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We have some exciting news to share – as of May 2023, we’re certified B Corp, along with our sister brand InsideAsia and parent company Inside Travel Group!
Since we started sharing the places and experiences we love over twenty years ago, having a positive impact on the communities we live and travel in has always been our priority. Becoming B Corp Certified shows we hold ourselves accountable to high standards, making sure we balance people, planet and profits.
The rigorous certification process took over two years and involved our entire business and all our international offices. It’s a globally recognized standard that encourages transparency, which means you can find what you need to know about a business that has been Certified B Corp. We will recertify every three years, which means that we’ll be continuously growing and improving.
As a B Corp, InsideJapan joins a global community of businesses that meet high standards of social and environmental impact. The B stands for Benefit for all, and the movement is designed to change our economic system to benefit everyone involved in businesses – workers, communities, customers, and the environment. B Corp leaders across industries include Patagonia, The Body Shop, and Ben and Jerry’s.
What is B Corp for travel?
The reality is that tourism accounts for around 8% of global carbon emissions – there is no such thing as guilt-free travel. If the travel experiences we have loved and shared with tens of thousands of people are going to be available for future generations, then change is needed. That’s what makes becoming B Corp Certified as a travel company so important.
Traveling with a B Corp makes for a better trip – you can experience deeper connections with the communities you visit, choose travel with positive environmental impacts, and know that the people working on your trip are well-supported which means you will be too.
We’re one of only a handful of travel companies at the time of certification, but we’re looking forward to seeing the B Corp movement take off in travel, because the stakes have never been higher.
What’s next for our sustainable travel journey?
Our initial certification score was 80.3, with a passing requirement of 80. For reference, the median score for ordinary businesses is 50.9, but we have a lot of room to grow and improve. Becoming Certified B Corp is just the beginning of the next stage of our journey, not the end.
Moving forward, we will continue developing more travel options that have a positive impact, encouraging our partners and other industry professionals to join the movement, and working to improve the quality of life of our staff.
B Corp has fundamentally changed how we operate, putting social and environmental impact at the forefront of not only what experiences we offer, but also our business decisions, hiring, and training.
What can you do to travel more sustainably in Japan?
If you’re inspired to join our efforts to make travel a force for good, choosing to travel B Corp is an easy way to start, and there are other small steps that anyone can take. It’s impossible to do everything all at once, but remember, every step, however small, is a help, and together we can take great strides! Here are some of our top tips:
- Travel longer on long-haul trips – At the moment, we can’t escape the carbon impact of long-haul plane travel, but it is possible to minimize the impact by taking longer less frequent trips to distant destinations. Not only does a longer trip mean lowering your impact, it also means more time for you to truly connect with the place you’re visiting. Here are some of our favourite longer trip itineraries:
- Treat the places you visit like your home and the people like your neighbors – As part of a global community, an easy rule of thumb is to behave abroad with the same respect and approach as you would at home. Consider staying at a traditional inn or a local cooking class to deepen your connections and feel confident that you’re supporting local people. Leave the places you visit in a state you’d like to come home to. You can meet some of our favorite people during these experiences:
- Ask questions and understand your trip – Don’t be afraid to speak up! Ask about the experiences you’ll participate in, the places you’ll be staying, and the people you’ll be meeting. If you’re interested in doing something but aren’t sure of its impact, we can help you understand. We offer travel options that have a positive impact on the community and environment. If something is missing from our offerings, it may be something we don’t recommend, and we can tell you why. Or we may not be aware of it – so it never hurts to ask! These are some examples of unique experiences we’ve done extensive research on and can recommend with confidence:
Finally, if you have comments, suggestions, questions for us about being a force for good in travel, please reach out! Travel has inherent social and environmental costs, and although we are always working to minimize the negative and increase positive impacts, there will always be more we can do. We’re thrilled to be taking this journey along with our travelers, and together we can go even farther to change the travel world for the better!