YES Program



The environment is an invaluable asset that we all share.

— Xi Jinping

The Blue Book of Sustainable Development: China’s Sustainable Development Evaluation Report (2020) released on December 1, 2020, shows that China has been making steady progress in the area of sustainable development. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is stressed in the Blue Book the crucial role a dynamic equilibrium between the economy, society and environment plays in advancing sustainable development in China. The Blue Book also suggests that based on the theories of environmental conservation and directives from China’s leadership, continued efforts must be made to reach such an equilibrium through control of pollution and advancement of ecological civilization.

Youth for Environmental Sustainability (YES) is a Shanghai Roots & Shoots initiative to deliver education for sustainable development to youths in China. Since the fall of 2005, Shanghai Roots & Shoots has been recruiting, training, and deploying environmentally-conscious volunteers as YES mentors to conduct Roots & Shoots eco action projects at schools.

Anyone can participate in this program as the protection of our environment needs the help of everyone.



Youth for Environmental Sustainability (YES) aims at guiding youth to conduct environmentally conscious actions as well as to help them become independent and responsible citizens.

Project Impact

  • YES program has reached more than 50 schools in 7 cities, including Shanghai, Suzhou, Wuxi, Xi’An, Hangzhou, Wuhan and Hefei.
  • Each year the project has hundreds of YES Mentors educating more than 2,000 students.
  • Each year we hold 10+ YES Mentors trainings in 5 cities, including Shanghai, Suzhou, Wuxi, Xi’An and Hangzhou.
  • Since 2005 YES has compiled and translated the YES Curriculum , Green Class Manual , Paper Recycling Activity Guide , Life of a Forest, Kids Interacting with Dogs Safely, and other localized sustainable education resources.
  • Participatory Teaching Training sessions are held to guide the corporate volunteers (e.g. Unilever) to learn and practice participatory teaching methodology and techniques.
  • YES runs Outstanding Volunteer Summer Camps annually.

YES Party

YES Party hosts themed gatherings among adult volunteers to encourage conversations and creative thinking. Past themes included bird watching , DIY jack-o’-lantern, nature photography.


YES Project provides each YES Mentor with professional training to expedite his/her progress. The one-day training will allow volunteers to quickly understand useful teaching techniques that will make their green lessons more interesting and interactive.

Outstanding Volunteer Summer Camp

In 2010, YES started hosting outstanding volunteer summer camps to recognize the hard work of dedicated volunteers in the past year and encourage communication between volunteers. Outstanding volunteers have been to Chengdu Panda Center and Xiamen Eyu Island. The outstanding volunteer summer camp is crucial in connecting Shanghai Roots & Shoots and NGOs in other parts of China.



School Involvement

Schools with existing Roots & Shoots groups can directly apply to participate in YES. The YES staff team will contact qualified applicants to arrange school visits and confirm lesson details.

If the school doesn’t have a Roots & Shoots group, then it needs to register with Shanghai Roots & Shoots first. (Registration Form)  After registration the applicant can join in the YES program.

Download: YES School Application

Individual Involvement

If you want to spend a few hours each week interacting with youth and conduct eco actions to improve the environment then you should participate in YES.

Shanghai Roots & Shoots recruits new YES Mentors in February, March, August and September through Shanghai Roots & Shoots website and WeChat page. YES Mentors are mainly responsible for going to assigned schools and teach YES green lessons for at least one semester. YES will be conducting interviews to select appropriate volunteers. All selected YES Mentors will need to attend a one-day training, and then be assigned to a specific Roots & Shoots group to teach. At the end of the semester YES will evaluate and recognize outstanding volunteers based on school feedback.

The process is:


 Please fill in the online application: Mentor Application for YES Program

Corporate Involvement

Corporations are welcome to participate in the YES program.

Corporate volunteers can conduct YES green lessons in a school to achieve corporate social responsibility goals, nurturing the green leaders of the next generation. YES program will train the participating staff to help them teach green lessons at the school and interact with students.

For more information please contact Youth for Environmental Sustainability program director Rebecca Zheng ( or call 021-63523580*813

Sincere thanks to Applied Materials China and B.Braun for their sustainable support of the program!

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Every individual matters; every individual has a role to play; every individual can make a difference.