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279: The First Ever Certified B Corp

Bret Keisling is joined by Brian Taussig-Lux, retired CEO of UnTours, which holds the distinction of being the first company to become a Certified B Corp, which means a business that meets high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on factors from employee benefits and charitable giving to supply chain practices and input materials.

Brian shares UnTours fascinating story, from its unique origins to its innovative business model centered on social and environmental responsibility. Founded by Hal Taussig in the 1970s, UnTours has never been employee owned, but very much shares the same vibe as successful EO businesses. Brian also describes the evolution of B Corp certification, the impact of Benefit Corporations on business practices, and the interconnectedness between employee ownership and Certified B Corps.

... or watch the video below.


Episode 279 Show Notes

About Brian Taussig-Lux

Brian Taussig-Lux is a travel industry executive with deep experience in strategy, marketing, communication, sales, finance, HR, and IT. Brian is an industry pioneer in ESG and values-aligned travel. 


In his time at UnTours, Brian professionalized the company, grew revenue, and transitioned it from family ownership. He restructured and created successful new product lines to achieve rapid growth, nearly doubling revenue. Brian spearheaded the process to become the first company in the world to be certified as a B Corporation, bringing attention to the company's ESG leadership and our different style of travel. He generated millions of dollars in excess profits to fund the UnTours Foundation. Brian managed a staff of 23 in the US plus 25 in Europe. He navigated UnTours through multiple external crises (9/11, Iraq War, recessions, COVID-19). His leadership earned UnTours recognition by B Lab as “Best for the World (Governance)”. Brian achieved excellent customer loyalty and gained UnTours a stellar online reputation for product quality and customer service.


Brian’s career has spanned continents, with a heavy focus on Europe. Brian has lived in Austria, speaks fluent German, and has done business throughout Western and Central Europe. He has also traveled to Latin America, Africa, Asia, and New Zealand.


Brian has also served in local government, including on the Environmental Advisory Council and, currently, as Treasurer for Media Borough, Pennsylvania. Learn more about Brian's upcoming endeavors at Taussig Travel, coming soon here.

About Certified B Corporations

"B Corp Certification is a designation that a business is meeting high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on factors from employee benefits and charitable giving to supply chain practices and input materials. In order to achieve certification, a company must:

  • Demonstrate high social and environmental performance by achieving a B Impact Assessment score of 80 or above and passing our risk review. Multinational corporations must also meet baseline requirement standards.

  • Make a legal commitment by changing their corporate governance structure to be accountable to all stakeholders, not just shareholders, and achieve benefit corporation status if available in their jurisdiction.

  • Exhibit transparency by allowing information about their performance measured against B Lab’s standards to be publicly available on their B Corp profile on B Lab’s website.

As leaders in the movement for economic systems change, B Corps reap remarkable benefits. They build trust with consumers, communities, and suppliers; attract and retain employees; and draw mission-aligned investors. As they are required to undergo the verification process every three years in order to recertify, B Corps are by definition also focused on continuous improvement, leading to their long-term resiliency.

B Corp Certification is holistic, not exclusively focused on a single social or environmental issue. And the process to achieve and maintain certification is rigorous and requires engaging teams and departments across your company. Taking company size and profile into account, verification involves documentation of your company’s business model and information about your operations, structure, and various work processes, as well as review of potential public complaints and possible site visits. Recertification confirms these standards continue to be met on an ongoing basis.

Related Podcast Episodes and Links

We'd love to hear from you! You can find us on Facebook at EO Podcast Network and on Twitter [X] @EsOpPodcast. This podcast has been produced by Bret Keisling for the EO Podcast Network. Original music composed by Max Keisling. Branding and marketing by BitsyPlus Design.

Standard Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are my own and don't represent those of my own firms or the organizations to which I belong. Nothing in the podcast should be construed as guidance or advice of any kind in any field and the fact that I mentioned an organizational website or an advocate or a company on a podcast does not reflect an endorsement, but if you've heard your name or your group's name mentioned on this podcast, I'd love to have you come on and talk about it yourself.


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