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Intrepid Group and Intrepid Travel are incredibly proud to announce that we’ve been named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies in 2019 according to Fast Company.

The list ranks the businesses that are making the most profound impact on both industry and culture in today’s world. According to Fast Company, Intrepid Group, and our flagship brand Intrepid Travel, was named number 4 on the list of the 10 Most Innovative Companies in the travel sector for letting people travel with a light footprint and a positive impact.

As the world’s largest adventure travel company and the world’s largest travel B Corp, we’re honoured to have made the list. Here are some of the ways we continue to innovate and lead the industry in sustainable and responsible travel.

5. Eliminating our carbon footprint

world’s most innovative companies in 2019 carbon neutral

Intrepid Travel is proud to be a carbon neutral travel company

As a travel company, we know it’s our responsibility to help protect the planet that we use and enjoy every day. That’s why we made a commitment to minimize our environmental impact by measuring and offsetting the carbon emissions of our trips and our offices worldwide. Intrepid has been completely carbon neutral since 2010, and in those nine years, we’ve offset over 290,000 tonnes of carbon emissions by investing in renewable energy projects all over the world.

RELATED READ: THIS IS HOW INTREPID OFFSETS YOUR TRIP

4. Leading with purpose

world’s most innovative companies in 2019 CPO Leigh Barnes

Chief Purpose Officer, Leigh Barnes

In 2017, Intrepid Group added two new senior executive roles to our global leadership team:  Chief Purpose Office (CPO) Leigh Barnes and Chief Growth Officer (CGO) Michael Edwards, who work in concert to sustain growth in both purpose and profit. Barnes works closely with Intrepid Group’s non-profit brand, The Intrepid Foundation, to give back to local communities we visit and has been instrumental in helping us achieve certified B Corp status. These two roles were created to continue to achieve Intrepid’s philosophy of helping the people and the planet through travel and to help create a new industry standard of purpose beyond profit.

READ MORE: WHY WE BECAME A B CORP

3. Banning elephant rides

world’s most innovative companies in 2019 elephant sanctuary

Friends of the Asian Elephant, elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai

As a business that is committed to responsible travel, we have always advocated against participating in activities that exploit animals. That’s why we embarked upon a research project with World Animal Protection to investigate the ethics of elephant riding. This project revealed that even if the elephants are born in captivity, the practice of “breaking” them to accept human control is exceptionally cruel. So in 2014, we became the first global tour operator to ban elephant rides on all our trips. Although this decision was controversial at the time, many tour operators have followed suit in recent years and local operators have been encouraged to lift their standards of animal welfare.

RELATED READ: THIS IS WHY WE NO LONGER RIDE ELEPHANTS

2. Curbing over-tourism

world’s most innovative companies in 2019 uzbekistan

Travellers exploring the Mir-i-Arab Medressa in Uzbekistan

In recent years, over-tourism – the negative impacts of too many people visiting a destination on both the local environment and the local residents – has been a major concern for travel companies. Intrepid works to manage over-tourism by creating balanced itineraries that visit the highlights people expect to see on our trips and as well as more off-the-beaten path destinations that allow travellers to see a destination in a new but totally authentic way. What’s more, we’re expanding tourism in destinations that were previously less frequented by tourists, like Moldova, Sumatra and Uzbekistan, positively impacting their economies and expanding the possibilities of travel destinations in the minds of tourists everywhere.

READ MORE: 10 WAYS TO BE A RESPONSIBLE TRAVELLER

1. Becoming a B Corp

world’s most innovative companies in 2019 B Corp

Becoming a B Corp was our official pledge to use travel as a force for good

In June of 2018, we completed the rigorous three-year certification process of becoming a B Corp, joining the ranks of companies – like Patagonia and Ben & Jerry’s – using business as a force for good. We’ve always designed trips that favoured a style of travel that gives back to the people and places we visit, but this accreditation certifies that our tours meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to benefit people and the planet.

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