Animal Experience International is a certified B Corporation. B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. For more information please visit the B Corporation website. Our mission statement is simple but we think it embodies why we are so passionate about being B Corp certified; To provide clients from all different backgrounds, safe animal volunteer experiences that are locally supported and run, provide fair wages, conduct educational programs and have high standards of conservation. In 2014 and 2015 we were honoured by being named the Best FOR the World, by scoring in the top 10% of all B Corps for Overall Impact (combined social and environmental) and again for Environmental Impact!
Our commitments to social and environmental responsibility.
Our commitment is not only to changing the lives of AEI clients and members, but to changing the lives of our placement partners as well. One of the goals of AEI is to encourage our clients to share their knowledge. Veterinarians, accountants and chefs all have very different skill sets but each has the potential to make a difference in a very real way. There will be no placements for the sake of placements. All of the AEI Experiences will be built around what the placement needs. We encourage our clients to ask questions, be engaged and learn from the Placement Partners. Education will be flowing in both directions on AEI Experiences. In this way AEI’s clients can not only aid animals around the world, but their impact can be making a significant difference to the people and communities as well.
AEI is committed to making sustainable and long lasting connections by partnering with only the very best organizations around the world. In order to accomplish this, we have committed to sending an AEI Field Officer to assess each of our Placement Partners. By personally visiting the Placement Partners, we hope to ensure that the placements will be genuinely aiding animals and that our presence will be beneficial to the community. This means that clients can be assured that the Placement Partners are being represented accurately and that AEI Experiences will be of the best possible quality. We understand that each community is different and each centre will have different needs, objectives and measurements for success. We make sure that we work with the staff at the centres to only send them volunteers and donations that will be beneficial to the individual centre. We refuse to take management roles at these centres as we are not local and can not understand the local cultural and social lenses that leads to the systemic conservation problems unique to each community. We support the Placement Partners by supporting their proven successful local strategies. AEI understands that North American solutions only work in North American contexts. During site visits and during constant and consistent follow ups we ensure our Placement Partners' employees are local to the community, are given safe work and they are given fair (and reliable) wages. Local solutions to local conservation problems! Placement Partners are fully autonomous from AEI, however there is mutual understanding that donations will be used to continue the improvement the social and environmental condition of the communities these Placement Partners serve and reside in. When choosing suppliers we give preference to local, sustainable, fair trade, conservation focused groups. When possible we choose to work with B Corps, co-ops and small companies who share our vision to improve the well being of their communities. Companies with strong social and environmental policies are given preference before pricing is considered, we understand that low financial costs often lead to high social and environmental costs.
AEI is committed to providing affordable experiences and fundraising support to all our clients. Travel and volunteering is not only for those who can afford it; we believe it should be for whoever is passionate and wants to help. AEI provides free fundraising coaching and ideas for those who want to fundraise to pay their volunteer fees.
AEI is committed to ethical environmental practices and realises that air travel is a contributor to climate change and environmental degradation. We have partnered with The Carbon Farmer to make 100% of the travel associated with our trips carbon balanced.
AEI is committed to ethical travel for all. We understand the negative impact that volunteer tourism can potentially have and with that understanding comes the responsibility for AEI to do more than just send clients abroad. Through constant communication with our Placement Partners and their communities, by visiting the placements and by educating our clients, AEI strives to provide the most responsible impact possible. We all make a difference. AEI is committed to ensuring our clients make a valuable and positive impact on their own lives as well as the lives of our Placement Partners around the world.
Professional and Educational Partners
AEI is committed to offering our clients professional learning opportunities that will not only help them grow as individuals but also help their professional development. In order to assist veterinary technologists, technicians and nurses AEI has partnered with professional veterinary and medical associations. It's important to understand and acknowledge that our clients; travel will impact more than just animals. This is why we have and continue to partner and certify with humanitarian and travel associations alike.
Tourism Cares official Good Travels Advisor
- Manitoba Animal Health Technologists Association (MAHTA)
- Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians (OAVT)
All OAVT members who participate in AEI Experiences are eligible for a minimum of 5 Continuing Education Credits.
- Eastern Veterinary Technician Association (for Atlantic Provinces)
- The Veterinary Nurses Association of South Africa
- The British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA)
- Irish Veterinary Nursing Association
- The Veterinary Nurses Association of South Africa
- The Saskatchewan Association of Veterinary Technologists
- Norwalk College Veterinary Technology Program
- Georgian College Veterinary Technician Program
- Ridgewater College Veterinary Technologist Program
- Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine Program
AEI is committed to offering our clients the most ethical and affordable experiences. That’s why we are proud to announce AEI’s Responsible Partners.
- All of our clients are automatically signed up for the International Volunteer Card. An AEI membership get's you: Travel Insurance, 24/7 Assistance, Discounts at Target, Hyatt, eBags, Hertz and 100,000 more! This partnership means our clients are fully supported before, during and after their Experience.
All of our clients get tree enrolment in The Global Travel Academy to complete a course in international volunteering. A course we liked so much, we took it ourselves! This is a 100% online course, curated by travel professionals to nurture safe and responsible travelling and volunteering. This 3 hour course will make sure you get the very best out of your experience while staying safe! Check out The Global Travel Academy.
- At LENA, they want to spread awareness on the personal and environmental benefits of reusable menstrual products, inspiring women to improve their periods while loving and respecting our planet. When North American clients are placing their order on Amazon, they can enter an AEI discount code to get 20% off the LENA Large or Small cups. We love LENA because it makes travelling easier for women while also making their environmental footprint smaller.
- There's nothing more natural to wear in nature. New Zealand Merino Wool Clothing for Outdoor activities, Performance Sports and AEI clients! All Canadian and American clients get 50% Icebreaker clothing when they sign up for their Experience! Natural fibre clothing that is comfortable, functional, beautiful AND affordable.
- beyondBeanie is our new love. They hire local artisans to make (for an ethical wage) amazing travel accessories that not only help the individual artisan, also give back to the community. Scarves that help with student meal programs, bracelets that help with dentist aid, ponchos that help provide school supplies and toques that help fund school uniforms. We always recommend our clients pack a scarf and a toque (beanie, woolly hat, winter cap) no matter where they are going, for fashion, modesty and warmth. Why not pack fashionable, practical, ethical and beneficial accessories in your bag? Travelling can be done ethically, we are making sure by partnering with all the most ethical and awesome groups we can!
- The Carbon Farmer and AEI have partnered to make every extraordinary trip carbon balanced. The Carbon Farmer is a Canadian, family-run business that has not only shown their commitment to lowering the carbon footprint of their clients, but also to the naturalization of Northern Alberta.
- SoapBox Soaps is a mission-based personal care company. For every product sold, they give back a bar of soap, month of clean water, or year of vitamins to someone who needs it, both abroad and in the USA! All of their products are all natural, free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, or petrochemicals. They are full of organic shea butter, olive oil, coconut oil, soybean oil, corn oil, and lots of good, clean hope! Our American clients will get 15% off their purchase because AEI experiences will get you dirty and Soapbox Soaps will help you get clean.
- We are committed to being an example of a fair and ethical office. We have added our name to The Fair Pages database and have committed to 91 fair actions for all of our employees and partners to comply with. Please read more about our commitments in the fields: environmental issues, animal welfare, animal, rights, endangered species, human rights, fair trade, women's rights, social equality, aid/charity and ethical finance/investment.
- Zazzle is an online marketplace we chose for our merchandise sales. Using a third party marketplace that does individual made- to-order items means there is no extra merchandise printed. Our shipping cost (both financial and environmental) is drastically decreased since the merchandise is only shipped once– straight to our clients.