Embracing Sustainable Travel: Our B-Corp Journey

We are elated to announce that we’ve achieved B-Corp certification, a testament to our unwavering commitment to combining purpose with profit. Securing this certification further reinforces our dedication to sustainability and responsible tourism, reflecting our vision of making a difference while journeying through the world.

Since September 2023, we have become a certified B-Corporation

What is a B-Corp?

A B-Corp, or Benefit Corporation, is a type of for-profit business entity that is committed to creating positive impacts on society, workers, the community, and the environment, in addition to generating profit. B-Corps differ from traditional corporations in their purpose, accountability, and transparency. Instead of focusing solely on profit, they balance purpose and profit, ensuring that they consider the impact of their decisions on all stakeholders, not just shareholders.

The B-Corp certification is conferred by the non-profit organisation, B Lab. Companies that want to achieve this certification need to meet rigorous social and environmental performance standards. It’s not just about the product or service the company delivers, but about the company’s behind-the-scenes operations and practices, how it treats its employees, its social impact, and its environmental footprint.

Our Journey: From Humble Beginnings to Sustainable Explorations

People Walking the Camino in spring

Since our inception in 2007 as a travel operator, we’ve been fueled by curiosity to explore the world’s landscapes, savor its rich gastronomies, and immerse ourselves in diverse cultures. Our specialty? Walking holidays. These treks have taken us to some truly enchanting spots, many of which remain untouched by the bustle of mass tourism.

As we travel these paths, we often find ourselves in localities rarely visited by the everyday tourist. These detours allow us to indulge in authentic experiences, whether it’s sharing heartfelt moments with the locals or delving into micro traditions unique to each area.

Our affinity for nature, genuine human connections, and a preference for the road less traveled isn’t just about the experience; it’s a reflection of who we are. Beyond exploring, we’ve always endeavored to align our business with our values. Every step of our journey, quite literally and figuratively, is taken with a clear intention: to ensure our livelihood without compromising how we view and interact with the world. Our commitment is to travel with purpose, tread lightly, and treasure each moment along the way.

Why We Chose the B-Corp Path

In our ongoing quest to be a sustainable business, we’ve experimented with various initiatives. Admittedly, as a SME, navigating the vast realm of sustainable business practices hasn’t always been straightforward. Our journey has seen its fair share of triumphs and lessons learned, mainly due to limited access to comprehensive expertise, knowledge, and resources.

Enter the B-Corp certification. The B-Corp assessment process is thorough, influential, and fair and has helped us to put these things we were already doing, as well as put in place other good practices throughout the running of our business which gives us a sense of structure, unity, and purposefulness. Through B-Corp, we’ve found more than just a certification; we’ve discovered a structured framework that reinforces our unity and amplifies our purpose. What resonates with us deeply is how the B-Corp ethos truly appreciates and acknowledges our actions, simplifying our endeavors into a unified vision. This commitment is not just about accolades; it’s about being part of a global movement that values genuine, impactful actions over mere intent.

A Score to Be Proud Of: 89.1

We’re immensely proud to announce our B-Corp score of 89.1. Achieving this score is a significant milestone, reflecting our continuous efforts to go beyond the norm, pushing boundaries, and striving for excellence in our industry. B Corp certifies companies that score 80 or above to their thorough B Impact Assessment. This recognition inspires us to keep evolving, to challenge ourselves further, and to set even loftier benchmarks for the future.

The Road Ahead: A Glimpse into 2024

The future is brimming with opportunities and challenges. Our 2024 vision is bold: from championing water conservation through shower consumption reduction initiatives to slashing single-use plastics on the Camino with innovative drinking water refill stations. We’re not just stopping at making plans; we’re actively gauging the impact of our initiatives, ensuring we’re making real, measurable differences.

But with ambitious goals come formidable challenges. Collaborations with local authorities, onboarding the right suppliers, and addressing potential backlashes from traditional water distributors are tasks we’re gearing up for. And as we look a little further, between 2025 and 2028, we envision a sustainable luggage transfer solution using E-Vehicles, further minimising our carbon footprint.

Our commitment to sustainability is unwavering. Every step we take, no matter how small, is a stride towards a more sustainable future – for us, our traveler’s, and the generations to come.

Climate Change and Our Responsibility: A Transparent Reflection

We are aware that some people to date still doubt recent climate change is caused by human activity and mainly the burning of Fossil fuel and its subsequent CO2 emission into the atmosphere. While we respect people having their opinions, we – at Follow The Camino – do believe in human activity being the source of recent and future climate change and its degradation.

We are also aware that our economic activity contributes directly to the problem and that we, for now, do not see any other alternative to make a living. But we will not give up and selfishly, ignore the issue. Instead, without being ideological about the issue, we have decided to try to do something. Actually no, we have decided to do something.

We all, too, feel that changing is too hard. We also wonder about what is the point to switch the light off. At this stage we believe that everything counts and that every little to big action we are taking will participate to the crystallisation and that it will help us at a global level make people feel more okay with changing. It will bind all of these actions small and big to build a solid structure that will attenuate the effects of climate change on us and future generations.

Our actions are varied and fluid

They involve direct impact activities such as the compensation of our operations and our clients’ trips carbon footprint. They also involve actual work, prospecting, meeting to help group actions across our industry and help take collective actions in that sense. All of this has a non-nil cost – we avoid green washing and double, triple check most things to make sure that these actions are taken in good faith and the actions and activities most impactful. There is no greenwashing here. We treat our sustainability with the same efficiency mindset and Cost Vs Benefit analysis in mind. This is included in the price of your holiday with us and managed very tightly.

We are by the way open to suggestions on how we can help meet the Paris Agreement Objectives. Please feel free to give us some constructive feedback and suggestions.

The easy critics might question our sincerity in the matter. Besides the classic “carbon offsetting” activities with more or less success, our action has started in 2018 to source a site in Ireland to run a carbon offset project. We have been involved directly and have learned from various experiences, contact with experts and are using our experience to continue doing business with sense.

The cost of inaction is much lower in the short term than taking actions

Our aim is not to be marginalised but rather apply best practices to our actions and become a leader at our level for what we do. Our stamina, enthusiasm for the subject if funnelled through our business mindset to gain best return on investment. Not just for us but globally. Being part of the B-Corp movement make us part of that movement that care about our future, your future and the future of the generations that will follow us.

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