B Lab EU: Tell us briefly who you are and what your company does? Goodwings:: Hi! We're Goodwings - a hotel booking platform with a difference. We combine a love for travel with a passion for creating a better future. We give travellers access to more than 365,000 hotels all over the world at wholesale prices. Plus with every booking we donate a part of our booking commission to charity.
B Lab EU: Where did the idea come from? Goodwings: We now know that over 380 million tonnes of CO2 are emitted by the hotel sector globally (approx. 1% of all man-made emissions), through their footprint catering for our needs as travellers. We had an idea that we could redefine and restructure the value chain of travel by adding in a sustainable layer to the hotel booking process.
B Lab EU: So how does it work? Goodwings: We realised that 60% of the revenue generated by traditional online booking platforms is spent on marketing (approx. $40bn yearly) - creating no value at all to the customer. We take that money and do two things with it: offer cheaper prices on hotel rooms and give the traveler the option to donate a percentage of our booking commission to a charity of their choice.
B Lab EU: If you're not spending anything on marketing, how to people get to hear about you? Goodwings: Through our partners, business clients and our charities. We have over 130 charities and non-profits that we work with in over 40 countries. They include names like the Red Cross, WWF, Plastic Change, the UN Development Program and B Lab itself! They receive our donations but also promote our service.
B Lab EU: And your clients? Goodwings: Mostly business (we're primarily a B2B service), spending on average 100,000 to 200,000 US Dollars per year on hotel bookings. They'll get hotel rooms on average 10% cheaper and be able to donate a further 5% of their hotel spend to charity.
B Lab EU: Who's your founder? Goodwings: Our Founder and CEO is Christian Møller-Holst. Christian was an army officer for 3 years before changing direction and taking an MBA in philosophy and business at the Copenhagen Business School. He's driven by the idea that business can have significant scale and reward its shareholders whilst also do less harm and have greater impact on the planet.
B Lab EU: Why did Goodwings decide to become a B Corp? Goodwings: The B Corp movement just felt right for us. This is not a symbolic pin on a jacket. This is a commitment, both for the individual team members and for the business as a whole. You have to hit a minimum score across a range of metrics to prove your commitment and then continue, over the coming years, to improve on that score.
B Lab EU: What does being a B Corp mean to you? Goodwings: It's really important for the communication of our story - to be a part of this movement. It allows Goodwings to explain how we, as a for-profit company, can still operate with the underlying philosophy that its not just about putting money into the pocket of shareholders. We're using capitalism as a force for good.
B Lab EU: Have you seen business benefits of being a B Corp? Goodwings: Absolutely. Being a B Corp puts you in the heart of a huge global community. Particularly as a B2B platform, it offers us a huge new customer base, of other B Corps. Companies like Danone and Tom's Shoes are really keen to work with us, specifically because we are B Corp certified, but of course also because we create value for them... at all levels of the triple-bottom line.
B Lab EU: What are you looking forward to most about the 2019 Summit? Goodwings: Two things. First of all the talks - the keynotes are a huge opportunity to learn from the experts! And second, the networking - a chance to strengthen our network in Europe. Remember, the B Corp network is not just another executive management group. This is a genuine collection of like-minded individuals moving together toward the new economy.
B Lab EU: And finally... What are your plans for the future to use your business as a force for good? Goodwings: We have a new project which we're calling 'social impact experiences': Goodwings Experiences. We know that there are two things that can drive change: 1) incentivising people to make the right choice and 2) providing people with an experience to show them first hand some of the problems we're trying to address. Through this new online platform we're allowing businesses the opportunity to educate their teams through experiences such as beach clean ups or working with asylum seekers to gain new cooking skills.
B Lab EU: Thank you and look forward to seeing you at the Summit!