‘B Corps’ – legislation allows companies to take account of social and environmental impact

By | March 16, 2013

Certified B Corps‘ are a new type of corporation in the US which uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. Their website argues that,

“Government and the nonprofit sector are necessary but insufficient to address society’s greatest challenges. Business, the most powerful man-made force on the planet, must create value for society, not just shareholders. Systemic challenges require systemic solutions and the B Corp movement offers a concrete, market-based and scalable solution”.

The B Corp legislation gives businesses the freedom and legal protection to pursue the ‘triple bottom line‘  (financial, social, environmental) instead of the current legal requirement in the US and UK to maximize profit for shareholders (at the expense of any other consideration). They are  the same as traditional corporations except for three vital things that make them game-changers: higher standards of purpose, accountability, and transparency. Some international examples include: Ben & Jerry’s and Couch Surfing International. See the full list of 700 B Corps here

The legislation for B Corps has been passed in 14 US states

Legislation map November 2012