Intrepid Group is celebrating their three year anniversary of becoming an independent company by announcing their newly achieved B Corp status!
If you’re scratching your head right now asking yourself what a B Corp is, like we were upon receiving this news, we promise it has nothing to do with actual bees.
But beyond that, we hadn’t the foggiest idea what the certification represented. So we asked Intrepid Group CEO James Thornton to clear it up for us.
“When we became an independent business again three years ago we wanted to try and find a holistic and objective accreditation scheme that would quantify out purpose-led business model,” he said.
Thornton told us B Corp is to business what fair trade is to coffee. Essentially, for-profit businesses approach B Lab for accreditation.
“To become an accredited B corporation, companies have to meet really rigorous standards of social and environmental performance,” Thornton said.
“They have to be really accountable and they have to be really transparent on everything that they do.”
“And so really becoming an accredited B Corp distinguishes brands that have good products versus those that also have a business that is a force for good and that makes a material difference in the world.”
While it’s easy to measure whether your business is growing, it’s very hard to measure whether your business is purpose led or not. With this in mind, Intrepid decided to seek out a form of independent accreditation to would prove they were truly putting their money where their mouth was.
“I think what attracted us was the really rigorous process we had to go through,” said Thornton.
“Every one of our 23 companies around the world has had to go through the accreditation process and it’s taken us three years to do it, it’s something that we started back in 2015.”
Which, coincidentally, is around the same time the company’s shareholder split from TUI and was bought back by its original founders to become an independently-owned company.
“We would never have been able to do this certification in our previous ownership structure because [it] was focused primarily on short-term profitability,” Thornton told us.
“B Corp certification takes much more of a long-term view to benefit all stakeholders not just shareholders so our independent ownership allows us to create a business that has long-term benefits for all of our stakeholders.
“That includes our customers, our staff, communities and the environment through which we operate.”
But achieving the accreditation was no easy feat, Intrepid had to make a range of major changes before they could be eligible, including a parental care scheme to provide paternity and maternity payments to parents, the release of an annual integrated report to prove their transparency, and their new gender diversity goals.
“We’ve always had a majority of our staff being female but at a management level, a majority of our managers were male,” Thornton said.
“So now we have a 50/50 global commitment for our senior global leadership team.”
Overall, Thornton said this certification will distinguish Intrepid from the pack as a company that doesn’t just talk the talk.
“There is lots of greenwashing out in the industry and this really does prove the difference between some companies doing marketing and others like ourselves which are good businesses that are a real force for good,” he said.