An Act of Leadership: Become a B Corporation

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Current events present a unique opportunity for us collectively to redefine success in business. Our message of using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems has never been more resonant.

Over 400 leading businesses have joined the community of Certified B Corporations, wanting to influence the market beyond the scope of their individual businesses. These entrepreneurs want to be part of something bigger, we hope you will join us.

Becoming a B Corporation: leadership towards building a new sector of the economy

  • Creating a new class of corporation – the Benefit Corporation. The community of B Corps is a business constituency for legislation creating a new class of corporation that benefits society as well as shareholders. Unlike traditional corporations, Benefit Corporations must create a positive impact on society and the environment; considering how decisions affect workers, community, and the environment, and publicly report their social and environmental performance according to third party standards. In 2010, Maryland and Vermont became the first states to enact Benefit Corporation legislation, followed recently by New Jersey and Virginia. The B Corp community is working in seven additional states to pass Benefit Corporation legislation in 2011.
  • Moving Capital towards impact investing. The B Corp community is driving mission-aligned capital to businesses addressing the world’s most challenging problems. B Lab’s Global Impact Investing Rating System (GIIRS) is a new initiative providing ratings on the social and environmental performance of: 1) businesses seeking investment capital, and 2) the private equity and venture capital funds that invest in these companies. Over twenty-five private equity and venture capital funds representing $2 billion in assets are supporting GIIRS as a means of catalyzing the flow of investment capital to high impact enterprises in the developed and emerging markets.

Becoming a B Corporation: a smart business decision

  • Enhance brand equity, become a Certifed B Corp. Differentiate your company, not just its products, through third party validation that your company has met higher performance and legal standards. Certification helps generate press, improve eligibility to meet other organizations’ sustainability procurement criteria, increase your reputation for goodwill, achieve broader awareness of your company with consumers as part of the internationally recognized B Corporation brand, inclusion in the 2011 Brand Campaign (www.better.bcorporation.net) and add value in a potential capital raise or sale by mitigating brand risk from trust erosion.
  • Save money. Take advantage of the growing number of partnerships that deliver immediate financial value. B Lab has saved B Corps over $1MM in annually recurring savings through more than 40 service partnerships (i.e. significant discounts on Salesforce.com, NetSuite, B2B services, Yale SOM loan forgiveness program and more).
  • Connect your team with peers from aligned companies. B Lab facilitates collaboration among B Corps to help raise money, do business together, share best practices in sustainability, marketing, finance, IT, HR, and reach target customers.
  • Maintain mission in uncertain markets, now and post-succession. As a B Corporation, founders and other mission-driven shareholders can hold directors accountable to consider the impact of operating and liquidity decisions not only on shareholders, but on all stakeholders.