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After nine years of operating guided adventures that give back to local communities around the globe, OneSeed Expeditions announced it has attained B Corp certification for meeting the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.
“We are proud to be part of a growing movement of companies that believe business can be a force for good, and we will build on that by becoming carbon neutral in 2020,” said company founder and CEO Chris Baker. Only 35 tourism-based companies now hold worldwide B Corp certification based on a rigorous review process.
Founded in 2011 with a mission to explore the world and invest in people, OneSeed Expeditions has always invested 10% of total revenue in microloans to entrepreneurs in regions where they travel. That cumulative investment currently tops $350,000 across 767 loans, with over 90% supporting women-owned businesses.
“We felt it was important, from day one, to ensure that travel dollars stay in local economies,” Baker said. Before founding OneSeed, Baker worked in Nepal where he helped monitor microloans in rural areas.
“I realized that international travelers were spending more in three days than the annual per capita income of a Nepali citizen. It just made sense to combine the two. Over the past eight years, our travelers’ investments have supported all kinds of businesses, from shopkeepers in Chile to social entrepreneurs in Tanzania.”
With a focus on balancing purpose and profit, B Corporations are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. Local and underrepresented ownership, environmental impact, and ethical practices are OneSeed priorities in selecting suppliers. The company emphasizes diversity in leadership roles, generous vacation for full-time staff, and comprehensive benefits. Local guides participate in a profit-sharing program amounting to 3.5% of total revenue.
One year ago, OneSeed received the Gold in “Best for Local Economic Benefit” at the World Responsible Tourism Awards in London. The recognition spurred discussions about how the company could better share its business model and expand its impact.
“Going through the B Corp certification process helped shape our goals for the coming year, especially when it comes to the environment,” Baker said. “With tourism accounting for 8% of all carbon emissions around the world, we felt it was critical to offset our carbon impact beginning this year.”
As the adventure travel operator continues to work towards a more inclusive and sustainable economy, their primary focus remains to provide travelers with life-changing experiences in some of the most remote corners of the world.
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