Birth Companions acknowledges the urgent threat the climate and biodiversity emergency presents to human life, and in particular to the lives of the mothers and babies we have supported and will continue to support.
We recognise we have a collective duty to act now to mitigate the impact of this crisis, as part of our commitment to providing mothers and babies with the best futures, whatever their circumstances.
We acknowledge that the negative impacts of climate change and biodiversity decline are disproportionately borne by persons and communities already in disadvantaged situations owing to geography, poverty, gender, age, disability, cultural or ethnic background. These are also the people who have historically contributed the least to greenhouse gas emissions and the destruction of the natural world.
There are inextricable links between climate change and economic inequality, racism, and the restriction of reproductive rights. We therefore view efforts to address climate change and reverse the destruction of the natural world as an essential part of our work to achieve systemic change for women facing disadvantage and inequality.
Alongside our policy and campaigning work, Birth Companions is committed to ensuring our organisational and personal practices have a positive social and environmental impact. We recognise that staff have an important role to play in responding to the urgent challenge of climate change, and we aim to encourage our employees to ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to sustainability behaviour, in line with our organisational values and policies.
We have compiled some practical examples of actions Birth Companions has taken so far, which we hope can inspire others in the voluntary sector to reflect on their own organisational and personal practices. This is a working document, and will be updated as our thinking and practices evolve.
We are keen to hear from others in the sector on their work and thinking in this area, and to date we have had some really productive conversations with fellow members of Clinks and of the Pregnancy and Baby Charities Network (PBCN).
One of our trustees, Viv Gray, also recently presented at a seminar on the environmental crisis hosted by NPC and the Clothworkers’ Company, which allowed us to connect and share ideas with organisations and trustees from across the charity sector.
If you would like to share work that you or your organisation are doing in this area, or want to discuss Birth Companions' environment and sustainability work further, please contact us.