Last week I attended the Ontario B Corp Leadership Conference (BLD) and had an opportunity to renew my excitement for the B Corp movement.
As a certified B Corporation, we are always looking for ways to make the world a better place. Being a social purpose business and B Corp is about making the right choices and having the freedom to do so with a triple bottom line – the people, profits and planet. I am a firm believer that businesses and organizations being socially and environmentally responsible should be the norm.
Here are 6 easy ways to make an even bigger difference at your center:
1) Build a fun and supportive team culture where your team feels motivated, valued, and acknowledged.
Culture is everything. Lead people, rather than manage them. People are inherently good and when you empower your staff they will do their best work. Involve your staff and make them feel part of something special. Organize a monthly staff social, write handwritten thank you cards to acknowledge someone, or buy your team breakfast one day. There are endless ways to ensure your staff are happy and healthy.
2) Do something for the community.
Find a cause that you, your team, and even the children are passionate about. For example, if the children are learning about animals you can organize a fundraiser and donate money to an animal shelter! You can also donate your time (e.g. at a women’s shelter) or organize a clothing or book drive. When there is a natural disaster or some other crisis be the first child care center in your area to “put a flag in the sand and say ‘let’s show up for the people’ in our community” – James Boettcher, Fiasco Gelato (Certified B Corp).
3) Support a family in need with discounted or complimentary child care services.
Offering a sponsorship or discounted space to a family make not severely impact budgets but it will have a long standing impact on a family who needs it.
4) Serve healthy food.
Real Food for Real Kids is one example of a fantastic catering company that provides healthy options for child care centers. Providing healthy and nutritious meals is essential for the children’s learning and development. It’s also incredibly important to ensure your meals are safe for children with allergies or dietary restrictions (e.g. vegetarian options).
5) Organize activities that model your values.
Recycling and sustainability are popular lesson approaches that instill caring for the planet. Empathy and kindness is routed in social-emotional development. When children develop empathy, they help more and hurt less. Teaching empathy is proven to reduce bullying and levels of aggression. In Ontario, seek out Roots of Empathy – an excellent organization building programs to teach children about empathy.
6) Reduce your waste.
One of the easiest ways to reduce your waste is to get rid of all that paper! Not only is paper a waste of money as it often ends up in the garbage, but there is also a significant environmental cost as well. In one year, the average center may use up to 22,000 sheets of paper. If you were to stack 22,000 sheets of paper lengthwise, the stack would be as tall as the tallest mountain in North America! HiMama reduces dramatically reduces paper use.
Consumer preferences continue to change. More and more young people and millennials (also known as the parents at your center) are looking for child care with common values and good organizational practices. The values show up in all sorts of ways, including finding a child care center that serves healthy food, reducing paper use, and teaching children to be kind to each other.
Doing good for people and the planet is good for business. You will attract new families and your existing families will be proud to be a part of your ecosystem. Staff engagement naturally improves. And you can feel great about the positive impact you are leaving on people and the planet. It’s a triple win!
“Leave it better than you found it” – James Boettcher, Fiasco Gelato (Certified B Corp)