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Getaways for Good: These B Corps Help Travelers Build a Better World on Their Journeys

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B The Change
B The Change

Dec 11, 2019 · 4 min read

If you’re looking to give a gift that stands apart or planning next year’s vacation, consider Certified B Corporations that offer getaway experiences. Whether your travel plans include a volunteer-oriented vacation, a family ski trip, or a once-in-a-lifetime international journey, the B Corps in the list below stand ready to help you visit your dream destination while doing business with companies that match your values and allow you to vote every day as you escape the everyday.

And who says travel has to be one-dimensional? Through these B Corps’ programming, facilities and sustainable practices, they provide travel experiences that allow you to make memories and help build a better world at the same time.


Life-Changing Experiences with Wildlife

Animal Experience International

Animal Experience International (AEI) empowers animal lovers, students, professionals, and adventure seekers to travel and build a better world by volunteering with animals. Founded by a wildlife veterinarian and a volunteer coordinator for wildlife rehabilitation centers, the B Corp offers safe and ethical travel experiences that allow travelers to do what they enjoy and make a difference. From sea turtle conservation in Costa Rica to wildlife rehabilitation in Australia to elephant rescue in Thailand — and plenty of other options around the world — AEI experiences are designed to match clients with animal-related volunteer opportunities. Based in Barrie, Ontario, AEI has been a B Corp since 2013.

Less Stuff, More Experiences

Modern Adventure

This newly certified B Corp offers travel experiences designed to provide moments of discovery and exploration — as noted in its manifesto: “We invest in experiences, instead of more stuff.” Based in Portland, Oregon, Modern Adventure partners with brands and “tastemakers,” including chefs, fitness trainers, art gallery owners and other creative specialists, who accompany travelers for these once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Global travel options that cover Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas are created to enhance the positive differences that travel can make while minimizing its negative effects.

Destinations Fit for Families

Legacy Vacation Resorts

Families looking to make memories together on the road can turn to Legacy Vacation Resorts, an Orlando, Florida-based B Corp that provides sustainable, affordable and memorable vacation experiences. With destinations in four U.S. regions — from Florida’s East to West Coasts, the Colorado Rockies, the New Jersey shore, and Reno, Nevada — Legacy Vacation Resorts offers getaways in a range of climates and terrains. Its workers are a vital part of the experience, and their role in designing memorable vacations shows how Legacy Vacation Resorts values its employees so they in turn take care of travelers. While using its business as a force for good, Legacy Vacation Resorts aims to lead by example in the hospitality industry through conscious practices including carbon footprint offsetting, waste reduction and enhanced recycling efforts, and a living wage initiative for employees.

Traveling in (Personal) Style

Intrepid Group

Intrepid Group was founded to create a style of travel that could benefit travellers as well as the places and people they visit. With three tour operator brands, more than 25 destination management companies, and a not-for-profit foundation, the Melbourne, Australia-based B Corp has a history of leadership in sustainability, from incorporating carbon-neutral trips to stopping elephant rides. This year Intrepid Group made several updates to address overtourism, including changing itineraries in Vietnam and Sri Lanka in response to crowding pressures, replacing flights on Iran trips with overnight and day trains, and removing single-use plastics from adventure cruises.

Learn more about travel-related B Corps on B the Change:


B the Change gathers and shares the voices from within the movement of people using business as a force for good and the community of Certified B Corporations. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the nonprofit B Lab.

Take an exclusive sneak peek at a new tool the UN hopes will revolutionize the way companies track their sustainability goals

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Richard FeloniBI Prime

Dec. 14, 2019, 12:03 PM

 

  • Around 600 of the roughly 3,000 B Corporations pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.
  • B Lab is a nonprofit launched in 2007 that verifies B Corps, businesses that reject shareholder primacy and go above industry norms in their treatment of employees, customers, the environment, and communities, in addition to their shareholders. B Corps include Danone North America, Patagonia, and Allbirds.
  • It is releasing a new tool in January in conjunction with the UN Global Compact that will allow companies to measure their sustainability practices and set new goals.
  • This article is part of Business Insider’s project “The 2010s: Toward a Better Capitalism.”
  • The Better Capitalism series tracks the ways companies and individuals are rethinking the economy and role of business in society.
  • Visit BI Prime for more stories.

On a recent night in B Lab’s small downtown Manhattan office, two of the nonprofit’s leaders gave Business Insider a demo of a tool they hope will change the way thousands of businesses around the world operate over the coming decade. It was the same day that 533 of the more than 3,000 “B Corporations,” like Allbirds and The Body Shop, pledged to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 (20 years ahead of the Paris Agreement goal), and that Time magazine announced 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg was its “Person of the Year.”

For the past 12 years, B Lab has been dedicated to moving businesses away from profit at all costs. In the office, there was a sense that as the 2010s draw to a close, the group had not only been one of the first to tap into the most important discussion of the past decade, it had achieved real progress. And less than a day after the announcement, around 70 more B Corps announced they wanted to join the pledge.

“What’s exciting is, I think the B Corp community and the B Corp movement continue to be an aspiration,” said B Lab’s director of standards, Dan Osusky, one of the team members giving the demo of the tool, the SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) Action Manager. He said B Lab was like a “North Star” for many of the companies who have joined the decade’s movement for reconsidering the role of business in society.

Back in 2007, AND1 cofounder Jay Coen Gilbert, along with his former colleague Bart Houlahan and Andrew Kassoy, their friend from Wall Street, formally launched B Lab (the b standing for benefit). They decided that to avoid “greenwashing” and similar disingenuous practices, where companies can give the impression of “doing good” with nothing more than a clever ad campaign, there should be a certification system. B Lab, then, would analyze and then verify businesses that went beyond industry standards for not only sound corporate governance, but for treatment of workers, customers, their communities, and the environment. Examples include Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, and Eileen Fisher.

The founders’ driving force was a rejection of the theory of shareholder primacy that had reigned since the 1980s, which states that a corporation exists solely to benefit shareholders, and that anything that would benefit others would naturally come as a side effect.

In 2010, the team achieved a major victory when it successfully lobbied for the first “benefit corporation” legislation, in the state of Maryland, that allowed companies to embed the values of a B Corp in their charter. Over the next 10 years, B Lab accrued more than 3,000 B Corps and 8,000 benefit corporations around the world.

This year, the Business Roundtable, a collection of around 200 CEOs of the largest American companies, released a statement that rejected shareholder primacy and advocated for a “stakeholder” model in its place, which, despite lacking binding language, gave major credence to B Lab’s mission.

Additionally, when international food giant Danone’s North American branch became the largest B Corp last year, with 6,000 employees and $6 billion in revenue, B Lab gained a giant corporate ally. You can find the B Corp stamp on Danone’s popular American brands, like Dannon yogurt, Horizon Organic milk, and Silk soy milk products.

“By earning a B Corp Certification we show our employees, consumers, customers and others” that the company will “meet high standards of social and environmental impact, transparency and accountability,” Danone North America CEO Mariano Lozano told Business Insider. He noted that he has been proselytizing the value of joining the B Corp community to the heads of other companies. Danone CEO Emanuel Faber has also said he’s put the international parent company on the path to gaining B Corp certification, and is one of the funders for the SDG Action Manager.

Kassoy, one of B Lab’s cofounders, told us that over the past decade, the financial crisis caused a cultural shift away from corporate criticism on primarily a case by case basis to one demanding systematic change. He said that he saw businesses respond to the millennial generation’s demands for this change, as young people came of age in this time, through their spending and participation in the workforce. He sees this past decade as defined by a successful change in the conversation, and the upcoming one as a chance to put that momentum toward actual change.

“Now it’s about walking the walk, and things like collective action and public policy create the opportunity for lots of companies to walk the walk,” he said. He wants B Lab to be one of the leaders in guiding companies and politicians toward this action.

So, as this decade closes out and another is about to begin, B Lab is setting its focus on sustainability, and has partnered with the United Nations Global Compact. The UNGC is a UN-affiliated network of businesses that make joint commitments to sustainability and share best practices.

B Lab decided that the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 17 goals set in 2015 that are aimed at addressing causes and effects of inequality and man-made climate change, would be their guide. The sustainability tool Osusky and his colleague Laura Velez Villa, who oversees the project, showed us gives companies the ability to assess their sustainability efforts against the SDGs.

un sdgsUnited Nations

Velez Villa pointed out that a central tension that companies face when considering the SDGs is that they were developed for countries, but that the private sector represents 75% of global GDP — that is, if the SDGs are ever going to be achieved, business has to be along for the ride.

“So our answer in putting this out into the world is, regardless of the type of business you are, here is how you make a real dent in these big challenges,” she said, referring to the SDG Action Manager.

With the manager, users can answer a series of baseline questions to determine which of the sustainability goals are most relevant to them. For example, an automaker will be especially equipped for working toward No. 13, climate action, but likely not No. 2, zero hunger.

b lab sdg action managerB Lab

The program will recommend a set of SDGs that the company can have the most impact on, and then the user can go through a series of questions for them. The modules are filled with learning resources provided by the UNGC, and allows companies to set goals for themselves. After answering every question, the tool will generate a percentage, where 100% is an impossible goal, and 40-50% is about what a typical B Corp would score.

Osusky and Velez Villa said that beta testers are indicating that most companies will want to focus on one to five particular SDGs, and that after about a month of being live, the Action Manager will have enough data to show how a company measures up against others in its industry. Velez Villa has set a goal of 5,000 users by the end of 2020, with at least 500 of them using the manager to set goals for their company.

sdg action manager b labB Lab

She noted that today’s conversation around the role of business seems to be a sudden shift, but has been building for years, and has been accelerated by events like the financial crisis and new research on the dangerous future the planet faces if we continue on the path we’re on.

“We all are aware of the Business Roundtable, which is a significant milestone and an important signaling mechanism, but for that type of thing to happen, so much was brewing underneath, right? There’s a lot of anger and disappointment and lack of trust in the public,” Velez Villa said.

This unrest, from peaceful ones like Thunberg’s climate march to the student demonstrations in Hong Kong, is compelling society to rethink power structures, and business is part of that, Velez Villa said.

“It is waking up to the reality that is inequity, and the reality that is environmental injustice,” she added. “And I think that something good should come out of that.”

Davos Manifesto 2020: The Universal Purpose of a Company in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

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Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum

A. The purpose of a company is to engage all its stakeholders in shared and sustained value creation. In creating such value, a company serves not only its shareholders, but all its stakeholders – employees, customers, suppliers, local communities and society at large. The best way to understand and harmonize the divergent interests of all stakeholders is through a shared commitment to policies and decisions that strengthen the long-term prosperity of a company.

i. A company serves its customers by providing a value proposition that best meets their needs. It accepts and supports fair competition and a level playing field. It has zero tolerance for corruption. It keeps the digital ecosystem in which it operates reliable and trustworthy. It makes customers fully aware of the functionality of its products and services, including adverse implications or negative externalities.

ii. A company treats its people with dignity and respect. It honours diversity and strives for continuous improvements in working conditions and employee well-being. In a world of rapid change, a company fosters continued employability through ongoing upskilling and reskilling.

iii. A company considers its suppliers as true partners in value creation. It provides a fair chance to new market entrants. It integrates respect for human rights into the entire supply chain.

iv. A company serves society at large through its activities, supports the communities in which it works, and pays its fair share of taxes. It ensures the safe, ethical and efficient use of data. It acts as a steward of the environmental and material universe for future generations. It consciously protects our biosphere and champions a circular, shared and regenerative economy. It continuously expands the frontiers of knowledge, innovation and technology to improve people’s well-being.

v. A company provides its shareholders with a return on investment that takes into account the incurred entrepreneurial risks and the need for continuous innovation and sustained investments. It responsibly manages near-term, medium-term and long-term value creation in pursuit of sustainable shareholder returns that do not sacrifice the future for the present.

B. A company is more than an economic unit generating wealth. It fulfils human and societal aspirations as part of the broader social system. Performance must be measured not only on the return to shareholders, but also on how it achieves its environmental, social and good governance objectives. Executive remuneration should reflect stakeholder responsibility.

C. A company that has a multinational scope of activities not only serves all those stakeholders who are directly engaged, but acts itself as a stakeholder – together with governments and civil society – of our global future. Corporate global citizenship requires a company to harness its core competencies, its entrepreneurship, skills and relevant resources in collaborative efforts with other companies and stakeholders to improve the state of the world.

Going Beyond ‘Green Travel’ to Create a Lasting Impact on the Hospitality Industry

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Legacy Vacation Resorts is dedicated to providing vacation experiences for families and friends to create their unique moments and lasting memories in a manner that respects our environment, employees and community. The company as a whole seeks to go beyond simple eco-friendly initiatives and use our business to make a legitimate positive impact in the communities we serve and the world at large.

In March of 2019, LVR became a Certified B Corporation, which are companies that voluntarily commit to transparency and legally dedicate themselves to a triple bottom line of serving people, the planet and profit. Since then, the company has used these principles as a guiding light for the future of our business and its stakeholders.

A Purpose Driven Mission For More

In late 2017, Legacy Vacation Resorts was working hard to deliver a great value on high quality vacation experiences for our guests and we were doing so successfully, at least by traditional metrics. We were profitable, reinvesting back into our operation, improving guest satisfaction and providing growth for our employees. Despite this success, it did not feel like we were driving a positive overall impact. In fact, it seemed we were, like many companies, seeking incremental improvement and allowing others to deal with our business’ negative externalities, many occurring without our knowledge because we did not measure them.

Legacy Vacation Club Indian Shores in Clearwater Beach, Florida

We struggled to see how we could make a net positive impact and felt that the word “sustainability” was being used by most businesses as part of a “green/purpose washing” campaign. Not wanting to do the same, we began educating ourselves on how we could use our resources and abilities most effectively and credibly. Through this process, we identified a few business movements and programs that enlightened us on how we could properly measure our impact, enhance what we were doing well, reduce or eliminate what we were not, and contribute to larger systematic change for a shared, inclusive, and durable prosperity for all.

We have since aligned with several of these organizations but were most enamored with Certified B Corporations. Administered by the non-profit, B Lab, Certified B Corps are businesses that voluntarily meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose through third-party verification. They adopt a higher purpose, stakeholder orientation, conscious practices, and offset their negative externalities.

These practices led them to thrive through strong profits, stability, and valuation. While some household names like Patagonia, Eileen Fisher, Ben & Jerry’s, and Seventh Generation were part of this movement, we were disheartened to learn that our home state of Florida (the 3rd most populous state), only had 17 B Corps, and the entire United States had no multi-state resort hospitality companies.

Finally, we had found a way that we could deliver a net positive societal impact and we were determined to not only become a certified B Corp, but to facilitate the growth of the B Corp movement in Florida and in the hospitality industry at large.

In early 2018, LVR began efforts toward securing B Corp Certification. This meant analyzing our operating procedures and efforts in five Impact Areas required by the certification process, including Governance, Workers, Community, Environment, and Customers. During what turned out to be a year-long process aligning every aspect of Legacy Vacation Resorts with B Lab’s requirements, the company rolled out multiple initiatives towards a more sustainable business model.

In addition to becoming a Certified B Corporation, LVR was among the first multi-state hotel companies to become a member of 1% For The Planet, a network of more than 1,500 member businesses, numerous individuals, and thousands of nonprofit partners in more than 40 countries. The organization is fostering a global movement, inspiring businesses to support environmental solutions by making a simple commitment to donate 1% of their sales revenue to various charities working in one of six core focus areas, including climate, food, land, pollution, water, and wildlife. LVR also became a proud partner of Conscious Capitalism International, an organization that maintains a philosophy based on a simple idea that when practiced consciously, business innately elevates humanity.

Building A Legacy

After certification became official in March of 2019, LVR became the first multi-state hospitality and vacation ownership company to offset the carbon footprint of guests booked through our website, offer to donate 5% of our guest’s reservation to a charity of their choice, donate 1% of our total revenue to environmental charities (as part of our 1% for the Planet commitment), sponsor Conscious Capitalism, and meet Certified B Corporation standards. The new sustainable business model includes 100% carbon footprint offsetting for guests that book directly with the LVR website, electric vehicle chargers at each property, waste reduction and enhanced recycling efforts, sustainable lifestyle awareness campaigns, green-focused renovation projects and a living wage initiative for employees in our eight locations across four states.

The company also implemented an internal “Day of Hope” campaign, which gives employees the opportunity to receive paid time off in pursuit of volunteer activities. Moving forward, LVR has adopted a reduction target to cut down all emissions by 25% by the year 2025.

LVR is also undergoing a process of changing the way we think as a company to a “Life-Cycle” approach. This means we are taking into account where our dollars go from manufacturing to distribution to consumption. Together with suppliers, we are working towards ensuring they enforce a responsible code of conduct in their own workplaces. We believe the companies, vendors and suppliers we work with should support their local economy and support purchases that do not sacrifice the environment or cause harm to human wellbeing and health.

While all of these changes will give our existing guests additional reasons to be proud to stay with us, they will also attract a new kind of traveler and customer – one that shares our values and places importance on social responsibility, environmental responsibility and sustainable travel. By incorporating these conscious values into our ethos rather than just creating a department for it, leadership sincerely believes we will achieve our mission better than ever before and experience revenue growth for the company.

Looking ahead, as we exhibit success by using our business as a force for good, we will share this information within the hospitality industry to help it attain sustainable economic development. Our desire is not to be the best in the world but the best for the world, and part of that is to inspire other companies to follow suit.

Our Impact in Action

An excellent place to see the implementation and execution of our new sustainable initiatives is at the company’s flagship location, Legacy Vacation Resorts Indian Shores, home to villa-style accommodations and beach access just a short walk away. Located on the picturesque Gulf Coast of Florida, the property recently underwent a full scale green renovation project and now boasts the smallest energy footprint of all locations in our portfolio.

The project introduced all new energy star appliances and fixtures as well as new operation and maintenance procedures to ensure that the building isn’t only built in a sustainable manner, but is also being managed efficiently as well. The remodel efforts used low VOC paints, and policies we have in place require the use of non-toxic cleaners, therefore reducing toxic output.

Water management products and systems are used to help conserve our water usage and reduce water waste, and guests are provided with in-room pitchers and signage detailing the safety of filtered water provided by the city to hopefully eliminate their need for single-use plastic water bottles. Furthermore, native and drought-resistant landscaping is used throughout the property to mitigate the need for heavy irrigation and use of fertilizers. The resort, along with all locations in the company, offers waste recycling services for guests as well as a partnership with Clean the World, a certified B Corp, based in Orlando, that recycles our used hygiene products and repurposes them back to vulnerable communities around the world.

The resort also seeks to do good for the local community, and we first look to utilize products and services from local and Certified B Corp suppliers and vendors whenever possible thus contributing to a circular economy. This supplier management is not just better business, but an effort to educate our guests about new responsible products that they can obtain back home.

We plan to implement similar projects and initiatives at all of our eight locations in four states, with some impressive programs having already been introduced. Currently, our Brigantine beach resort is powered by 100% renewable electricity. ‘Sustainability Champions’ have been appointed at each location that acts as a sustainability ambassador to communicate and promote corporate initiatives. All resorts with food and beverage operations offer plant-based food options and boxed water is available at Resort Markets. This year, we launched an annual scholarship program where we provided three $2,000.00 scholarships to employees or their dependents.

The company also began a matching campaign for employee contributions to approved charities which includes donations the employees give collectively throughout the company and during property activities up to $2,500.00. We have also established an employee energy rebate program at our headquarters, as well as the Orlando and Kissimmee properties, where employees can purchase LED lights at our company’s cost to help with reducing their personal carbon footprint at home. There is also a selection of socially responsible investing options available in employee retirement plans.

One of the most remarkable initiatives is our Employee Income Advance Program, currently available for Florida and New Jersey-based employees. This program offers bank assistance to employees in good standing (generally with a tenure of one year or greater) by providing loaned funds of $500 – $2,500 for emergency expenditures. Loans are repaid via automatic payroll deductions, thus building the borrower’s credit score. Once the loan is paid off, the payroll deduction is continued and rolled into a savings account. This program helps employees not only avoid predatory lending to take care of emergency financial needs, but also builds credit and savings, financial literacy and financial stability.

Looking ahead, each location will continue to find ways to reduce single use plastic items and unnecessary waste, individual amenities will be switched out for refillable dispensers, check-in documents will be streamlined to eliminate the need for printed collateral, and we will seek continued improvement.

Business For Good, For All

While using our business as a force for good, we will educate the hospitality industry on how to attain sustainable economic development. As part of the pursuit of this goal, we co-founded the Florida for Goodmovement to help create a better world by combining the power of business with accountability, transparency, and a stakeholder orientation. The For Good Movement is a connection between B Corps, Conscious Capitalism, 1% for the Planet, like minded organizations/networks, governments/chambers, academia, and the local For Good ecosystems. It promotes business responsibility & resiliency to all companies, whether they be considered irresponsible today or whether they are competing to be the best for the world.

Florida for Good funds free resources, an online business directory and events to facilitate the spread of conscious business and growth of the Certified B Corp community in Florida and beyond. Since the organization’s inception, Legacy Vacation Resorts has donated more than $50,000 to its charitable endeavors via cash and in-kind support. As part of our mission, LVR and Florida for Good encourage companies to take B Lab’s free impact assessment so they can learn how they measure up against other businesses and learn about the areas in which they can most improve.

In the time since it launched in 2018, Florida for Good has grown significantly and now boasts four local/regional chapters including Central Florida for Good, St. Pete for Good, Northeast Florida for Good and Boca for Good and more than 100 member businesses.

Our business is successful not in spite of our responsible practices but because of them. At Legacy Vacation Resorts, we feel strongly that business leaders will impact our future, so we need leaders that appreciate the interdependence of all things, and recognize that true success is predicated on the success of all stakeholders, not just shareholders.

Mr. MeyersJared Meyers is a hospitality veteran with more than 20 years in the industry. The University of Florida graduate is passionate about delivering a quality product through his company, Legacy Vacation Resorts, to help friends and families enjoy unforgettable vacations together. One of his other passions? Utilizing the power of his business as a force for good. Searching for a way to use his resources and abilities for positive change, Mr. Meyers learned about Certified B Corporations – companies that voluntarily meet the highest levels of social and environmental performance with transparency and accountability. Inspired by his findings, he immediately set out on a journey to transform his company into a Certified B Corp and also create a movement to help other hospitality and travel businesses to do the same. Always looking toward the bigger picture for his social and environmental impact goals, Mr. Meyers co-created the Florida for Good program. With its entrepreneurial spirit, Florida For Good is the connector between B Corps, Conscious Capitalism, 1% For The Planet, like minded organizations/networks, governments/chambers, academia, and the localized For Good ecosystems throughout the state. Jared Meyers can be contacted at 407-697-0388 or jared@legacyvacationclub.com Please visit http://www.legacyvacationresorts.com for more information.Extended Biography

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Travel Guide: 10 businesses that give back while you travel

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The human impact of travel and the tourism industry takes a huge toll on our environment each year. The United Nations Environment Program identified three significant environmental affects of tourism: depletion of natural resources, pollution and the degradation of the communities and ecosystems in the places we travel.

Our planet is beautiful and meant for exploring. We believe that traveling to new places, learning about other cultures and experiencing truly wild places holds the power to educate us all and encourage environmental change. So, we aren’t asking you to stop traveling—but rather, we hope you take the proper precautions when planning your next trip to ensure that your travels are environmentally cautious and cause as little harm as possible to the places you explore.

Sustainable travel can easily be put into practice—whether you’re working with an environmental nonprofit to help you travel responsibly or checking off your packing list of sustainable 1% for the Planet member products.

You can also reduce your travel footprint by choosing tourism businesses, lodging and travel agencies within the 1% for the Planet network. Understanding the environmental implications of human travel, these members joined 1% for the Planet to take responsibility for the impact their business has on the planet.


BUCKEYE TREE LODGE & SEQUOIA VILLAGE INN

📍Sequoia National Park – California

In recent years, our National Parks have seen a huge influx of tourists (thanks, Instagram). Due to underfunding and overcrowding, it’s becoming more and more important to ensure that tourists take steps to protect these public lands from pollution and degradation. While it’s no surprise that everyone wants to capture the natural beauty of these picturesque parks, travelers can reduce their impact by choosing sustainably responsible accommodations when booking their trip.

Buckeye Tree Lodge and Sequoia Village Inn are located just outside of Sequoia National Park in Three Rivers, California. Not only are these local businesses 1% for the Planet members, but they also implement many environmental and community initiatives into their business model. From solar powered systems and energy efficient appliances to eco-friendly products, your trip to Three Rivers is sure to be as fulfilling as it is environmentally friendly.

No matter what time of year you’re hoping to visit Sequoia National Park, these affordable lodges have activities for every season. So, be sure to put whitewater rafting, fly fishing, high-elevation hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, snow-shoeing, bear watching, and giving back on your bucket list.

Environmental Support:

Every stay at Buckeye Tree Lodge and Sequoia Village Inn contributes to their commitment to give back to their community and protect the National Parks they call home. Through their 1% for the Planet partnerships, Buckeye Tree Lodge and Sequoia Village Inn support the Sequoia Parks Conservancy and the Sierra Club.


DISCOVERY BICYCLE TOURS

📍Around the world

There’s no better way to tread lightly (do you get it?) on our world than by traveling by bicycle. Unless of course, it’s biking with a business that actively works to preserve and protect the environment they tread on. Discovery Bicycle Tours is family owned and joined the 1% for the Planet family in 2018 when Scott and Thistle Cone took the reins as co-owners.

Discovery Bicycle Tours offers inn-to-inn bicycle tours around the world. The company aims to provide outstanding bicycle tours, top-notch service and give back to the extraordinary places they love to bike.

With tour offerings in North America, South America, Europe and Asia, you could start your trip at Discovery Bicycle Tours headquarters in Vermont, explore Chile’s lakes and volcanoes, bike Key-to-Key in Florida, visit the world’s happiest country (and biking-mecca) Denmark, or even bask in in some of the most spectacular scenery in Southeast Asia as you adventure through Vietnam.

With Discovery Bicycle Tours, the possibilities are endless and the environmental impact is minimal.

Environmental Support:

In an effort to protect public lands and preserve the outdoor spaces we explore, Discovery Bicycle Tours supports the Nature Conservancy, the Vermont Land Trust, Local Motion, and BikeCentennial—Adventure Cycling Association.


EAGLE WING WHALE & WILDLIFE TOURS

📍Victoria BC, Canada

Eagle Wing Tours was our first whale-watching member and has been a true steward for the environment since day one. With the belief that wildlife viewing can provide educational merit and encourage environmental sustainability, the Eagle Wing Tours team goes to great lengths to ensure that their tours also have positive impact on their community.

Beyond their 1% for the Planet membership, Eagle Wing Tours is 100% carbon neutral and a founding member of the Victoria Sustainable Tourism Alliance. Their boats are energy efficient, clean and quiet to reduce water and air pollution. Oh, and they provide every customer with a whale sighting guarantee.

“The natural world has massive demands placed upon it every day. At Eagle Wing we believe that being a responsible steward means being active, positive contributors to the ecosystem we love and are able to make our living from.” – Brett Soberg, Eagle Wings Tour co-owner

Environmental Support:

Through 1% for the Planet, Eagle Wing Tours supports Cowichan Energy Alternatives, Shaw Center for the Salish Sea, Sierra Club BC, Goldstream Volunteer Salmonid Enhancement Society, Saturna Island Marine Research & Education Society (SIMRES), Center for Whale Research, Marine Education and Research Society (MERS) and Race Rocks to just name a few! We highly encourage you to take the time to learn more about their environmental stewardship and conservation efforts.


CONSCIOUS ADVENTURIST

📍Around the world

Conscious Adventurist is a global travel organization committed to ethical, sustainable and responsible travel. Conscious Adventurist aims to provide they best customized, mindful travel for any age or experience. From adventure trips for the adrenaline junky to a relaxed trek through a new country, every itinerary is customizable and can accommodate any travelers needs. Every trip is a combination of fulfilling a traveler’s desire to connect with a new place and the obligation to protect the environment for future adventurers.

With Conscious Adventurist, you can truly go anywhere in the world— get inspired by 7 Life-Changing Experiences Around the World and 23 Must-Visit American Cities for Outdoor Adventure Travel. Wherever you decide to go, you can travel knowing that your trip helps give back.

Want to learn more about how you too can be a more sustainable traveler? Learn from the experts at Conscious Adventurist about 5 Ways to Give Back When You Travel and 15 Ways to Reduce Waste When You Travel.

Environmental Support:

As a 1% for the Planet member, Conscious Adventurist strives to give back as much as possible by supporting nonprofit organizations like Protect Our Winters. They are an eco-conscious organization that works to build environmental initiatives into their business.

 

RUN THE ALPS

📍France, Italy & Switzerland

There’s no denying that the French, Italian and Swiss mountain ranges are some of the most stunning views in the world. Run The Alps provides the opportunity to explore these incredible mountains by foot. Run The Alps aims to provide the best trail running experience for runners of any level, with guided and self-guided tours.

Whether you’re exploring the Italian Dolomites or running through French, Italy and Switzerland on their most popular tour, Tour Mont-Blanc, Run The Alps always incorporates Leave No Trace principles into their trips. They are committed to responsible travel and work to reduce the impact of their travel, including purchasing carbon offsets and of course, their 1% for the Planet membership.

Environmental Support:

Through their 1% for the Planet membership, Run The Alps works to protect the wild places they run by supporting 1% for the Planet and research in the impact of climate change on high altitude environments through their partnership with The Research Center for Alpine Ecosystems.


ALASKA ALPINE ADVENTURES

📍Alaska

Alaska Alpine Adventures started in 1998 with sustainable roots as they worked to incorporate conservation ethics into every part of their company and travel itineraries since day one. In 2015, they took their commitment to protecting Alaska to the next level by joining 1% for the Planet.

Through Alaska Alpine Adventures, you can explore Alaska’s wildest places via backpacking, hiking, kayaking, rafting or a combination of adventure sports. The hard question isn’t how you’ll explore Alaska, but where will you go. With so many incredible options through Alaska’s national parks, it’s hard to decide on just one trip. We’d suggest starting with Alaska Alpine Adventures’ bread and butter: Lake Clark National Park. This extraordinary trip is where Alaska Alpine Adventures guided their first tour in 1998 and to this day is regarded as their favorite place to explore.

Environmental Support:

Alaska Alpine Adventures supports Alaska Center for the Environment and Trout Unlimited to protect their local environment with, Student Conservation Association to inspire future generations to to the same, and 1% for the Planet to strengthen and grow environmental philanthropy around the world. Additionally, Alaska Alpine Adventures is heavily involved in the ongoing battle to save Bristol Bay.


LVR- Indian Shores Sundeck.jpg

LEGACY VACATION RESORTS

📍Florida, California, Colorado, Nevada

Legacy Vacation Resorts provides experiences for families and friends to create unique moments and lasting memories in a manner that respects the environment, employees and community. As part of their mission, they hope to educate consumers on the importance of supporting conscious businesses as well as the hospitality industry on how to attain sustainable economic development. The company boasts eight locations across four states, delivering a variety of options for travelers of all ages including warm beaches, thrilling mountain adventures, natural settings, iconic attractions and more.

With a core passion for sustainability and using the power of business as a force for good, this 1% For The Planet Member and Certified B Corporation® offers carbon footprint offsetting, waste reduction initiatives, sustainable lifestyle awareness campaigns and green-focused renovation projects. Travelers to each location can not only enjoy their vacation but also know their trips are supporting causes to create positive impact for the environment and the communities in which they visit.

Environmental Support:

Stays at LVR properties contributes to a variety of charities such as the For Good Movement, an organization dedicated to inspiring the spread of conscious business in the State of Florida and beyond. Every single guest who books directly with the resort has their carbon footprint offset on behalf of the company via We are Neutral. Legacy also supports a wide variety of other environmental programs and organizations such as Solar United Neighbors, IDEAS for Us and the Social Impact & Sustainability Initiative at the University of Florida.


GLOBE + TRIBE

📍Around the world

Globe + Tribe is a boutique travel agency with a big goal: purposeful tourism. This company firmly believes that ‘intentional’ travel journeys hold the ability to encourage future environmental stewards and promote community development, sustainable development and conservation efforts in the world’s most wild places.

With these goals in mind, Globe + Tribe specializes in ‘emerging’ and ‘frontier’ destinations such as Andalusia, Cuba, Georgia, Iberia, Mongolia, and more. For the most adventurous travelers who enjoy life off-the beaten-path, they also offer Discovery Journeys where you can join Globe + Tribe on a test-run before they offer trips to the general public.

Already have a destination in mind or do you want expert advice on your next itinerary? Globe + Tribe also offers customizable Bespoke Journeys to fulfill your next travel bucket list.

Environmental Support:

Globe + Tribe is a new member to our network. While they currently support 1% for the Planet, they’re working closely with our membership team to choose their nonprofit partners that align with their mission.


WANDERWELL

📍Everywhere you travel

Okay, so you’ve reached this far in our blog and you may have already decided where you want to go next. Beyond incredible travel destinations, our network also offers incredible services that ensure your travel plan goes smoothly. Let us take this time to introduce you to Wanderwell.

Wanderwell is a social enterprise masquerading as a travel insurance company. Their tag line is “you go, we give” and they mean it. When they joined 1% for the Planet, they pledged to not only meet their 1% commitment but bumped it up to 10%—because as a member and BCorp Certified business, they’re serious about environmental conservation and sustainable business practices.

So, whether you’re looking for a single-trip protection, medical, corporate, study abroad, or even ex-pat plans, Wanderwell has coverage types for every traveler looking to give back.

“The more we travel the clearer our lenses become to view how interconnected the beings and elements of our planet are to each other. We discover the need to conserve, contribute, and sustain, and our responsibility to act in such a way expands. Traveling breeds environmental consciousness.” – Wanderwell

Environmental Support:

Wanderwell may donate directly to 1% for the Planet, but they’ve chosen to donate a little bit more—with 10% of their annual sales going back to the planet.


CARBON CREDIT CAPITAL

📍Anywhere you go

As we mentioned, travel can increase our negative environmental impact. Luckily, there are companies like Carbon Credit Capital that help off-set the carbon emissions we produce when we fly, drive, eat and basically do anything as humans.

Carbon Credit Capital aims to increase our understanding of carbon emissions and ways that businesses, organizations and individuals can work to reduce (and reverse) their impact. To start, we’d suggest reading through their Carbon Cutting Tips to better understand the ways your travel and everyday actions play a role in climate change. Then, consider how your travel plans can be mitigated and altered to decrease your impact. Finally, consider purchasing a carbon off-set plan from Carbon Credit Capital for your travels. With the carbon off-set credits, Carbon Credit Capital supports projects that reduce, avoid and destroy harmful greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.

Environmental Support:

Carbon Credit Capital understand the importance of strengthening the systems that grow environmental giving, which is why they chose to support 1% for the Planet as their primary nonprofit partner.

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August 19, 2019

Do you believe that companies should have a purpose beyond profits? If your answer is yes, you’re in the right place. Fortune’s fifth annual Change the World Listcelebrates those companies and leaders that embrace corporate purpose and recognize how it can add value to business and society.

Purpose beyond profits is being demanded from all corners including employees, investors, and the millennials and Gen Z who represent the next generation of leaders, so it’s not a surprise that business leaders are taking note. And the realities of the 21st century demand that companies act on their stated purpose, returning to a business environment that serves more than shareholders. The world has never been richer, but never more unequal, with the top 10% of adults holding 85% of the global wealth. The world is out of balance and we’re seeing this imbalance present itself in our public discourse, elections, and growing resentment and suspicion of those with power and resources who seem to be writing the rules of the game. With all the disparities in wealth, barriers to stability and prosperity for so many, and climate change testing the resilience of communities and governments, corporate purpose needs to take on a more substantive meaning that integrates societal benefits and helps meet the needs of our time.

A survey of global corporate executives shows that more than 80% believe shared purpose leads to greater employee satisfaction, customer loyalty, and higher-quality products and services. At the same time, less than half of the business leaders surveyed agree that their company’s stated purpose is well-aligned with its business strategy and operations.

So how does a company’s purpose statement grow into something more than words on a poster or in a marketing campaign? 

The bad news is that there’s no magic formula to becoming a purpose-led company. Most companies grounded in purpose have different policies, programs, and practices to support their efforts toward achieving their purpose potential.  The good news is there is a powerful practice that can be the economic engine in purpose-led companies.

‘Shared value’ as a guiding principle

Shared value, the business discipline coined by Michael E. Porter and Mark Kramer, aims to be that engine. As Porter and Kramer put it when they introduced the discipline in a Harvard Business Review article in 2011, shared value “enhances the competitiveness of a company while simultaneously advancing the economic and social conditions in the communities in which it operates. Shared value creation focuses on identifying and expanding the connections between societal and economic progress.” We believe shared value is the most powerful practice companies can leverage to fulfill their purpose aspirations because it uses the core business to drive societal change.  It can also be one of the most authentic because it relies on core business practices and know-how.

In looking at companies that have embedded purpose into their strategy and operations we’ve found that their stated purposes have four common attributes.

* They are significant and tie to some unmet need in society, such as those defined by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
* They are authentic with roots in the company’s history and playing out in the company’s operating culture.
* They are profitable and incentivize leaders to further invest, partner and scale their activities.
* And finally, they are serious, with leaders being held accountable for achieving their purpose.

We believe that companies at all stages in the purpose journey can aspire to do things better in service of delivering on the promise of purpose. We encourage you to look at your own work to identify where you can do things differently, finding new ways to drive shared value. And know that you can find fellow changemakers, idea generators, and committed leaders in the Shared Value Initiative community where you can exchange ideas, gain inspiration, and learn from each other.

As we look at this year’s list we applaud the pioneering individuals who are doing the hard, sometimes lonely and often complicated work of leading their companies to fully live into a corporate purpose. Now more than ever the world needs our collective energy and commitment to bend the arc of history towards a more equitable, just and sustainable society, and we hope that as companies drive to achieve their purpose potential, we will see much-needed progress.

Greg Hills is the co-CEO of FSG,  a nonprofit social-impact consulting firm. Bobbi Silten is the managing director of Shared Value Initiative, a platform for organizations seeking business solutions to social challenges.

Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, and 30 other companies tell the Business Roundtable CEOs to put up or shut up

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A week ago the Business Roundtable, a lobbying group composed of the nation’s leading CEOs, including Apple’s Tim Cook and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, announced a decision to change the definition of the “purpose of a corporation” from solely making money for its shareholders to having a commitment that its actions benefit all stakeholders, including its shareholders, of course, but also including its employees, communities, and the environment.

The Business Roundtable’s decision was huge news considering it proffered upending the decades-old capitalist goal of maximizing profits at any cost to a more holistic goal of looking out for the well-being of everything the company’s actions affects. However, the Business Roundtable’s decision to change the definition of the “purpose of a corporation” isn’t legally binding, which means right now it’s just really good PR.

The thing is, there’s already a group of thousands of companies that are already doing what the Business Roundtable has, so far, only paid lip service to. The B Corporation movement, as its cofounders explained in an op-ed in Fast Company last week, have not only committed to delivering value to all of their stakeholders, not just their shareholders—they’ve gotten legislation passed that legally requires them to do so:

To the cofounders of the B Corporation movement, this view of the role of business in society isn’t new. We created the B Corp certification to identify business leaders who demonstrate that their companies deliver value to all of their stakeholders, not just their shareholders—to maximize value, not just profits. Then we realized that we needed to go further to address the doctrine of shareholder primacy by passing benefit corporation legislation in 37 U.S. jurisdictions, including Delaware, that allows corporations to make themselves legally accountable to create value for their stakeholders. The B Corp movement is now comprised of over 10,000 Certified B Corps and benefit corporations combined across 150 industries and 60 countries, all of which represent the kind of action needed to put credible weight behind any public commitment to upend shareholder primacy and shift the cultural narrative of business in society.

B Corporation@BCorporation

are businesses that meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance. @BizRoundtable, we’d like to help you get there, too, to meet your newly announced stakeholder values. Let’s get to work—together.

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Shareholder Value Is No Longer Everything, Top C.E.O.s Say

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  • Nearly 200 chief executives, including the leaders of Apple, Pepsi and Walmart, tried on Monday to redefine the role of business in society — and how companies are perceived by an increasingly skeptical public.

Breaking with decades of long-held corporate orthodoxy, the Business Roundtable issued a statement on “the purpose of a corporation,” arguing that companies should no longer advance only the interests of shareholders. Instead, the group said, they must also invest in their employees, protect the environment and deal fairly and ethically with their suppliers.

“While each of our individual companies serves its own corporate purpose, we share a fundamental commitment to all of our stakeholders,” the group, a lobbying organization that represents many of America’s largest companies, said in a statement. “We commit to deliver value to all of them, for the future success of our companies, our communities and our country.”

The shift comes at a moment of increasing distress in corporate America, as big companies face mounting global discontent over income inequality, harmful products and poor working conditions.

On the Democratic presidential campaign trail, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have been vocal about the role of big business in perpetuating problems with economic mobility and climate change. Lawmakers are looking into the dominance of technology companies like Amazon and Facebook.

There was no mention at the Roundtable of curbing executive compensation, a lightning-rod topic when the highest-paid 100 chief executives make 254 times the salary of an employee receiving the median pay at their company. And hardly a week goes by without a major company getting drawn into a contentious political debate. As consumers and employees hold companies to higher ethical standards, big brands increasingly have to defend their positions on worker pay, guns, immigration, President Trump and more.

“They’re responding to something in the zeitgeist,” said Nancy Koehn, a historian at Harvard Business School. “They perceive that business as usual is no longer acceptable. It’s an open question whether any of these companies will change the way they do business.”

The Business Roundtable did not provide specifics on how it would carry out its newly stated ideals, offering more of a mission statement than a plan of action. But the companies pledged to compensate employees fairly and provide “important benefits,” as well as training and education. They also vowed to “protect the environment by embracing sustainable practices across our businesses” and “foster diversity and inclusion, dignity and respect.”

It was an explicit rebuke of the notion that the role of the corporation is to maximize profits at all costs — the philosophy that has held sway on Wall Street and in the boardroom for 50 years. Milton Friedman, the University of Chicago economist who is the doctrine’s most revered figure, famously wrote in The New York Times in 1970 that “the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits.”

This mind-set informed the corporate raiders of the 1980s and contributed to an unswerving focus on quarterly earnings reports. It found its way into pop culture, when in the 1987 movie “Wall Street,” Gordon Gekko declared, Greed is good. More recently, it inspired a new generation of activist investors who pushed companies to slash jobs as a way to enrich themselves.

“The ideology of shareholder primacy has contributed to the economic inequality we see today in America,” Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation and a Pepsi board member, said in an interview. “The Chicago school of economics is so embedded in the psyche of investors and legal theory and the C.E.O. mind-set. Overcoming that won’t be easy.”

The Business Roundtable included its own articulation of the theory in an official doctrine in 1997, writing that “the paramount duty of management and of boards of directors is to the corporation’s stockholders.” Each version of its principles published over the last 20 years has stated that corporations exist principally to serve their shareholders.

But by last year, the Business Roundtable’s language was out of step with the times. Many chief executives, including BlackRock’s Larry Fink, had begun calling on companies to be more responsible. Businesses were pledging to fight climate change, reduce income inequality and improve public health. And at gatherings like the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the discussions often centered on how businesses could help solve thorny global problems.

“The threshold has moved substantially for what people expect from a company,” Klaus Schwab, the chairman of the World Economic Forum, said in an interview. “It’s more than just producing profits for the shareholders.”

Last year, Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase and the chairman of the Business Roundtable, began an effort to update its principles. “We looked at this thing that was written in 1997 and we didn’t agree with it,” Mr. Dimon said in an interview. “It didn’t fairly describe what we think our jobs are.”

Mr. Dimon proposed making a formal revision to the annual statement at a Business Roundtable board meeting in Washington this spring. It then fell to Alex Gorsky, the chief executive of Johnson & Johnson, who runs the group’s governance committee, to create the language.

“There were times when I felt like Thomas Jefferson,” Mr. Gorsky said in an interview.

While the group cast the change in language as an embrace of new corporate ideals, it was also a tacit acknowledgment of the heightened pressures facing companies across the country — including many that signed the document.

In 2017, after the president’s initially tepid response to the violent white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, Va., the chief executives of several major companies disbanded White House business advisory groups in protest. Walmart, the nation’s largest gun seller, is under pressure after a series of mass shootings, including the recent massacre at its store in El Paso. Amazon, the giant online retailer, is facing scrutiny from lawmakers who say it avoids paying taxes and uses its dominance to hurt competitors.

And protesters have mobilized across the country to call for a higher minimum wage.

For companies to truly make good on their lofty promises, they will need Wall Street to embrace their idealism, too. Until investors start measuring companies by their social impact instead of their quarterly returns, systemic change may prove elusive.

Nowhere has the new scrutiny on corporations been more pronounced than on the presidential campaign trail. On Monday, Mr. Sanders said in an interview that the Business Roundtable was “feeling the pressure from working families all over the country.”

“I don’t believe what they’re saying for a moment,” he said. “If they were sincere, they would talk about raising the minimum wage in this country to a living wage, the need for the rich and powerful to pay their fair share of taxes.”

In a statement Monday, Ms. Warren called the announcement “a welcome change” but cautioned that “without real action, it’s meaningless.”

“These big corporations can start following through on their words by paying workers more instead of spending billions on buybacks,” she said.

While the new statement of purpose represents a sizable shift from the group’s longstanding principles, it was not the first time Business Roundtable had taken a position on a social issue. Last August, the group denounced President Trump’s immigration policies, describing family separations as “cruel and contrary to American values.”

Monday’s statement represented an even broader shift, signaling companies’ willingness to engage on issues of pay, diversity and environmental protection. Several of the executives who signed the letter said the group would soon offer more detailed proposals on how corporations can live up to the ideals it outlined, rather than focusing purely on economic policies.

“It’s a real divergence considering everything we’ve done in the past has been around policy,” said Chuck Robbins, the chief executive of Cisco, who is on the group’s board, adding, “This is just the first piece.”

The executives quickly pointed out that they had not forgotten about investors.

“You can provide great returns for your shareholders and great benefits for your employees and run your business in a responsible way,” said Brian Moynihan, the chief executive of Bank of America.

But the statement’s lack of specific proposals also drew skepticism.

“If the Business Roundtable is serious, it should tomorrow throw its weight behind legislative proposals that would put the teeth of the law into these boardroom platitudes,” said Anand Giridharadas, the author of “Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World.” “Corporate magnanimity and voluntary virtue are not going to solve these problems.”

Thomas Kaplan contributed reporting and Sheelagh McNeill contributed research.

David Gelles is the Corner Office columnist and a business reporter. Follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter. @dgelles

Why Business for Good is Good for Your Business

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Lorin Augeri

One of the essential functions of the Certified B Corporation community is helping to create an inclusive and regenerative economy. B Corp businesses pride themselves on the kind of forward-thinking leadership and initiatives that create actual positive change for all stakeholders involved. Legacy Vacation Resorts, which became certified in March 2019, understands the need for creating a shared prosperity to ensure a better future for people and the planet. The company has implemented numerous programs to help foster this type of economy and has plans for even more projects in the future.

Legacy Vacation Resorts (LVR) is a hospitality company based in Orlando, Florida, with eight locations across four states that provide resort hotel and timeshare accommodations. Co-Founder and Chairman Jared Meyers was inspired by the B Corp movement and found it essential to align his personal values of conscious capitalism and sustainability with that of his business.

While Meyers felt that small and simple eco-friendly initiatives were a good first step, he desired to go beyond that and implement lasting positive impact.

The company was doing a wonderful job at delivering on its mission to provide quality vacation experiences for families and friends alike, and felt that the new initiatives as part of its B Corp certification would give travelers additional reasons to want to stay at LVR as well as attract a new kind of customer that shares the B Corp values.


Legacy Vacation Resorts is part of the community of businesses that have used a third-party verification of their impact. Use the free B Impact Assessment to evaluate your company’s impact on all stakeholders, including the environment, your workers, your community and your customers.


As part of its care for the environment, LVR provides a carbon offsetting program for guests who book direct via the website. The B Corp calculates a standard of the footprint from a guest’s stay, then donates to organizations that help combat climate change to counteract that impact. Each of the properties also provides a robust recycling program, complimentary electric vehicle chargers, energy-efficient fixtures and appliances, as well as water management systems to help reduce water consumption and waste.

As part of its commitment to employees and community as stakeholders, LVR implemented a living wage program — a $300,000 additional annual expenditure — and PTO for employees in pursuit of volunteerism activities.

The company also seeks to support a circular economy by utilizing products and services from local and B Corp suppliers and vendors whenever possible. Not only does this contribute to a healthier local economy, but it educates guests about voting every day with their dollars for responsible and conscious products. LVR also launched an annual scholarship program to provide three scholarships to employees or their dependents, and offers an energy rebate program at the corporate headquarters in Orlando so employees can purchase LED lights at company cost to help reduce their carbon footprint at home. Employees also have a selection of socially responsible investing options available within their retirement plans.

Another well-received initiative is the employee Income Advance program. Available for LVR employees in good standing (generally with a tenure of one year or greater), this program offers bank assistance by providing loaned funds of $500 to $2,500 for emergency expenditures. Loans are repaid via automatic payroll deductions, thus building the borrower’s credit score. Once the loan is paid off, the payroll deduction is continued and rolled into a savings account.

This program helps employees avoid predatory lending to take care of emergency financial needs, and builds credit and savings, financial literacy and financial stability.

LVR is excited to see how its new initiatives contribute to a shared and durable prosperity but continues to look to the future and ways it can further its B Corp mission. As part of the pursuit of that goal, LVR co-founded the Florida for Good movement to help create a better world by combining the power of business with accountability, transparency, and a stakeholder orientation. Florida for Good funds free resources, an online business directory and events to facilitate the spread of conscious business and growth of the B Corp community in Florida and beyond.

Ultimately, LVR hopes to be an inspiration to other companies in the hospitality industry and beyond as an example that business for good can indeed be good for your business.


B the Change gathers and shares the voices from within the movement of people using business as a force for good and the community of Certified B Corporations. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the nonprofit B Lab.

Legacy Vacation Resorts Among the First Hotel Companies To Become a Certified B Corporation

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Legacy Vacation Resorts - Certified B Corporation

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.—Florida-based Legacy Vacation Resorts (LVR) recently achieved Certified B Corporation status, becoming the first multi-state hotel and vacation ownership company in the country with the designation. Administered by the non-profit B Lab, Certified B Corporations are businesses that voluntarily meet standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose through third-party review.

The certification for LVR comes on the heels of a year-long process to align every aspect of the company with B Lab’s requirements. In that time, LVR has introduced multiple efforts towards a more sustainable business model, including carbon footprint offsetting, waste reduction and enhanced recycling efforts, sustainable lifestyle awareness campaigns, green-focused renovation projects, and a living wage initiative for employees in its eight locations across four states.

LVR guests can offset 100 percent of the carbon footprint from their stay when booking directly through the resort. In addition, the company offers an option for guests to donate 5 percent of their reservation to a charity of their choice. LVR has also partnered with Clean the World, another Certified B Corp, that recycles and repurposes used hygiene products for communities around the globe. The company is also undergoing green renovations by using eco-friendly materials and Energy Star appliances and fixtures. In addition, each property has electric vehicle chargers, further encouraging the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Internally, LVR is encouraging employees to make sustainable choices in their daily lives, making a commitment to spend $300,000 annually on raises to ensure each employee is paid a living wage and offering opportunities to receive paid time off in pursuit of volunteer activities as part of their “Day of Hope” campaign launched in 2018.

“With these various internal changes, partnerships, and our B Corp certification, I sincerely believe we will experience company growth, as well as an additional type of traveler at our properties,” said Jared Meyers, co-owner of Legacy Vacation Resorts. “These new travelers will share our values and place importance on social responsibility, environmental responsibility, and sustainable travel when it comes to selecting their accommodations. I am looking forward to the relaunch of the brand and the many ways in which the company will contribute to the greater good for years to come.”

Certified B Corporations, or Certified B Corps, use profits and growth as a means to achieve positive impact for their employees, communities, and the environment. To secure the designation, Certified B Corps must achieve a minimum verified score on the B Impact Assessment—an appraisal of a company’s impact on its workers, customers, community, and environment—that will ultimately be made public on their website for transparency. The certification amends legal governing documents for the business, committing ownership to consider stakeholder impact and the balance of profit and purpose for the long term.

“At the start of this journey, I simply began researching ways that I could utilize my resources and abilities to improve society. Through that process, I learned of others directing the prosperity of their businesses towards the greater good,” Meyers explained. “The most credible businesses doing so were Certified B Corporations. They stood out to me because of their wholistic view of the business, the rigorous verification of business practices, and their values aligned with mine.”

Hoping to inspire other organizations to follow a similar path, Meyers co-founded the Florida for Good movement, which funds free resources and events to facilitate the spread of business for good and Certified B Corps. Since its inception, LVR has donated more than $50,000 to the group’s charitable endeavors. As part of their missions, LVR and Florida for Good encourage companies to take the free impact assessment so they can learn how they measure up against other businesses and learn about the areas in which they can most improve.

Other U.S. hotel companies with B Corp certification include Washington-based Adrift Hotels SPC; New Mexico’s Taos Ski Valley mountain resort; Washington-based Sleeping Lady Resort; and Yosemite’s Evergreen Lodge.