Member News | Childbase Partnership goes ‘Climate Positive’

Childbase Partnership is now ‘Climate Positive’ after saving more greenhouse gas emissions than are generated by its 44 day nurseries and Head Office while recording a year on year reduction in its total carbon footprint.

Investing in two United Nations-certified carbon reduction projects, the award-winning employee-owned company – which uniquely targets ‘Scope 3’ emissions generated by staff and customers in accessing its settings – has also launched the Childbase Partnership Sustainable Travel Challenge to tackle this, the largest remaining contributor to its total carbon footprint.

Emma Rooney, Childbase Partnership Managing Director, explained why, following the successes in over a decade-long drive to achieve best environmental practice, the decision was taken to offset the company’s emissions while also accelerating plans to achieve ‘net zero’ targets by 2030 with support for colleagues and customers in making more sustainable travel choices.

“Halting the destruction of our planet is the ultimate challenge of our time and one, given our 32-year commitment to give children the best possible future, we simply couldn’t ignore.

“In accelerating our plans to address environment-damaging behaviours we can change now, while compensating for those currently beyond our reach, the Childbase community of over 10,000 colleagues and parents has the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to tackling climate change,” she said.

Currently, Childbase Partnership is funding the distribution of solar water heaters across India and a wind farm in the northern state of Rajasthan offsetting to the tune of 6,500 tCo2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) which effectively wipes out its verified carbon footprint of 5,903 tCO2e and creates a ‘credit’ to account for unknowns.

At home, building on ‘the zero waste to landfill’ programme and a 15-year-record of ‘green energy’ use, the company is planting over 2,000 trees through the Eden Reforestation Project and committing £170,000 to complete an LED lighting replacement programme in all settings.

The company has enlisted the support of an innovative new organization, Furthr, to co-ordinate its Sustainable Travel Challenge initiative. Short surveys on colleague and customer travel habits are incentivized with Amazon gift token prize draws and trophies for settings recording the most improvement.

Monthly emails provide bespoke advice on sustainable travel switches open to each participant together with the message that every single ‘green switch’, no matter how small, will have an impact.

Childbase Partnership also provides a ‘Cycle to Work’ programme offering colleagues savings on bike and safety accessory purchases of between 32% and 42%.

Childbase Partnership Environmental Record

Accurate Carbon Footprint/NetZeroby30  The first Early years provider to complete a full scale, year-long energy use and emissions measuring exercise – in 2018 by external specialists Planet Mark – to establish a carbon footprint for each setting and publish the results.

Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions – Direct Emissions (those controlled by the company), Indirect Emissions (those purchased – typically electricity) and other indirect emissions like customer and employee travel.

Carbon Offsetting/NetZeroby30 – Combining two corporate strategies to affect meaningful impact. The two United Nations Certified Emission Reduction (UNCER) projects – which replace grid electricity that would have been generated by fossil fuels in India and provide employment opportunities for local communities there – and a commitment to achieve Childbase net zero emissions by 2030.

Green Energy since 2006 Electricity produced from renewable sources produces zero carbon emissions. Childbase Green Electricity use for 2019/2020 alone was 1,465,953 KWh – that is 0.23314 kg CO2 saved for each kWh produced from a carbon-free source. ‘Green electricity’ feeds the grid which powers our operations so we include a share of the carbon generated by the use of non-renewable sources in our carbon footprint.

Zero waste to landfill over 750,000kg diverted in the last 18 months alone via Anaerobic Digestion and Material Reclamation Facilities with non-recyclable materials used in Energy from Waste processes to power hospitals or boost the National Electricity Grid.

Disposable nappy waste recycling since 2011 – over one million nappies a year weighing over 216 tonnes collected and sorted by specialists. Each tonne of nappy waste diverted from landfill saves 536kg of co2e (carbon dioxide equivalent).

Eco-Schools ‘Green Flag’ Awards: All 44 nurseries hold Eco-Schools ‘Green Flags’ for exceptional environmental awareness and conservation. A total of 16 nurseries have attained a second consecutive Green Flag – making Childbase the largest Early Years leader in this programme.

Soil Association Silver ‘Food for Life Served Here’ Award plant-rich menus include ‘meat-free’ days to reduce carbon emissions and all food is ethically and sustainably sourced.

Cool Earth Project: An acre of the world’s most endangered rainforest in Ashaninka, Northern Peru, home to 2,960 indigenous peoples and 22 endangered species protected to offset emissions by 260 tCO2e.(2019)

Eden Reforestation Project: over 2,000 trees planted, one for each current employee and a commitment to plant one for every new recruit.