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Why Business for Good is Good for Your Business

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Lorin Augeri

One of the essential functions of the Certified B Corporation community is helping to create an inclusive and regenerative economy. B Corp businesses pride themselves on the kind of forward-thinking leadership and initiatives that create actual positive change for all stakeholders involved. Legacy Vacation Resorts, which became certified in March 2019, understands the need for creating a shared prosperity to ensure a better future for people and the planet. The company has implemented numerous programs to help foster this type of economy and has plans for even more projects in the future.

Legacy Vacation Resorts (LVR) is a hospitality company based in Orlando, Florida, with eight locations across four states that provide resort hotel and timeshare accommodations. Co-Founder and Chairman Jared Meyers was inspired by the B Corp movement and found it essential to align his personal values of conscious capitalism and sustainability with that of his business.

While Meyers felt that small and simple eco-friendly initiatives were a good first step, he desired to go beyond that and implement lasting positive impact.

The company was doing a wonderful job at delivering on its mission to provide quality vacation experiences for families and friends alike, and felt that the new initiatives as part of its B Corp certification would give travelers additional reasons to want to stay at LVR as well as attract a new kind of customer that shares the B Corp values.


Legacy Vacation Resorts is part of the community of businesses that have used a third-party verification of their impact. Use the free B Impact Assessment to evaluate your company’s impact on all stakeholders, including the environment, your workers, your community and your customers.


As part of its care for the environment, LVR provides a carbon offsetting program for guests who book direct via the website. The B Corp calculates a standard of the footprint from a guest’s stay, then donates to organizations that help combat climate change to counteract that impact. Each of the properties also provides a robust recycling program, complimentary electric vehicle chargers, energy-efficient fixtures and appliances, as well as water management systems to help reduce water consumption and waste.

As part of its commitment to employees and community as stakeholders, LVR implemented a living wage program — a $300,000 additional annual expenditure — and PTO for employees in pursuit of volunteerism activities.

The company also seeks to support a circular economy by utilizing products and services from local and B Corp suppliers and vendors whenever possible. Not only does this contribute to a healthier local economy, but it educates guests about voting every day with their dollars for responsible and conscious products. LVR also launched an annual scholarship program to provide three scholarships to employees or their dependents, and offers an energy rebate program at the corporate headquarters in Orlando so employees can purchase LED lights at company cost to help reduce their carbon footprint at home. Employees also have a selection of socially responsible investing options available within their retirement plans.

Another well-received initiative is the employee Income Advance program. Available for LVR employees in good standing (generally with a tenure of one year or greater), this program offers bank assistance by providing loaned funds of $500 to $2,500 for emergency expenditures. Loans are repaid via automatic payroll deductions, thus building the borrower’s credit score. Once the loan is paid off, the payroll deduction is continued and rolled into a savings account.

This program helps employees avoid predatory lending to take care of emergency financial needs, and builds credit and savings, financial literacy and financial stability.

LVR is excited to see how its new initiatives contribute to a shared and durable prosperity but continues to look to the future and ways it can further its B Corp mission. As part of the pursuit of that goal, LVR co-founded the Florida for Good movement to help create a better world by combining the power of business with accountability, transparency, and a stakeholder orientation. Florida for Good funds free resources, an online business directory and events to facilitate the spread of conscious business and growth of the B Corp community in Florida and beyond.

Ultimately, LVR hopes to be an inspiration to other companies in the hospitality industry and beyond as an example that business for good can indeed be good for your business.


B the Change gathers and shares the voices from within the movement of people using business as a force for good and the community of Certified B Corporations. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the nonprofit B Lab.

Legacy Vacation Resorts Among the First Hotel Companies To Become a Certified B Corporation

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Legacy Vacation Resorts - Certified B Corporation

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.—Florida-based Legacy Vacation Resorts (LVR) recently achieved Certified B Corporation status, becoming the first multi-state hotel and vacation ownership company in the country with the designation. Administered by the non-profit B Lab, Certified B Corporations are businesses that voluntarily meet standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose through third-party review.

The certification for LVR comes on the heels of a year-long process to align every aspect of the company with B Lab’s requirements. In that time, LVR has introduced multiple efforts towards a more sustainable business model, including carbon footprint offsetting, waste reduction and enhanced recycling efforts, sustainable lifestyle awareness campaigns, green-focused renovation projects, and a living wage initiative for employees in its eight locations across four states.

LVR guests can offset 100 percent of the carbon footprint from their stay when booking directly through the resort. In addition, the company offers an option for guests to donate 5 percent of their reservation to a charity of their choice. LVR has also partnered with Clean the World, another Certified B Corp, that recycles and repurposes used hygiene products for communities around the globe. The company is also undergoing green renovations by using eco-friendly materials and Energy Star appliances and fixtures. In addition, each property has electric vehicle chargers, further encouraging the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Internally, LVR is encouraging employees to make sustainable choices in their daily lives, making a commitment to spend $300,000 annually on raises to ensure each employee is paid a living wage and offering opportunities to receive paid time off in pursuit of volunteer activities as part of their “Day of Hope” campaign launched in 2018.

“With these various internal changes, partnerships, and our B Corp certification, I sincerely believe we will experience company growth, as well as an additional type of traveler at our properties,” said Jared Meyers, co-owner of Legacy Vacation Resorts. “These new travelers will share our values and place importance on social responsibility, environmental responsibility, and sustainable travel when it comes to selecting their accommodations. I am looking forward to the relaunch of the brand and the many ways in which the company will contribute to the greater good for years to come.”

Certified B Corporations, or Certified B Corps, use profits and growth as a means to achieve positive impact for their employees, communities, and the environment. To secure the designation, Certified B Corps must achieve a minimum verified score on the B Impact Assessment—an appraisal of a company’s impact on its workers, customers, community, and environment—that will ultimately be made public on their website for transparency. The certification amends legal governing documents for the business, committing ownership to consider stakeholder impact and the balance of profit and purpose for the long term.

“At the start of this journey, I simply began researching ways that I could utilize my resources and abilities to improve society. Through that process, I learned of others directing the prosperity of their businesses towards the greater good,” Meyers explained. “The most credible businesses doing so were Certified B Corporations. They stood out to me because of their wholistic view of the business, the rigorous verification of business practices, and their values aligned with mine.”

Hoping to inspire other organizations to follow a similar path, Meyers co-founded the Florida for Good movement, which funds free resources and events to facilitate the spread of business for good and Certified B Corps. Since its inception, LVR has donated more than $50,000 to the group’s charitable endeavors. As part of their missions, LVR and Florida for Good encourage companies to take the free impact assessment so they can learn how they measure up against other businesses and learn about the areas in which they can most improve.

Other U.S. hotel companies with B Corp certification include Washington-based Adrift Hotels SPC; New Mexico’s Taos Ski Valley mountain resort; Washington-based Sleeping Lady Resort; and Yosemite’s Evergreen Lodge.

Legacy Vacation Resorts All In with Business for Good Approach

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In March, Orlando, Fla.-based Legacy Vacation Resorts (LVR) announced that it had officially achieved Certified B Corporation status. Clean the World, also in Orlando, is another organization that has achieved the B Corporation designation. If you do a search on Hospitality on the B Corporation site, you will find just 15 businesses listed. Among them: Taos Ski Valley, Inc., Qbic Hotels, and the Sleeping Lady Resort. Other hospitality-related businesses can be found under other categories such as Catering & Meeting/Event Management and Travel & Leisure. There are currently more than 2,500 Certified B Corporations in more than 50 countries. One of the most well-known companies: Patagonia, Inc.

This past week I had an opportunity to meet with Jared Meyers, Co-Owner of LVR. Jared is very passionate about the Certified B Corporation program and is doing everything he can to spread the word about it. Jared co-founded the Florida for Good movement, which funds free resources and events to facilitate the spread of business for good and the Certified B Corporation program. Since its inception, LVR has donated more than $50,000 to Florida for Good’s charitable endeavors, with Meyers also dedicating a significant amount of his personal time and income to its growth.

“B Corporation looks at the entire business and how it treats the environment, community, employees and governance,” Meyers says. Participants first complete the free B Impact Assessment. While using the Assessment, one can set goals for improvement, compare one’s performance to similar companies, and learn best practices pulled straight from the Certified B Corp community. The assessment is evaluated by B Lab. Participants are asked to supply supporting documentation. As one example, Meyers says LVR had to submit proof, by county, that it pays its employees a living wage.

A Reasonable Annual Fee

Once the Assessment and supporting documentation is validated (a minimum score must be met), a business can become a B Corporation. There is a reasonable annual fee scaled to the size of the business. Fees start at $500 a year. Companies with more than $1 billion in annual sales will pay $50,000 or more. Participants must recertify every three years. There is no initial onsite audit, but one can occur over time. Representatives of B Corporations gather annually at a Champions Retreat. There are also regional gatherings.

In addition to its Certified B Corporation Status, LVR is a member of 1% for the Planet and donates 1 percent of sales to charitable causes. LVR also offsets the carbon footprint of the stay of each guest who books through the LVR website. LVR offers an option for guests to donate 5 percent of their reservation to a charity of their choice and has a goal of reducing its carbon emissions by 25 percent by 2025. The company is doing that through retrofits as it renovates its properties—LED lighting, water-saving fixtures, insulation, occupancy sensors and more. The company is also a partner of Conscious Capitalism International, an organization that maintains a philosophy based on a simple idea that when practiced consciously, business innately elevates humanity.

“With these various internal changes, partnerships and our B Corp certification, I sincerely believe we will experience company growth, as well as an additional type of traveler at our properties,” said Meyers in a press release announcing the B Corp certification. “These new travelers will share our values and place importance on social responsibility, environmental responsibility and sustainable travel when it comes to selecting their accommodations. I am looking forward to the relaunch of the brand and the many ways in which the company will contribute to the greater good for years to come.”

Legacy Vacation Resorts becomes first B corporation certified multi-state hospitality company in the US

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA – Florida-based Legacy Vacation Resorts (LVR) has officially achieved Certified B Corporation Status, becoming the first multi-state hotel and vacation ownership company in the country to secure the prestigious designation. Administered by the non-profit, B Lab, Certified B Corporations are businesses that voluntarily meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose through third-party review. The certification for LVR comes on the heels of a year-long process to align every aspect of the company with B Lab’s requirements. In that time, LVR has introduced multiple efforts towards a more sustainable business model, including carbon footprint offsetting, waste reduction and enhanced recycling efforts, sustainable lifestyle awareness campaigns, green-focused renovation projects and a living wage initiative for employees in its eight locations across four states.

Certified B Corporations, or ‘Certified B Corps’ are accelerating a global culture shift by building a more inclusive and sustainable economy through a redefinition of success in business. Certified B Corps use profits and growth as a means to achieve positive impact for their employees, communities, and the environment. In order to secure the designation, Certified B Corps must achieve a minimum verified score on the B Impact Assessment, a rigorous appraisal of a company’s impact on its workers, customers, community, and environment, that will ultimately be made public on their website for complete transparency. Furthermore, the certification does not simply prove where a company currently excels, but actually amends legal governing documents for the business, committing ownership to consider stakeholder impact and the balance of profit and purpose for the long term.

“At the start of this journey, I simply began researching ways that I could utilize my resources and abilities to improve society. Through that process, I learned of others directing the prosperity of their businesses towards the greater good,” said Jared Meyers, Co-Owner of Legacy Vacation Resorts. “The most credible businesses doing so were Certified B Corporations. They stood out to me because of their wholistic view of the business, the rigorous verification of business practices, and their values aligned with mine. I am beyond excited to be part of the team that achieved this distinguished certification for Legacy Vacation Resorts.” 

Hoping to inspire other organizations to follow a similar path, Meyers co-founded the Florida for Good movement, which funds free resources and events to facilitate the spread of business for good and Certified B Corps. Since its inception, LVR has donated more than $50,000 to the group’s charitable endeavors, with Meyers also dedicating a significant amount of his personal time and income to its growth. As part of their missions, LVR and Florida for Good encourage companies to take the free impact assessment so they can learn how they measure up against other businesses and learn about the areas in which they can most improve.

Each of the new initiatives introduced as part of the certification process led to the debut of a shift for LVR toward a more sustainable legacy. As part of these efforts, travelers can now offset 100% of the carbon footprint from their stay when booking directly through the resort. In addition, the company offers an option for guests to donate 5% of their reservation to a charity of their choice. Furthermore, they have forged a partnership with Clean the World, another Certified B Corp, that recycles their used hygiene products and repurposes them back to vulnerable communities around the globe. They are also working on their existing buildings to create green renovations by utilizing eco-friendly materials and energy star appliances and fixtures, and they supply electric vehicle chargers at each property, further encouraging the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Internally, they are creating a culture of sustainability with employees by encouraging them to make sustainable choices in their daily lives, making a commitment to spend $300,000 annually on raises to ensure each employee is paid a living wage and offering opportunities to receive paid time off in pursuit of volunteer activities as part of their “Day of Hope” campaign launched in 2018.

“This brand relaunch showcases our commitment to a more sustainable future,” said Tony Picciano President & Chief Operating Officer. “We are so pleased to have been officially awarded our B CorpTM Certification and look forward to the continued implementation of sustainability efforts throughout each of our properties. Our mission at Legacy Vacation Resorts is to help families and friends create unique and lasting memories on their travels in a way that is respectful to the environment, employees and the communities where they are found, and we feel that we will now be able to deliver on that mission better than ever before.”

In addition to becoming a Certified B Corporation, LVR is the only multi-state hotel company to be a member of 1% For The Planet, a network of more than 1,500 member businesses, numerous individuals, and thousands of nonprofit partners in more than 40 countries. The organization is fostering a global movement, inspiring businesses to support environmental solutions by making a simple commitment to donate 1% of their revenue sales to various charities working in one of six core focus areas including climate, food, land, pollution, water, and wildlife. The company is also a proud partner of Conscious Capitalism International, an organization that maintains a philosophy based on a simple idea that when practiced consciously, business innately elevates humanity.

“With these various internal changes, partnerships and our B CorpTM certification, I sincerely believe we will experience company growth, as well as an additional type of traveler at our properties,” said Meyers. “These new travelers will share our values and place importance on social responsibility, environmental responsibility and sustainable travel when it comes to selecting their accommodations. I am looking forward to the relaunch of the brand and the many ways in which the company will contribute to the greater good for years to come.”

Conscious Capitalism aims to expand in Tampa Bay

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A national organization that promotes the idea that business must have a purpose beyond profit hopes to get a stronger foothold in the Tampa-St. Pete area.

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“I think there’s a lot of momentum in Florida and in Tampa particularly right now,” Alexander McCobin, CEO of Conscious Capitalism Inc., told St. Pete Catalyst in an exclusive interview at Startup Week Tampa Bay on Wednesday. “That’s one of the reasons the Florida chapter is part of Startup Week — because we want to introduce this to more businesses, both those that are already having an influence and those that are going to have an influence in the future.”

McCobin was accompanied by Jared Meyers, chairman and owner of St. Petersburg-based Salt Palm Development, a real estate firm that has become a certified B Corp. That means the company has been certified by the nonprofit B Lab as voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability and performance.

Salt Palm also is a member of the Florida chapter of Conscious Capitalism.

The national organization works with businesses to help them run on four tenets:

Higher purpose.  That means more than just maximizing profits and trying to achieve a greater ideal.

Taking care of all stakeholders. “Instead of thinking that if they are going to benefit one group, they need to take away from another – for instance, if they are going to help employees they must be harming customers or shareholders – getting them to a win-win-win mindset where you can benefit customers by benefitting your employees and shareholders and finding those interconnected opportunities,” McCobin said.

Conscious leadership, or leaders who focus on “we” rather than “me” and bring out the best in all around them.

Conscious culture, which involves creating environments where people are able to bring their full selves to work.

National retailers, including Whole Foods Market and The Container Store, are among the partners of Conscious Capitalism. So is Echo Park Automotive, a Dallas-based used car dealership.

“What is incredible about them is this is the used car field, where you typically don’t think about conscious business whatsoever,” McCobin said. “What they did is identified their purpose was to infuse happiness in all of their employees’ lives, and they focused on building out that culture, and in doing so, created a thriving business, growing from $40 million revenue in the mid 2000s to hundreds of millions of revenue in the last couple of years, which led to them merging with a larger company to share this with other used car dealerships around the country.”

A study of 28 public companies identified as the most socially conscious showed that 18 of them outperformed the S&P 500 index by a factor of 10.5 between 1996-2011, according to a 2013 report in the Harvard Business Review.

For Salt Palm — which became a certified B Corp in March 2018 — it’s a little early to measure return on investment, Meyers said. But it’s had a personal impact on him, making him more excited about doing business.

“It’s made us a better community partner and brought more visibility to what we do,” Meyers said.

Salt Palm just completed the first phase of The Sabal, a development at 532 4th Ave. S., with four townhomes. A second phase with four more townhomes is under construction, with two of those already sold.

The company bought carbon offset credits, designed to reduce the environmental impact of the development, from Carbonfund.org for the first phase of the project and plans to do so for the second as well, Meyers said.

Salt Palm also has a standing commitment to put at least 50 percent of its profits back into the community. Last year, the company put 100 percent of its profits back, although Meyers added that doesn’t mean the company will do that every year, and he doesn’t expect other businesses to meet that benchmark.

“When buyers come in to look at our project and they hear our story, it has a feel-good element,” Meyers said. “Buyers know that the profits we generate go back to the community, and we are encouraging other businesses to adopt these business models.”