Why we became a B Corp

written by Intrepid Travel August 9, 2018
Hiker in New Zealand

Over the last three years, in between various adventures around the world, we’ve been on a slightly different journey. We’ve just become a certified B Corporation, making us the largest B Corp in the global travel industry.

Almost 30 years ago, our founders Darrell Wade and Geoff Manchester created a style of travel that gives back to the places and people we visit. We started offering carbon-offset trips. We were the first global tour operator to end elephant riding. And we’re currently advocating for the end of orphanage tourism in the travel industry.

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.


So what exactly *is* a B Corp, and why does it matter?

Two passengers on a bus in India

Photo by Ben McNamara

Good question!

Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.

In a nutshell? B Corps are a global movement of people using businesses as a force for good. We’re joining more than 2,500 B Corps in around 150 industries around the world, including Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, and Danone.

Now that we’ve got B Corp certification, our current (and future) travellers have a guarantee that we’re committed to benefitting people and the planet. Win/win.


Big call. How are you going to do that?

High-fiving on Everest Base camp

Photo by Patrick O’Neill

Well, we’ve already started making changes for good. We’ve recently introduced an extra three weeks of paid parental leave to all Intrepid staff; this might not seem like much, but this sort of staff benefit is huge news for new 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 homestays 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.


How will B Corp certification change the way I travel with Intrepid?

Female leader in Iran

Photo by Damien Raggatt

You’ll still have the same great small group experiences we’ve been running the past 30 years – nothing will change there (you might just notice the logo more!). But 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.

And 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.

Feature image by Damien Raggatt. 

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