Some of you may have noticed the new logo on the back of our latest catalog. It's a B with a circle around it. What's that all about?
In recent years, we've talked more about the work of the Untours Foundation and the fact that our profits go to support its efforts. We've done this a bit reluctantly because Hal and Norma don't like being put on a pedestal and getting attention for work that is deeply meaningful to them personally. At the same time, we don't want to be seen as a company focused more on the needs of society at large than on providing enriching travel experiences to lots of individuals. This could be confusing to potential clients which wouldn't serve anyone well.
The fact that Hal and Norma give away the company's profits is actually only part of the story. We've attempted to run the company in a way that is in keeping with our values of focusing, not just on maximizing profits, but also on creating a great workplace and being environmentally responsible.
When a young entrepreneur named Jay Gilbert met Hal several years ago, he was deeply moved by Hal's story. He had started a very successful basketball shoe company called AND1 and was looking for a new project to which he could devote his considerable talents.
After many conversations with Hal, other business people, and me Jay and a partner, Bart Houlahan, started a non-profit called B Lab. The new organization certifies social and environmentally sustainable companies around the country. Jay and Bart’s vision is nothing less than to create a new sector of the economy made up of companies focused not just on profit-maximization, but also on maximizing benefit to society. As you can imagine, we had no hesitation endorsing and joining this effort and are hopeful that it will succeed. For more information on what it means to be a B Corporation, check out the web site at http://www.bcorporation.net.
The B Report on Untours has not yet been posted, but I just completed the final version of the survey yesterday. I’ll let you know when it’s up and would be interested to hear your comments on what we should do to improve our performance. Ultimately, we couldn’t do any of this work without you. Thank you for your support!