COUNTY WICKLOW, Ireland, Jan. 28, 2021– “When Irish hearts are happy, all the world seems bright …” And now thanks to one Emerald Isle travel company, the world becomes even brighter.
The award-winning Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland learned recently that it has achieved certification as a registered B Corporation, making it the only travel company in Ireland and only the fourth Irish company ever to achieve this recognition.
B Corporations (or B Corps) are a growing group of companies that are reinventing business by pursuing purpose as well as profit.
Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland has been certified by B Lab Europe as having met rigorous social and environmental standards that represent its commitment to goals outside of shareholder profit.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have achieved this certification. It is a great achievement by everyone on the team involved,” said Rob Rankin, founder/owner.
Rankin explained that despite the business being badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, “We felt it was vital to look to the future and commit to achieving B-Corp certification. Hearing this news in the middle of winter has been a massive boost to our team. This positive news will help us convey the message to our customers, past and future, that we are a good business to work with.”
He called applying for certification “a thorough, exacting and thought-provoking process. While we entered the process already on the right track, B Corp has inspired us to think hard about how we run all aspects of the business. We have made changes for the better, implemented new policies and procedures and changed our company constitution to ‘lock in’ these positive measures for the future. It’s a great honour to join so many illustrious names in this dynamic community, which committed to driving forward a more ethical and sustainable business model for the future. We look forward to spreading the word and encouraging others to follow suit.”
The process of achieving B Corp Certification recognizes the whole of a business and covers five key impact areas: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment and Customers. The certification process is rigorous, requiring an over-80 score and evidence of socially and environmentally responsible practices, including energy supplies, waste and water use, worker compensation, diversity and corporate transparency. To complete the certification, the company will legally embed their commitment to purpose beyond profit in their company articles.
Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland is now part of a community of over 2600+ businesses globally that have certified as B Corps. This community is reflective of the World economy with businesses from a cross section of industries and sizes. These include well-known brands like Patagonia, Alpro, Triodos Bank, Alessi, Ecoalf and Innocent.
Recent attention on the travel industry makes Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland’s B Corp Certification a notable step and signals a shift towards greater accountability and transparency in the travel sector.
Nathan Gilbert, Executive Director of B Lab Europe, says “We are delighted to welcome Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland to the B Corp Community. This is a movement of companies who are committed to changing how business operates, who believe business really can be a force for good. Their commitment to doing business differently will be an inspiration to others and really help spread the idea that we can redefine success in business to be as much about people and planet as it is about profit.”
Vagabond Small-Group Tours of Ireland offers two types of culturally immersive travel. Vagabond Adventure Tours are for active travellers who want to mix up hiking, kayaking and biking and other outdoor adventures with history, culture, dining and shopping. Driftwood Journeys of Discovery follow similar itineraries but at a more intimate and in-depth looking and lingering pace, sans the physical exertion.
About B Lab Europe
B Lab Europe is a non-profit established in 2014 to serve a growing community of European companies using business as a force for good. B Lab measures and verify companies’ environmental and social performance using the B Impact Assessment, and ensure rigorous standards are met by all European B Corps. Together with B Lab teams from around the world, they link a global network of socially and environmentally responsible businesses and promote positive, action-led change towards a new approach to business. See: https://bcorporation.eu/for-b-corps
About Vagabond Small-Group Tours of Ireland
Since 2002, Vagabond Adventure Tours has been creating opportunities for visitors to embrace Ireland by walking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking its lands and waters, imbibing history and culture along the way. In 2013, the company was honoured by National Geographic Traveler with a Top 50 Tour of a Lifetime distinction. In 2015 and 2017 Vagabond Small-Group Tours of Ireland was named the “Best Adventure Experience” at the Irish Tourism Awards. In 2017, Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification. In 2018, Vagabond Tours won The Green Tourism & Entertainment category in Ireland’s most prestigious Green (business) Awards. And in February 2019, the company won two top Irish Tourism Industry Awards for the Best Ireland Ancient East Tourism Experience and Best Environmental Tourism Innovation. And most recently, Vagabond founder Rob Rankin was appointed President of the Incoming Tour Operators Association of Ireland to help guide Irish tourism into the future.
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