BCorporation.net provides the what, the why, a list of 300 B Corporations, and the how (it starts with a self-assessment of your business). C-Corps can become B-Corps. Investors can invest, B-Corps can be bought by other companies, etc. The sites says that companies should be at least six months old to become a B-Corp. There are financial and social benefits.
The site’s “Why” page provides social reasons:
Our vision is simple yet ambitious: to create a new sector of the economy which uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. This sector will be comprised of a new type of corporation – the B Corporation – that meets rigorous and independent standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
As a result, individuals will have greater economic opportunity, society will move closer to achieving a positive environmental footprint, more people will be employed in great places to work, and we will have built stronger communities at home and across the world.
Why are B Corps needed in order to achieve these goals?
B Corporations address two critical problems:
- Current corporate law makes it difficult for businesses to take employee, community, and environmental interests into consideration when making decisions; and
- The lack of transparent standards makes it difficult for all of us to tell the difference between a ‘good company’ and just good marketing.
B Corporations’ legal structure expands corporate accountability so they are required to make decisions that are good for society, not just their shareholders.
B Corporations’ performance standards enable consumers to support businesses that align with their values, investors to drive capital to higher impact investments, and governments and multinational corporations to implement sustainable procurement policies.
And that’s the change we seek.
*April 12, 2011, Update: Tina Rosenberg has written an excellent article in the New York Times that starts with an anecdote about Ben & Jerry’s. It’s about the need for B Corps. It’s called: “A Scorecard for Companies with a Conscience“.