“Changing the world for children” took on a new meaning in 2008, when we released our first company Sustainability Report. Infusing our children’s world with music is indeed our mission, but keeping the world a safe and green place for children to enjoy is too.
For us, sustainability is a process, not a label. It’s a process to improve our production practices and mobilize our community of environmental stewards by doing what we do best: education. It takes grunt work, creativity, and short-term sacrifice for long-term gain. As Educators, we hold ourselves accountable for being both “hard-edge” environmentalists and parents: protectors of our children’s world.
That’s the talk, so here’s the walk! See for yourself a number of exciting sustainability efforts Kindermusik has taken on and accomplished so far:
Using LEED-standard facilities assessments – the ambitious rating system for energy and environmental design – we’ve made our own in-house changes for our corporate headquarters office in Greensboro, North Carolina. We’ve switched our light bulbs to CFLs, switched to recycled paper, use non-toxic, biodegradable inks, and reduced our heating and air conditioning bills by 2-3% incrementally each year. Our CEO also rides his bike to work three times a week!
In 2009, we began phasing out CD production with the launch of play.kindermusik.com, our digital song library.
In 2011, we issued our second Sustainability Report and launched our first digital Teachers Guide products, eliminating roughly five million sheets of paper each year. That’s 56 trees spared – the difference between your child waking up to a view of an empty lot or a leafy grove.
We started a sustainability blog, KI Green, aimed at educating and mobilizing our community of stewards to take environmental leadership at home and in their communities. We’ve aimed for a 1:3 ratio of environmental reporting (“soft action”) to do-it-yourself instructions (“hard action”). KI Green’s ultimate goal is to make sustainability a seamless, optimized part of your family’s routine by giving you tips on how to upcycle old cribs, create a $15 rainwater retention system, and outsmart the villains of “green washing” and false eco-advertising.
In 2012, we stayed on trend and digitized a step further, introducing Kindermusik@Home for kids to continue learning and playing outside the classroom, with educational games and activities optimized for mobile and tablet devices.
By no means are we carbon-neutral-perfect, but we’ve made impressive improvements so far. Join the sustainable Kindermusik community by reading our 2011 Sustainability Report and comment on our blog posts in KI Green.