Community, Conservation, Collaboration
As a mission-driven company, our intent is to perform beyond the requirements of most ESG reporting frameworks. We believe a company can do well by doing good, and that superior returns can be delivered in combination with positive impacts. This page outlines the basis for, and our approach to environmental, social, and governance. ESG is a journey for us and we expect to improve our ESG strategy as we learn, grow, and develop partnerships. Background At Sojourner, our intended impact in the world and approach to environment, society, and governance framed by our core values:
- Community: we both create community, and are a part of, and reflect, our local community
- Conservation: Minimizing impact and promoting the health and understanding of our environment
- Collaboration: Our partners are important to us. It takes a village to succeed.
- Family: Family first, in all that we do.
- Excellence: in our service, our product, or design, and our service delivery
We were created from a community of
friendship that began in Boston sixteen years ago. Our co-founder, Andrew Murphy, has been focused on
community-based tourism for 23 years. Sojourner is an integral part of the communities in which
it operates, and we build community among our staff, among our guests, and among our partners,
collaborators, and suppliers. For Sojourner, community manifests in a variety of ways:
Reflecting and respecting the community
• Art, history, and culture
• Respecting our surroundings
Hiring and developing talent in the community
• Building our team
• Developing talent (local scholarship for those studying business and hospitality)
• Internships and training Sourcing from, and partnering with, the community
• Feeding our family locally (family being the combination of our employees and guests)
• Partnering with local businesses
• Investing part of profits into supporting local organizations
We all need to find ways to reduce our impact on the planet. According to the World Wildlife Fund’s Living Planet Report, since 1970, our ecological footprint, or rate of consumption relative to population, has exceeded the earth’s ability to regenerate. Put another way, we are spending down our natural capital. This is not a sustainable path. No one person, business, or government can solve this problem. However, we must all do our part to both reduce our impact on the environment and to do as much as possible to rejuvenate and replenish the natural areas around us.
Conservation at Sojourner means the following:
Minimizing our impact
• Start with sustainable design: o Low impact development (LEED design)
o Sustainable building materials (FSC wood, etc.)
o Gray water management (re-use for landscaping, etc.) and water efficiency
o Energy efficient materials
• Maximize solar and renewable energy supply (use as much solar and thermal as possible)
• Minimize water and energy use (reduce our water and carbon footprint)
• Reduce/eliminate the use of single use plastics (serve/bottle own filtered water to reduce plastics)
• Local and sustainable sourcing for our menu and consumable (we will grow our own, or source as locally as possible)
• Work towards continuous improvement (Sustainability is a journey, not a destination)
Promote conservation and sustainability.
• We develop our facilities/operations to the Global Sustainable Tourism Council Standards
• Fund local conservation programs, and/or directly put land back into conservation easements.
• Promote wildlife corridors and habitat, where feasible.
• Educate our guests about the natural environment.
• Expose our guests to opportunities to interact with and appreciate the natural environment.
• Develop in young ones an appreciation for the wonders of nature and wildlife.
• Dedicate part of our profits to conservation investment.
Along the journey, we will identify and partner with likeminded individuals and organizations that can help us to realize our vision. From site development to architects with a sustainability focus, to chefs, and tent suppliers who understand what we want to achieve.
Collaboration will take place at every stage of the life cycle of a Sojourner property:
Design and construction
• Building a launch team of like-minded individuals (a mission and sustainability-focused team)
•Partnering with design and construction firms that a focus on sustainability
• Bringing the technology and solutions needed to help realize our vision
• Partnering with long-term suppliers
• Partnering with local chefs that can grow alongside us (with a vision for local/sustainable sourcing)
• Local, sustainable sources for our menu
• Brands/suppliers for consumables that fit our vision and values Operations
• Partnering with local businesses (like wineries, farmers, and other local attractions)
• Joint relationships with other properties and tour operators
• Other suppliers, such as car rentals, spa providers, and other activities that might excite our guests Expansion of the brand
• As we grow beyond our first properties, we will need the right partners to grow alongside us
FamilyFAMILY FIRST, IN ALL THAT WE DO
We are fathers who want to create amazing places for our kids, as such, we have focused our business on families. That includes building our own family of staff, who will be called family members, and our guests. Our hope is that by the time a guest leaves a Sojourner property, they will feel like they are leaving old friends behind. Creating a family means creating as welcoming an environment as possible for the growth and development of each and every member of that family.
For our family members
• Hiring practices • Offering ownership
• Team development and training
For our guests
• Approach to access, equity, and inclusion (we will use leading-edge models to guide the approach)
o ADA accessibility
o Welcoming guests on the spectrum
• Encouraging diversity in outdoor recreation (here and abroad)
GovernanceOUR APPROACH TO GOVERNANCE WILL BE THREE FOLD:
Board of Directors: We will build a diverse and committed Board of Directors to hold our management team accountable and who take their fiduciary responsibilities seriously. We will actively involve members in committees in areas such as compensation, disclosure, audit, and nominations and governance
Transparency: In addition to required financial disclosures, we seek to be transparent in reporting our progress along environmental and social lines.
In addition to formal governance, we have recruited an Advisory Board composed of respected leaders incompetence areas that are vital to Sojourner’s success. We consult with and seek guidance and advice from this group on a regular basis, and will continue to do so as we grow the company and brand.
ImplementationOUR ESG APPROACH AND FOCUS WILL EVOLVE AS WE PROGRESS
Short-term: In addition to being guided by our core-values, and focused execution on our business model, we will use three sets of standards to guide property development:
• LEED Building standards of the Green Building Council
• Hotel/Accommodation standards of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council
• Green Restaurant Standards of the Green Restaurant Association
The goal of pursuing these standards is not necessarily certification, though that may be something we achieve. The intent is to make our operations as efficient as possible and minimize negative impacts while delivering word-class service to our guests and superior returns to investors.
Transparency is key to our progress and approach. We commit to reporting our progress on ESG issues following a combination of the frameworks developed by the Global Reporting Council (GRI) and the Sustainable Accounting Standard Board’s Hotel/ Lodging Standards (SASB). We will issue our first sustainability report 1 year after the opening of our first property, and every year thereafter.
As a mission-driven company, we believe our approach meets or exceeds the requirements of most conventional ESG reporting frameworks. In the long-term, we will seek to be certified as a B-Corp. This will not change what we do, it will just officially enshrine our approach to business.