers and large air compressors to control the temperature and humidity of the pool area, resulting in high energy costs; this unit will need replacement in 3-4 years. In combination with a gas-powered pool heater, energy costs per year are between $100,000 and $110,000. In addition, the coils for the HVAC unit cost $30,000 each and only last about five years. Lastly, there is an unquantifiable cost resulting from the high humidity in the pool area, which rusts the metal and iron (the ceiling, ventilation system, and pipes). The YMCA is looking into a large fan unit that will keep the humidity low by cycling air from outside the building into the pool area. The fan unit is expected to cost between $130,000 and $170,000, and save $12,000 annually.