Why we became a B Corp

Responsible Travel
01/07/2019 / By / , , , / Post a Comment

This article was originally published on The Journal.

Just over four years ago, we embarked on a special kind of journey, one that took place in between various adventures around the world.

In August 2018, we achieved one of our greatest achievements to date; we became a certified B Corporation.

We know that Peregrine travellers care about the world as much as we do, and as July is the official B Corp month in Australia and New Zealand there’s never been a better time to talk about business as a force for good. For our customers, it’s about understanding the positive impact that they can have; knowing that they can support businesses who are giving back. But don’t just take our word for it – becoming a B Corp is not only our official pledge to be a responsible business, but our commitment to help make the world a better place.

So, what does this all mean? Allow us to explain.

What is a B Corp? 

Peregrine guide pointing to sight in Iran

Photo by Damien Raggatt.

B Corps are a new kind of business that creates benefit for all stakeholders, not just shareholders. They are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.

Peregrine is part of Intrepid Group, a global leader in sustainable experience-rich travel – and the world’s largest travel B Corp. Certified B Corps are companies that look after their staff, work toward a more inclusive supply chain, and take corporate social responsibility to the next level. For us, becoming a B Corp means taking all the work we’ve already done – through both The Intrepid Foundation and our core operation – to the next level and conducting an extensive audit to ensure we’re meeting the highest responsible business standards.

While there are over 100 certification schemes in the travel industry, there aren’t any that take a holistic view of the impact a whole business can have on people and the planet. None, except B Corp certification. If you want to see how we performed on our journey to becoming a B Corp, you can read our B Impact report here.

Who’s in charge of B Corp certification?

Four people walking along the trail in Tuscany looking away into the horizon away from the camera

The term B Corp stands for ‘B Corporation’, and the people behind the B Corp certification are called B Lab. They’re a not-for-profit organisation headquartered in the USA with offices all over the world. They exist to help companies be better – better for the world, not just for them and their shareholders.

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How will this change the future of Peregrine?

Well, the good news is that we’ve already started making changes for good. We’ve recently introduced an extra three weeks of paid parental leave to all Peregrine staff. While this may seem common in many countries, it was a staff benefit that was unheard of for fathers in countries like Morocco and Iran.

We’re also changing the way we do business in other parts of the world, working more closely with women and suppliers from under-represented communities. In Egypt, we’ve had arrangements with local home stays and meal suppliers where women did the majority of the work, but the men signed the contracts and handled all the finances – it’s just how business is done. But this year, for the first time in 11 years, we’ve signed the contracts with the women themselves. This is the sort of easy change we can make that will empower women and change communities for the better.

What does this mean for Peregrine?

For us, it’s about maintaining integrity and upholding principles of sustainable travel is at the heart of everything we do. As a business, we now join the likes of Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, Danone and over 2,700 other companies across the globe who stand behind their greater purpose as a business, not just their balance sheet. This means we’re more dedicated and accountable than ever, to being better – in the ways that matter. Curious to learn more about other B Corp’s? Take a look here.

Our values are ingrained in the culture of our business and the design of our trips. We respect the people, cultures and local environments that we encounter while travelling and encourage the spread of good will and cross-cultural sharing. We are committed to making a positive contribution wherever possible. Now that we’ve got B Corp certification, our current (and future) travellers have a guarantee that we’re committed to benefiting people and the planet.

READ: JO ZA SO MYANMAR’S FIRST SUSTAINABLE TOURISM HUB

What does our B Corp certification mean for our travellers?  

Friendly locals in Thailand at the Baan Talay Nok homemaded paper demonstration

Photo by Patricia Sofra.

We’re still running the same authentic, sustainable small-group tours across the globe with our dedicated local leaders at the helm. But now that we’re a B Corp, it means you can rest assured that the company behind your trip is benefiting its people and the planet. You’ll also have the reassurance that your local leader, your driver, your cook, your porter, and all those other behind-the-scenes staff are being supported. You’ll know that we’ll continue towards reducing inequality.

Another change for the better is producing a public annual report, based on the Integrated Report framework, that provides a comprehensive and transparent account of how we operate and tracks our financial, social and environmental performance. If you’re curious, you can read all about it here.

And above all, you have our word that – along with a global community of like-minded businesses – we’re working on making the world a better place to be.

Looking for your next experience-rich, sustainable travel experience? Search for your next adventure here.

Feature image by Damien Raggatt.

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