Adventure travel company Intrepid Group has become the world’s largest travel B Corp, joining a growing community of businesses looking beyond the bottom line.
In an era of “greenwashing,” Intrepid looked to a holistic and objective accreditation scheme to quantify its purpose-led business model. To become a certified B Corp, a company must submit to an independent assessment of its social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.
“B Corp certification tells our travellers about the people behind the brands and provides a mark of trust that we’re committed to being a business that benefits people and the planet,” said Intrepid Group CEO James Thornton (pictured).
The announcement coincided with the third anniversary of the company’s shareholder split from TUI, marking a significant achievement for the independently owned company that was bought back by the original founders of Intrepid Travel.
“Three years ago, the Intrepid Group returned to independent ownership because we no longer wanted to focus on delivering short-term quarterly profits. We wanted to invest in creating a business that would have long-term benefits for all our stakeholders,” said Thornton.
With global headquarters in Melbourne, Australia, Intrepid has more than 1,800 employees and delivered more than $341 million in revenue last year, making the independently owned company the largest travel company globally to have achieved B-Corp certification. In a rigorous audit, 23 companies in the Intrepid Group were assessed, which saw the group achieve an overall score of 82.7. Thornton said that B-Corp certification fills a gap in tourism industry certification schemes by providing an independent audit of the whole business.
The rigorous assessment process sets a high benchmark that highlighted opportunities for Intrepid Group to improve its benefits for workers and communities.