When Intrepid Travel became a B Corp, we signed up for the highest standards of social and environmental performance – that means being transparent with our travellers and community. And with the release of Intrepid’s 2021 Integrated Annual Report, the stats are officially in. Here’s all the good stuff that went on behind the scenes in 2021.
How do you know Intrepid is changing travel for good? How do you know you’re travelling with an ethical operator? It’s a fair question. It’s easy for a company to talk a good sustainability game. But putting it into practice? That’s a whole new kettle of sustainable fish.
With the release of Intrepid’s 2021 Integrated Annual Report, we want to hold ourselves accountable and show travellers exactly what it takes to be the world’s leading small group adventure company This is just a snapshot of all the good we achieved in 2021, along with some things we want to do better. It’s documented. It’s open to everyone. You can brew yourself a pot of tea and read the whole thing cover to cover (if that’s your idea of a good time).
Here are 21 highlights from our 2021 impact report.
- In 2021, we re-certified as the world’s largest travel B Corp, which took a lot of work. We even increased our B Corp score by nearly 10 per cent. For those who don’t know, B Corp is a rigorous certification, achieved by businesses that balance purpose and profit. You can check Intrepid’s performance over here.
- We’ve been 100 per cent carbon neutral since 2010 and officially certified Climate Active since 2018. As a signatory and launch partner of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism, we’re planning to halve our emissions by 2035 and hit net zero by 2050 (or even sooner, if we can manage it).
- As part of that process, in 2021 we reviewed our top-selling trips and removed flights from five itineraries in Borneo, Cuba, Cambodia, Vietnam and Egypt. That’s roughly 3,000 flights Intrepid customers won’t be taking in 2022.
- In 2021, we launched a new style of travel: Intrepid Premium, the low-impact option for higher-end adventures. This means you can explore the world in the Intrepid way that you know and love, but with a few more comforts, including handpicked accommodation and special inclusions.
- Since 2002, our not-for-profit organization, The Intrepid Foundation, has raised more than $12 million towards the people and places our trips visit. In 2021, with help from our community, we raised over $500,000 and positively impacted 30,778 lives around the world.
- In partnership with our friends at MEET Network, we introduced three new trips to protected areas in the Mediterranean last year. These eco-tours include Lastovo Island and Kornati Islands National Park in Croatia, plus Samaria Gorge National Park in Crete. Each one was designed to support nature conservation and benefit local communities.
- The Intrepid Foundation’s campaign for UNICEF Australia’s Give the World a Shot fundraiser, 28,233 people in low-income countries were able to access COVID-19 vaccines, helping to save lives and restart economies.
- In 2020 we became the first tour operator in the world to adopt verified science-based targets for emission reductions. In 2021, backed that up with a 25-page carbon measurement guide to help other travel companies decarbonize their operations. Check out our Carbon Measurement Toolkit for more info.
- Fast Company recognised us as one of the world’s most innovative companies in both 2021 and 2022, for our leadership in global vaccine equity, sustainability and climate-safe travel.
- The Intrepid Foundation backed innovative, nature-based climate change solutions, including Australia’s Blue Carbon Lab, which researches and restores coastal wetlands. These underwater forests act as giant carbon sinks, drawing down and storing carbon 30-50 times faster than trees.
- We’re serious about building stronger relationships with First Nations Australians. Our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), endorsed by Reconciliation Australia, includes over 90 actions to advance our contribution in four key areas: relationships, respect, opportunities, and governance.
- As a global tour operator, we work with tonnes of businesses to make our trips a reality. In 2021, our supply chain supported more than 28,000 workers. And 45 per cent of them were women. That means your trip directly supports jobs and livelihoods in local communities.
- In 2021, we signed the pledge to become Nature Positive. That means we’re on a mission to elevate nature in our business, share case studies and learnings, and understand how our business impacts the natural world.
- We partnered with WWF Australia on selected Antarctica voyages to support marine research into the migratory patterns of whales. This is great for whales (obviously), but also for travellers. You can now get hands-on experience with Antarctic citizen science programs.
- Last year, more of our customers enjoyed First Nations experiences in Australia than ever before. In fact, we increased the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experiences on our trips by 300 per cent.
- We believe we can do more good by working with other like-minded companies. Last year, 21 per cent of our suppliers were social enterprises or not-for-profit organisations.
- We became a founding member of the Indigenous Tourism Collaborative of the Americas and signed the pledge to foster meaningful connections with Indigenous people. We also launched new trips in the United States to introduce travellers to more diverse and inclusive experiences.
- Along with other travel B Corps, we founded Travel by B Corp in the UK. It’s a collaboration between aligned but independent travel companies, which are all B Corp certified. It’s a good spot to start if you’re looking for sustainable tour options.
- Two of our tour leaders were shortlisted as some of the best in the business in 2021. Well done to Matty Dyas from the UK and Thilantha Abeysinghe from Sri Lanka! Each of was shortlisted as Tour Leader of the Year at the 2021 Wanderlust Awards.
- The Intrepid Foundation’s tree-planting campaign raised $16,670 for our Eden reforestation project in the Kijabe Forest in Kenya. This project aims to regenerate a once forested area while also creating employment opportunities for marginalized groups in the region.
- In 2021, we introduced our ethical marketing guidelines to make sure we support more diverse storytellers and voices in our business, and to help keep us accountable. You can get in touch with us, if you think we aren’t walking the talk. Drop us a line at email@example.com