UK: London-based luxury villa rental brand The Thinking Traveller has announced that it has received accreditation as a B Corp company this month, achieving a high-flying B Impact Assessment score of 83 [out of 200].
In doing so, the luxury brand, which is headquartered in London and Athens, joins a global community of 6,000+ B Corp companies that are reinventing business by pursuing purpose and profit. Each company that achieves the certification is dedicated to meeting and exceeding rigorous social and environmental standards, enhancing their business models, and demonstrating how tourism can be a force for good.
The assessment itself is measured across five focus areas: Governance; Workers; Community; Environment; and Customers.
At the end of 2022, The Thinking Traveller announced that it had consolidated its partnership with the Conservation Collective, a global network of environmental foundations with affiliates throughout the Mediterranean, while founding directors Rossella and Huw Beaugié, along with several of their villa owners, joined the steering committee of a new Sicily Environment Fund.
The Sicily Environment Fund offers financial and logistical support to local grassroots initiatives aimed at protecting Sicily’s environment, safeguarding its natural habitats, promoting ecological best practice, and mitigating the effects of climate change. The Thinking Traveller donates an undisclosed percentage of each booking made for its destinations in which the Conservation Collective is active.
As a travel company operating within the ethos of ecotourism, The Thinking Traveller invests in local economies, participates in conservation projects, and sponsors cultural events, while raising awareness among its clientele and promoting a sustainable, long-term approach to tourism.
The privately-owned villas rented out through The Thinking Traveller use locally sourced materials and the majority have solar panels for hot water and electricity and LED lighting [for an 80 per cent reduction in power usage], while staff live locally and ingredients used by the in-villa cooks are typically seasonal and locally produced.
Many of the properties in the specialist operator’s collection have some or all of the following ecological attributes:
- solar panels
- LED lighting
- double and triple glazing
- water filtration systems
- ecological air-conditioning systems
- refillable dispensers for bathroom products
- rainwater collection
- organic kitchen gardens, orchards, and olive groves
In order to become an even more responsible business, The Thinking Traveller is committing to a roadmap that includes:
- monitoring, and ultimately reducing, its carbon emissions per full-time employee
- working only with trusted, responsible, local suppliers
- investing in local grassroots projects aimed at protecting the environment, restoring natural habitats, and safeguarding against climate change in the areas it works in
- working in partnership to reduce the emissions it does not have control over
Rossella Beaugié, co-founder of The Thinking Traveller, said: “We consider this a validation of the operating principles and practices we have adhered to since 2002, which includes reinvesting in our local communities. A case in point is our integral role within the recently founded Sicily Environment Fund, a member of Conservation Collective.
“This is the start of a beautiful journey, and we will continue our efforts to get better at everything we do, for our people, our clients, our partners, and the planet,” she added.
Founded in 2002, The Thinking Traveller operates villa rental properties in Mediterranean destinations such as Sicily and Puglia, additional Greek islands, Corsica and the Minor Italian islands.
Last December, the firm also named former Corbin & King managing director Zuleika Fennell as its new CEO.
Meanwhile, independent holiday cottage rental agency Sykes Holiday Cottages achieved the same B Corp certification in May. The company’s environmental pledges included reducing its carbon emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050, working with at least 20 biodiversity projects throughout the year including its partnership with National Parks UK, and achieving Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Business accreditation by the end of 2024.