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Business Observer Friday, Apr. 26, 2019 4 months ago

Firm breaks ground by generating profit with purpose

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The rising sustainable travel movement motivated a St. Pete entrepreneur to make changes.

Legacy Vacation Resorts, a Lake Buena Vista hospitality company co-owned by a St. Petersburg entrepreneur, has achieved Certified B Corporation status, making it the first multi-state hotel and vacation ownership company in the country to secure the designation.

Jared Meyers. Courtesy photo.

The B Corp movement aims to create a global business community of companies that equate profit with purpose and voluntarily meet high standards of social and environmental responsibility. B Lab, a global nonprofit, conducts evaluations and follow-up audits of for-profit companies that seek B Corp certification.

LVR is the second B Corp for Jared Meyers, whose St. Pete property firm, Salt Palm Development, also achieved the status.

“It started as an educational process,” Meyers tells Coffee Talk. “I started thinking about how I could use my businesses to make a positive impact on society. I didn’t want to run the kind of business that harms society. As I became more educated about B Corporations, I concluded that I had to do business this way.”

Meyers took dramatic steps over the past year to turn LVR into a B Corp. According to a press release, the company instituted rigorous carbon footprint offsetting; waste reduction and recycling efforts; sustainable lifestyle awareness campaigns; and green-focused renovation projects. He also instituted a living wage for all employees — a $300,000 hit to the annual budget, but one Meyers believes is more than justified in an era when the concept of sustainable travel is picking up steam.

“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,” Meyers states in the release. “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 re-launch of the brand and the many ways in which the company will contribute to the greater good for years to come.”

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