Done right, travel can make a big and positive difference in the world. But it can also have negative repercussions. Modern Adventure's CEO and founder Luis Vargas writes about why Modern Adventure is becoming a certified B Corp – and why the whole travel industry should, too.
Travel has truly transformed me and in 20 years in the industry, working across all seven continents, I’ve seen what travel can do to help and protect the places we visit, but also how it can hurt or even destroy them. And the stakes are only getting higher.
Over the next decade, the volume of global travelers is expected to rise to 1.7 billion a year, a nearly 60% bump up from 2014. This represents tremendous opportunity – but also a real threat. The shadow of “over tourism” and travel that extracts natural and cultural resources grows taller and darker. The goal is that the places we visit – and live – are protected and flourishing for future generations, too. That’s why we’ve launched Modern Adventure. To show how travel can be a force for good. And we strive to make this more than feel good messaging, and that it’s aligned and supported by every part of our business. Fortunately we have support to make this actionable and measurable.
Started in 2007, B Corps, or Certified B(enefit) Corporations, is now a community of over 2600 companies around the world that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
An independent council scores applicant businesses on three factors: how a company treats its workers, how they control environmental impact and how they work with underserved communities. Active members include Patagonia, Warby Parker, New Belgium Brewing, Etsy and hundreds more. To put it simply, B Corps is a global community of companies and people committed to using business as a force for good.
A few weeks ago, we received B Corp pending status (for businesses under a year old, as we are). We are very proud of this accomplishment and are excited for full certification status in the coming months. We wear this as a badge of honor.
Being a startup in its first year is a fun and wild and hectic experience, with a priority list that’s always competing and urgent. Amidst this tension, we decided getting certified as a B Corp was non-negotiable.
So we offer staff a thoughtful benefits package, paid leave to support causes aligning with our mission, carbon offsetting for all business travel, and being rigorous around whom we work with in each of our destinations to ensure that as much money as possible flows into the local communities we visit. Every aspect of what Modern Adventure does is optimized for both business outcomes and to benefit the people we work with, the places we visit, and the planet itself. B Corps offers the framework to ensure businesses can affect meaningful change. As Kris Linn Bronner of Dr Bronner’s famously noted, “If governments won’t do it, businesses can.”
We absolutely agree and know our work is just beginning. How we travel and do business matters and we hope you can join us on this journey.