OUR VISION, MISSION AND VALUES
Tops are constantly identifying and acting on areas for improvement in their day-to-day operations; GECCO is Cheryl’s vehicle for sharing what they learn with others in Early Years childcare and education.
No politics, no hidden agendas, no conflicts of interest!
Cheryl is an outspoken advocate for environmentally sustainable business practice and education, making headlines around the world Christmas 2017 with her ban on plastic glitter in all Tops nurseries, and more recently for scrapping commercial baby wipes in favour of making their own ‘homemade’ variety. The Tops group continues to embrace changes that make a real difference to their environmental impact; in 2018 Cheryl was named ‘Most Influential Person in Childcare’ by Nursery Management Today in the UK, and Tops Day Nurseries was awarded ‘Dorset Environmental Business of the Year’.
Champions for Change
A few of the highlights along Tops journey to sustainability …
Just One Ocean
“Tops Day Nurseries are a great model of how an organisation can make sustainable changes to their behaviour that results in a contribution to protecting the environment and particularly the oceans … becoming the most environmentally conscious and sustainable nursery chain in the UK … Cheryl’s passion and the changes her company have made have been incredible.”
Tops Havant awarded Plastic Free Schools status
Surfers Against Sewage – Plastic Free Schools
“Tops Havant has been innovative in adapting the programme to their specific situation, as the programme was initially designed for schools, not nurseries. We hope more nurseries will follow Tops Day Nurseries lead and take on the Plastic Free challenge!”
EY Eco-Sustainability Conference 2020
The first GECCO Early Years Eco-Sustainability Conference ran alongside the Nursery World Show in London, February 2020.
Prior to the event Cheryl had the opportunity to chat on camera with Matt Arnerich from Famly, about her own journey in sustainability, and how settings can work to be more sustainable every day.
Small steps towards a sustainable future
Tops aim to stop or at least reduce the use of all single-use plastics, in addition to which they:
- No longer use disposable plastic aprons when serving food, using washable cotton aprons instead
- Display ‘Switch it off’ stickers in all nurseries and head office, and gave them to every child to use at home
- Communicate with parents by email, saving on printing costs and paper
- Savings made go towards further improvement to their green credentials, such as paying for food waste to be collected
- Swapped light bulbs for LED bulbs
- Installed time and light sensors
- Installed timers on water coolers and heaters
- Set printers to sleep rather than standby
- Fitted fuel saving magnets on gas and water mains
- Fitted solar panels at 6 sites, and we're working on the rest, also tesla “wall”
- Have made cycling to work more accessible for staff with electric bikes; Tops received a grant for an electric bike pool funded by the Business Travel Network, an initiative set up and supported by the local authorities
- Have identified sustainable travel options for every nursery, including walking, bus, train & cycle routes; implemented incentives such as a bus pass loan, cycle to work scheme, and installed lockers & showers
The famous glitter ban!
Bar soap instead of liquid soap
'Switch it off' stickers
GECCO and Tops will bring you information on steps you can take to work towards a new sustainable approach. So bookmark our website, join us on Facebook and sign up below to receive news & updates direct to your Inbox.