B Corps: Redefining What it Means to Be Successful

You may have heard the term “B Corp” floating around lately and wondered just what it stands for. Well, a B Corp or a benefit corporation is a type of company required by law to create general benefit for society as well as for shareholders. Benefit corporations must create a material positive impact on society, and consider how their decisions affect their employees, community, and the environment.

B Corps are certified by B Lab, a non-profit organization, and are required to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance and transparency. Currently, there are more than 600 Certified B Corps from 15 countries and 60 industries working together toward one goal: to redefine success in business.

The concept was introduced five years ago by a group of entrepreneurs. B Corp certification is “like the Fair Trade label but for a whole company, not just a bag of coffee,” said Jay Coen Gilbert, a co-founder of B Lab.

By voluntarily meeting higher standards of accountability, Certified B Corps are distinguishing themselves in a cluttered marketplace by offering a positive vision of a better way to do business. They create higher quality jobs and improve the quality of life in our communities.

According to B Labs, the government and the nonprofit sector are insufficient at addressing some of society’s greatest challenges. Businesses on the other hand, are the most powerful man-made force on the planet. If they strive to create value for society as a whole, and not just for shareholders, we will see vast improvements in our communities. The B Corp movement offers a concrete, market-based, and scalable solution.

“Increasingly there are businesses that want to create value for all their stakeholders, not just their shareholders,” said Andrew Kassoy, another of B Lab’s founders. “These companies are competing not just to be best in the world, but best for the world.”

With hundreds of businesses having already joined the B Corp initiative, let’s hope the movement continues and we begin to see more positive changes in our communities because of it. To learn more, visit the B Labs website.

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