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.