Sustainability Statement

Childbirth International is a global organization committed to socially and environmentally sustainable practices by minimizing consumption of natural resources, supporting individuals in fostering healthy communities, and encouraging a maintainable work/life integration for administrative staff, trainers, students, and graduates through flexible employment and study arrangements. Our Sustainability Statement outlines our beliefs and practice in practicing environmental, economic, cultural, personal, and social sustainability.

Environmental Sustainability

Childbirth International seeks to enhance the environmental systems that sustain life on earth and dispose of waste in a way that acknowledges the capacity of our planet. As an online organization, our carbon footprint is a minimal one, but we do still have some impact on the planet. This includes:

  • Running our server for our public and student websites
  • Paper used in our course manuals
  • Shipping of manuals across the world
  • Environmental travel costs for our annual strategic management meeting

Wherever possible, we use recycled paper within our printed manuals.  We’ve partnered with our vendors to help minimize waste and reduce deforestation.  Ordering is done in bulk inventory to mitigate waste and our distributor is fully integrated with a shipping agency to optimize shared driving arrangements.

Students may choose an environmentally conscious option for any of our courses.  Our Go Green option allows students to digitally access their course material and assignments through the online student portal. This option allows us to print the course textbooks as needed, without any waste.  This also reduces the environmental impact of worldwide shipping.

All financial and administration processes are provided digitally.  Childbirth International is committed to eliminating paper-based waste by providing all statements, invoices, receipts, and certificates electronically.

All staff are home-based, reducing greenhouse and gas emissions, water waste, and other consumables commonly associated with traveling to and from work.

Economic Sustainability

Childbirth International aims to use human and natural resources wisely, to create goods and services that enhance people’s lives, encourage equitable livelihoods and recognize that we have finite natural resources. We aim to provide courses at an affordable cost for as many individuals as possible.  We offer payment options for each of our certification courses. Payment plans spread the cost of tuition out over a reasonable number of months to enable students to engage in training as it suits their own goals.

We also offer discounts to existing students and graduates and discounts for students buying more than one course at a time. Returning student discounts encourage CBI members to continue to improve and expand on their knowledge and understanding of the birth and lactation professions, in turn providing maintainable care to the clients in their community. Multi-course discounts are available for students who are new to CBI and want to invest in multiple training opportunities to diversify the type of support they can offer to families and clients.

We model an ethical pay structure for trainers and administrative staff which includes a living wage for all.  To encourage supported families and communities, we provide up to one year of maternity leave for all staff with a guaranteed position upon their return.

Childbirth International does not put limits on how our students structure their business or work model, including supporting for-profit, non-profit, volunteer, or community-based payment structures, as is sustainable and most appropriate to achieve balance in their own business goals.

Cultural Sustainability

Childbirth International’s goals are to provide courses that provide a high standard of training so students can nourish and share attitudes and values that represent diverse worldviews, and seek to understand perspectives that are different from our own. We celebrate the contributions and diverse experiences of marginalized, vulnerable, and Indigenous individuals.

Our training introduces students to cultural competency and trauma-informed practices to foster respectful and compassionate environments in student groups as well as in graduates’ local communities. We have a public Code of Ethics and Professionalism outlining ethical, professional, and compassionate standards for students and graduates.  Members of CBI agree to the Code of Ethics and Professionalism to ensure students and graduates are contributing in a positive and respectful way to their own communities and professional relationships. We also place a strong emphasis on culturally competent and client-focused support that engages awareness and sensitivity regarding how different cultures, communities, and individuals access resources and choices and make decisions.

CBI recognizes that in order for client support to be sustainable and effective at a grassroots level, marginalized communities need to be able to connect with birth and lactation support that reflects their culture and values. In order to facilitate and encourage these connections, Childbirth International offers flexible and accessible financing options for students. For those who are connected to and working directly with marginalized or vulnerable communities, Childbirth International offers scholarship opportunities.

Social Sustainability

Childbirth International honors the diversity of social groups and generations, learning from and teaching each other, promoting social justice and community.  We have a code outlining ethical, professional, and compassionate standards for students and graduates. Members of CBI agree to the Code of Ethics and Professionalism to ensure students and graduates are contributing in a positive and respectful way to their own areas.

CBI advocates for safe, client-centered, and respectful care for parents and newborns. Through our training, CBI encourages students to become advocates for the needs of their unique communities, focusing on informed choice and consent, respectful care and treatment of clients, and appropriate access to information and resources. We are responsive to global changes in ensuring that members of the birth and lactation profession have access to information that keeps themselves, their clients, and their communities safe. As an example, in March and April 2020, CBI offered our Safety and Infection Control and Prevention course available to all birth and lactation professionals on a “pay what you can” basis, ensuring that everyone with an Internet connection had access to evidence-based information that enabled them to practice safely and respond appropriately to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Personal Sustainability

Childbirth International recognizes the importance of mental and physical well-being of self and others, demonstrating kindness and compassion, and building individual and community resilience. Childbirth International’s administrative team is able to work remotely which facilitates a positive work/life integration. With the reduction in carbon footprint and without the stress of commuting, the administrative team is able to work around their personal lives and external commitments. CBI’s trainers are also able to work remotely with variable hours allowing them to integrate family, community interests, commitments, and continuing education, with their work.

With students and graduates, Childbirth International offers flexibility in training to support students in being who they need to be on a day-to-day basis. This offers the opportunity to balance work, family, education, and other commitments. In turn, this flexibility enables students to achieve well-being in their own lives through sustainable and balanced practices. Throughout our training, we offer tools and resources to support students and graduates in creating sustainable businesses that respect and reflect the values and beliefs of the individual. Students and graduates are encouraged to develop strategies to aid in handling stress and to seek out mentorship and support within their local communities.

Childbirth International encourages professionals to utilize client-centered practices that focus on respectful care and collaboration between professionals, clients, and their chosen support team. CBI promotes trauma-informed care and self-care as a means of preventing professional burnout and secondary or vicarious trauma that many professionals may experience.

CBI Policies