Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The "B" Corporation An Emerging Trend in Sustainable Business

A new kind of capitalism is emerging in which mission driven companies prioritize social and environmental concerns. One of the leaders of this movement is known as the "B" corporation by B Lab. The "B" stands for "Beneficial", and illustrates a commitment to high standards in the pursuit of social and environmental performance which includes transparency and accountability.

There are 20,000 companies that are "B" corporations with a $40B market presence. That is in addition to the more than 910 Certified B Corps from 29 countries and 60 industries working together toward 1 unifying goal: to redefine success in business.

As explained in the company website, B Corp certification is the sustainable business counterpart of LEED, Fair Trade or USDA Organic. Put simply, B Corps are better companies – better for workers, better for communities and better for the environment.

B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Those who want to become a "B" corporation must first take the "B-Survey" which takes about 60 minutes. If you score 80 out of 200 points, you can qualify to get your business officially registered with that designation.

A certified B Corporation undergoes a rigorous evaluation to ascertain if their practices meet the comprehensive performance standards required to qualify. The evaluation covers operations, hiring and promotion procedures, environmental management practices and governance.

The "B" corporation designation was created by the nonprofit "B-Lab" which is a 501(c)3. Its founders are Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan, and Andrew Kassoy.

One of the most recent certified "B" corporations is Denver law firm Moye White. This is the first Denver law firm to become a B corporation and one of very few law firms nationally to earn the designation.

Those who have the B corps designation include Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia, Etsy, Method, BlueAvocado, Pacific Northwest Kale Chips.

These companies effectively illustrate that business can be a "force for good."

For more information about  "B" corporation click here.

© 2014, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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