Don’t Underestimate the Help: Our Business Has a Triple Bottom Line
Anna Tsantir, Founder Lady, Two Bettys Green Cleaning
March 16, 2021
This month, I’ve been letting all that has happened over the last year really sink in. While there were more challenges than we ever could’ve conjured for a single year, there were also silver linings. Here’s what I keep coming back to: our triple bottom line, which has guided us for many years, is what got us through 2020.
As the leader of Two Bettys, I always look to our triple bottom line of people, the planet and profit to get inspired and set new goals with my amazing team.
Here’s how Two Bettys aims to disrupt business as usual:
- Pay our cleaners well. Raise awareness of how domestic/cleaning workers have historically been invisible. We also care for people through benefits and an inclusive, positive work environment.
- Reduce harm to the environment. Educate people on greenwashing and how dangerous many household chemicals are for their homes and the waterways their drains lead to. Model how refilling and reusing can be integrated into a business model affordably.
- Make a profit. It’s good for the economy when cleaning people can pay their bills and buy themselves what they need and want in their communities. And we think it’s powerful to show the world that you can make a profit even when you treat employees well and care for the environment (cymbal crash!).
I’m told that this is what a women-led company often looks like. It looks like working with purpose and treating humans and the planet well, not merely to turn a profit today, but to lay the foundation for a solid future.
Working toward change in 2021
We have an opportunity to take the crisis and awakenings of 2020 to create action, change, and healing. As Minneapolis reckons with it’s ranking as 3rd worst in the nation for racial equity, Two Bettys has taken new vows to mitigate harm to both people and the environment.
Two Bettys HQ resides .3 miles from the 3rd precinct that was burned down last May. We’ve attended many community meetings over the last year, and have heard the voices of people who are angry, who are scared, those who want more police reform and protection and those who want to abolish the police. One thing is certain: people are connecting with each other like never before.
At Two Bettys, we’ve been fighting to get our often-invisible workforce of cleaners and janitors vaccinated as soon as possible. The fact that we need to fight for this reminds us of the ever-present inequities that the pandemic has highlighted. We started a petition (signed by nearly 500 folks) to remind people that cleaners need to be clearly prioritized in the queue for vaccinations.
Looking ahead and cleaning house
I see the access to business capital and access to a healthy environment/climate as being interwoven. While I am still learning about this connection, some exciting ideas are brewing. I don’t have an action plan to become a part of a solution yet. But soon, Two Bettys hopes to form a clear plan to create more opportunity and do less harm, while learning and innovating along the way.
Two Bettys is proof that it’s possible to make a profit while also taking good care of employees and the environment. All while embracing our basic service – cleaning house. And we’re always striving to improve all three aspects of our business model—people, planet, profit—for an even better, cleaner business in the future. But it would be a lie to say I have all the answers! In fact, history would say that there’s no way I could have the answers, because I’m just a woman, and a cleaning lady to boot. But here’s another lesson from history–it’s always a mistake to underestimate the help.