What is a B Corp™? Meet the travel operators becoming a force for good

What does it mean to be ‘certified B Corp™’? And who should we be looking out for when booking ethical trips?

4 mins

The B Corp™ movement is growing fast within the travel industry – where businesses are realising the increasing need to balance profits with looking after people and planet. So, what does it mean to be ‘certified B Corp™’? And who should we be looking out for when booking ethical trips? 

What is  B Corp™?

Awarded and led by B Lab, a not-for-profit organisation based in the USA with offices all over the world, the B Corp™ Certification is a notice to say that a business – in any sector – is meeting a high standard of performance in key areas, including employee conditions and benefits, accountability to all stakeholders, ethical supply lines and environmental consciousness.  

At the core of the B Corp™ mindset is transparency and accountability. B Corp™ operates around the principle that humanity is ‘interdependent with one and other, and the planet’ and that to make the world more environmentally and socially secure, businesses must consider ‘long term values over short term gain’. 

Once on the B Corp™ journey, B Lab business experts help companies to improve social and environmental impact through its own standards and tools. The process isn’t about focusing on one social or environmental factor, but rather to look at how the company can improve its operations in a holistic way. Points are awarded for good practice and companies can become B Corp™ certified when they pass B Lab criteria with a minimum threshold of 80 points. 

There are currently over 6,800 B Corp™ certified businesses, in over 90 countries and 161 industries worldwide. 

To gain B Corp™ certification, companies must: 


1. Demonstrate highsocial and environmentalperformance by achieving a B Impact Assessment score of 80 or above and passing our risk review. Multinational Corp™orations must also meet baseline requirement standards.


2. Make a legal commitment by changing their Corp™orate governance structure to be accountable to all stakeholders, not just shareholders, and achieve benefit Corp™oration status if available in their jurisdiction.  


3. Exhibit transparency by allowing information about their performance measured against B Lab’s standards to be publicly available on their B Corp™ profile on B Lab’s website. 

4 great B Corp™ certified travel operators who are making a difference

B Corp™ tour operators have responsible tourism ethics and want to improve further (Shutterstock)

B Corp™ tour operators have responsible tourism ethics and want to improve further (Shutterstock)

As more travel operators recognise the increasing need for better practice, some have committed to gaining B Corp™ Certification. Many of those companies were founded on responsible business ethics and want to commit to improving themselves further, while also driving change in responsible travel. Here are the companies making positive moves today… 

Much Better Adventures 

A company dedicated to local communities, Much Better Adventures work with 100% locally owned, independent businesses ensuring tourism leakage within their itineraries is kept to a minimum. As a result, travellers can be certain that $78 in every $100 spent will go back into the local economy. 

Aside from dedicating themselves to better ethics in the office, Much Better Adventures are not shying away from reducing emissions either. While its current itineraries tend to be relatively low impact by nature (through camping, hiking, kayaking and mountain hut stays), the company have committed to a trip-by-trip analysis of its carbon footprint, so it can work with local hosts to identify how to reduce carbon emissions even further. Currently the company works to measuring and reducing its impact by being held publicly accountable for its actions. An annual report allows clients and the travel industry to follow its progress.  

Intrepid Travel

A certified Corporation™ since 2018, Intrepid Travel’s changes within company policies, including measuring financial, social and environmental impact, reviewing and updating suppliers and improving gender balance, has led to an improvement in the B Corp™ score over the years. 

Meanwhile, the Intrepid ethos for small group tours with maximum community collusion and inclusion ensures responsible travel practices are at the core of their word. Importantly, Intrepid Travel acknowledge that offsetting traveller carbon emissions isn’t enough, which is why it has actively reduced emissions by eliminating short-haul flights from its top 50 itineraries, replacing them with bus and train transportation. 

Byway Travel

Flight-free travel experts, Byway, are a UK based company who are on a mission to make overland travel mainstream. With a goal to help travellers enjoy their journey just as much as the final destination, Byway has made reaching all parts of Europe manageable by train, boat and bus. 

As well as practising good business internally among its small team, Byway aims to draw tourists away from busy hubs that might be feeling the strain of mass tourism. Instead, travelling overland allows travellers to see the lesser visited places in between stops, boosting local economies, aiding environmental regeneration and serving more local communities

Experience Travel Group 

Asia specialists, Experience Travel Group (ETG) have long promoted community-based tourism as a part of their travel strategy. ETG’s Give Back experiences, for example, partner with local projects in countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand – to bring much-needed funds to vulnerable communities. The operator also supports local social enterprise restaurants to train and employ young people in the food and beverage industry. 

Since becoming B Corp™ certified in 2022, ETG has committed to lowering emissions and further employee empowerment within its own team, while also dedicating itself to its in-field staff, who make the business a success. On the environmental front, the company has signed the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action In Tourism, publicly committing to measuring, reporting and lowering carbon emissions in the office and throughout the business. 

Find out more about B Corp 

Related Articles