We’re proud to announce our B Corp certification. It’s not just another label, but a prestigious designation proving our commitment to the environment, our employees, the communities we travel to, and to you as our clients. We sat down with Heather Magnussen, Audley’s responsible travel and sustainability manager, to learn about what it takes to earn B Corp certification and what it means for your experience as an Audley client.
Q: What is a B Corp?
A: It’s a company that’s thinking about its influence on the world and is committed to mitigating any potential negative impacts and increasing positive impacts. B Corps reimagine a different way of doing business — instead of being focused solely on shareholders and the bottom line, B Corps are a force for good, looking out for the welfare of all stakeholders, including clients, employees, the local community, and the world at large. We’re proud to join the ranks of more than 6,000 B Corp companies that are seeking to be the change they wish to see in the world.
Q: what did it take to get certified?
A: We were in a unique position in that we didn't actually have to change the way we're doing business in order to become a B Corp. Audley’s style of tailor-made travel is authentic, thoughtful, and focused on building meaningful connections to the places you visit. And we’ve worked hard to make sure it’s also respectful of the destinations we love to visit. Since we started carbon offsetting all our staff flights in 2007, we've stayed on top of wider sustainable travel company practices — from developing animal welfare policies to reviewing the carbon impact of our experiences — to make sure our footprint remains as light as possible.
B Corp certification is run by the non-profit organization B Lab, which creates policies and programs that help businesses balance profit with purpose. The certification process is incredibly thorough with stringent requirements. We were scored on many different aspects, including corporate governance and how transparently our business is run, how we take care of our employees, how we look out for the community, and how we look after the environment. Being a B Corp also encourages us to always keep improving and doing better for every person and place that we encounter.
Q: What are some of the ways Audley looks out for the environment?
A: All our offices (Witney and London in the UK, and Boston in the US) have composting and recycling programs in place, and we installed low flow adapters to conserve water. All three offices also operate under renewable energy contracts, and the Witney office has solar panels on the roof. That means up to 49 per cent of our energy use comes from renewable sources.
As a travel company, of course we have to think about carbon emissions — 100% of our scope 1 and 2 emissions as a business are offset, and we offer our clients the opportunity to offset their flight arrangements.
We also need to think about the communities we visit, including protecting biodiversity and animals. We’ve worked with the animal welfare experts at ANIMONDIAL to create an Animal Welfare Policy to help mitigate any detrimental effects on the welfare of working, captive, or wild animals.
Q: How do you take care of communities near and far?
A: Responsible travel means giving back to the community. Our Audley Travel for Good Fund was created to support charities around the world. Audley clients and employees can make donations to ten Audley-backed charities that support the destinations we travel to. Our employees are also encouraged to help the local communities where they live, and they receive a fully paid volunteer day each year to do just that. In 2022, 57% of Audley employees volunteered 2,388 hours as a company, which is a collective 100 full days of community aid.
We’re also doing work to highlight experiences and stays that have the biggest positive impact on their local communities, so we can inspire our clients to use their trips as a force for good, too.
Q: What does a B Corp Certification mean to our clients?
A: You can be confident we’re doing our part to take care of the world as we travel through it, and by extension, so can you when you plan a trip with us. To me, an important benefit of this is that trips which have a positive impact on the people and places you visit also offer the most authentic and interesting experiences. Rather than just visiting a place, you’ll build meaningful connections you’ll remember long after you’ve returned home.
To increase our ripple effect, we also provide tips on how to travel more sustainably, taking into account the places you’re visiting and the cultures you’re interacting with. As one example, we encourage you to shop locally to put money back into local communities.
Transparency is also key to being a B Corp, and we publicly report on our social and environmental performance every year through our Responsible Travel and Sustainability Report so you can see our exact progress on becoming more sustainable.
Finally, because we’re committed to providing our employees with a range of benefits, including living wages, sabbatical leave, and healthcare coverage — going above and beyond to provide supplementary health benefits, like private dental insurance — you can rest assured that the Audley team members taking such excellent care in crafting your ideal trip are being well cared for themselves.
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