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This long and exacting list of social, ethical and environmental requirements turns what sounds like a wishy-washy idea into robust reality. With certified firms on every continent, it is impossible to point them all in a single direction. If that purpose is ever to change, then there needs to be a set of rules that allows companies to legitimately consider the interests of all its other constituents. “So we partner deeply with our friends in the fair trade movement, the organic movement, the cooperative movement, the employee ownership movement, and many, many others.” 2014 Wirtschaftliche Unterstützung benachteiligter Gruppen B Corp ist the world's largest community of purpose-driven businesses who measure their success by the benefits they yield to their stakeholders (with their shareholders being just one group of stakeholders). B Lab certifies companies based on how they create value for non-shareholding stakeholders, such as their employees, the local community, and the environment. B Corps are required to embed stakeholder governance into their articles of association, legally committing themselves to making decisions through the lens of a triple bottom line: profit, people and planet. The trio see themselves as “bridge-builders”, “not cathedral-makers”. 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Most people understand the purpose of business is to maximise shareholder value. B Lab is the social enterprise behind the B Corp certification system, one of the most exciting and potentially significant movements to have hit the corporate world for decades. After he and Houlahan left AND1 in 2005, they sought a partnership with Newman's Own, the food company that uses all its profits for charitable purposes, but nothing came of it. Take Action on Spreading the B Economy Today. The sadness he felt made him think about his own mortality, and "that triggered a pretty intense period of reflection on what's the highest and best use of my life," he said. the atlantic, nov. 26, 2014. He told Business Insider that the certification had received tremendous employee support and won over skeptical investors, adding that Danone's plan helped it renegotiate a €2 billion syndicated banking loan with 12 major banks at a lower cost. Outside the US, B Corp already counts a strong and growing base of certified firms in South America, Australia, the UK and mainland Europe. In a similar spirit, B Lab regularly reaches out to other organisations that share their disruptive vision, such as Conscious Capitalism and the Richard Branson-backed B Team. ", D'autres articles qui pourraient vous intéresser. And then two weeks later, one of his AND1 team members died in a car accident on his way to work. Work is now under way to build its presence in Africa and Asia, with countries such as South Africa, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and China among the early forerunners. B Corps have been around in the US since 2007, with brands like Ben & Jerry's and Patagonia achieving certification. Today, there are 2,655 Certified B Corporations across 60 countries, and they include Danone North America, Patagonia, and Amalgamated Bank. He spent the next few years reading books and attending conferences about using business for social good. It turned out that giving companies the chance to register as benefit corporations had bipartisan support, and Maryland became the first state to ratify legislation. They brought on Andrew Kassoy, a Wall Street connection, and launched B Lab the next year. Initiating the creation of a whole new type of legal corporate entity was no small feat, yet the job of these three change-makers is far from done. They're focused on a particular product attribute or practice,” explains Houlahan, an ex-investment banker. In 2010, the state of Maryland approved a new-look company form that allowed corporate directors to balance profits with other considerations. People want to work for, buy from, and invest in businesses they believe in. ", "I think that is a conscious human choice," Coen Gilbert said. Dezember 2015 das erste europäische Land, das eine der Benefit Corporation entsprechende Rechtsform eingeführt hat. In 2010, a Delaware corporate lawyer helped B Lab with a proposal for a "benefit corporation" legal status. Houlahan's reply was basically, "Dude, what the f--- are you talking about?". Kickstarter co-founder and CEO Yancey Strickler said the company pursued B Corp certification to “bind the company and future leaders of the company to act with a set of values.” Strickler added: “If it’s just based on assessment, there’s always the opportunity to betray those values or, when you’re in a tough spot, to make a decision to compromise. And, yes, of course, for the all-important holders of corporate capital, too. Our job is to make sure that some do.”. “We can act to create the economy that we want through our everyday actions with what we buy, what we invest in, where we go to work. B Corps are coming together to ensure Americans know that it's their right to vote. Coen Gilbert had enough of a financial cushion that if the project failed miserably, he'd be able to work his way back onto Wall Street. This idea would mature into the notion of B Corporations, where the B stands for "benefit." They're focused on a particular product attribute or practice,” explains Houlahan, an ex-investment banker. Unlike narrower certifications, Common Objective founder Tamsin Lejeune says this puts the onus on brands, rather than their suppliers. Some of today’s highest profile mission-minded companies – outdoor apparel company Patagonia, rebel ice-cream brand Ben & Jerry’s, and The Body Shop’s parent Natura, to name just a few – now carry the B Corp sticker. Certified B Corporations are social enterprises verified by B Lab, a nonprofit organization. Think of the Marine Stewardship Council, the 1SO 26000, and the Fair Labor Association code all rolled into one. There was a chance to find out how the B Corps people are getting on one year on from launching in the UK at a session put on by Marmalade, the fringe event that happens alongside the Skoll World Forum. The B Corp certification is to businesses what fair trade is to coffee, the team describes. It is this willingness to allow their baby to grow of its own accord that has been so crucial to B Corp’s success to date. Emmanuel Faber, head of French food giant Danone, which acquired America’s largest public benefit corporation, WhiteWave Foods, in 2017, is another vocal supporter. Obama’s election, the Berlin Wall’s collapse, Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination. A leader in economic systems change, our global network creates standards, policies, and tools for business, and we certify companies—known as B Corps—who are leading the way. 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Instead, the brand, AND1, reached an audience, inked NBA deals, and most famously became linked with the top performers in amateur streetball competitions. I'm focused on trying to find B Corps who can benefit from raising capital on Wefunder. Reuters Events is part of Reuters News & Media Ltd, 5 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AQ. —B Corp data.world co-founder Brett Hurt. B Corp Certification doesn’t just evaluate a product or service; it assesses the overall positive impact of the company that stands behind it. Team. He found it to be a fundamentally flawed concept, and his movement was designed to help decrease its hold over society. Few people set out to change the world the way Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan, and Andrew Kassoy did when they founded B Lab. This fee starts as low as £500 for certified B Corps and scales with revenue. Coen Gilbert and his team consulted with her corporate attorney and then other lawyers around the country. This article is part of Business Insider's ongoing series on. The B Lab founders are pinning their hopes on leaders in the corporate world to win the argument for them, But, despite growing interest on Wall Street, support for the B Corp model is still mostly at the “whispering behind-the-scenes” stage, according to Kassoy: “Investors tend not to have the courage to come out and talk about these kinds of things. Today, a company can register as a benefit corporation in 34 states and Washington, DC. He went through the stress of knowing that his sister worked in downtown Manhattan during the 9/11 attacks, and he learned she was pulled to safety from debris by a first responder. B Corp certification is about the entire company and the impact on all its stakeholders. In the past year alone Unilever acquired Brazilian organic food company Mae Terra, organic tea maker Pukka, US eco-laundry brand Seventh Generation and Sundial, a US haircare brand that serves consumers of colour. Today, you also have someone like Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, saying in a letter to CEOs that "to prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.". The trio’s initial desire was to create something, Gilbert says, “that would assist in supporting and uplifting all the entrepreneurs and investors around the world that were trying to use their business for a higher purpose than just maximising personal wealth, but more to create, sort of, community health.”. I joined Wefunder in early 2018, after 7 wonderful years running Kiva's U.S. lending division. Annina frank | Kassel und Umgebung, Deutschland | Founder at F.N.B. With certified firms on every continent it is impossible to point them all in a single direction. Companies going through the B Corp process would be overseen by the company B Lab. Ce thème a bien été retiré de votre compte. 4. If this is something your board is behind, then this is something we'll support.". "And that was one of the dominant and most inspiring attributes of all the entrepreneurs and investors we'd been meeting, is they weren't screaming, yelling about an unjust system — they were actually working and investing in building companies that were making real differences in the lives of their workers, their communities, and future generations through their environmental practices. He sees the social media-led campaign as a way for the business community to collectively step into the “leadership void” left by political institutions. “Most certifications are pretty stovepipe. Copyright © 2016 Business Insider Inc. Tous droits réservés. The 2006 Companies Act in the UK, for instance, gives firms flexibility to amend their articles of association accordingly. He said B Corps and people fighting for the same values "are bending that arc of history or that lever of economics so it bends more towards justice and inclusion and equity and the creation of a more shared and durable prosperity. Kassoy points to the recent Vote Every Day campaign, which was conceived, designed, financed, and executed by a group of concerned US-based B Corp companies off their own bat. “Epoch-making” is not a word to be bandied about lightly. 1. B Lab UK was founded by two entrepreneurs, both of whom were founders of B Corps - Charmian Love, CEO of Volans and James Perry, Director and co-founder of COOK Food. They are aware that profits are needed to maintain and grow a business, but they are not willing to generate these profits at any cost. One of the big challenges ahead is to get investors on board. “The B Corp certification is one level up. But there was a hitch. B Corp Certification is the most powerful way to build credibility, trust, and value for your business. She agreed with Coen Gilbert that the reign of shareholder primacy, rooted in economic theory most popularly expressed by free-market economists like Milton Friedman in the 1970s and then entrenched in judicial precedent throughout the 1980s, was not only harmful to other stakeholders but bad for the long-term health of a business. In the US, where the B Corp movement began, corporate law prevented many companies from altering their legal status, even if they wanted to. There are now more than 2,600 B Corps around the world. “The … He studied the careers of entrepreneurs in this space, like Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry's, Tom Chappell of Tom's of Maine, and Judy Wicks of White Dog Cafe. And on the policy side, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts this year introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act, which directly cites benefit-corporation legislation as the norm for the entire country and would give it more teeth for enforcement. Coen Gilbert thinks that in the future, the toxic short-termism he believes results from shareholder primacy will seem absurdly outdated. After completing the sale of AND1 — the basketball-apparel company Coen Gilbert cofounded and Houlahan helped lead as chief financial officer, chief operating officer, and president — he was going to start an organization that would allow companies to apply for a designation that would publicly hold them accountable for the ways they benefitted workers, communities, the environment, and customers. While the value and success […] Then he and his business partners fully developed the idea of a B Corporation. Launched last month, the initiative seeks to spark a “front-and-centre public conversation” about the direction of politics in the US and the importance of citizen action.