by Ryan Rudominer, Change Agent, Senior Communications Strategist, and Branding Expert
This post originally appeared on Huffington Post.
as a “Best For The World” company three times: “Our higher purpose at Council
Fire is to redefine profit and success in business by helping organizations
‘operationalize’ sustainability and apply innovative solutions to the most
pressing economic, environmental, and social issues of our time.”
meaningful, mission-driven, and in alignment with his values, which is a trait
he shares with many in the space. Wegner noted, “When I first started grad
school, I envisioned myself working for an organization whose mission and values
aligned with my own, thinking I would most likely only find this at a non-profit
organization. However, I started to learn more about the ethos and values of the
growing B Corp community and started to see the positive impact that for-profit
companies can have, filling voids that government and NGOs may not be able to
fill. When I started the job search, one of the reasons I was attracted to
Laureate was because of its B Corp Certification and Public Benefit Corporation
Though the terms are often used interchangeably, there is an important distinction between B Corps and benefit corporations. A B Corp is a business that has successfully completed the B Lab’s independently-administered certification process. This is achieved by scoring at least 80 points out of a possible 200 in its Assessment (53 is the median score for a typical business).
benefit, such as reducing carbon emissions, for society, as well as for
employees and shareholders. In 2010, Maryland became the first state in the US
to pass a statute creating “benefit corporations” as a result of legislation
introduced by then-Senator Jamie Raskin (who’s featured in the Raffa video).
Groups such as B Lab and the American Sustainable Business Council have been
instrumental in championing legislation for benefit corporations in 30 states as
well as the District of Columbia.
- As B Corps, companies differentiate themselves from the competition by showing they “walk the walk” of social responsibility. A Global Strategy Group study found that “81% of Americans believe that corporations should take action to address important issues facing society; 88% believe corporations have the power to influence social change.”
- B Corps meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental
performance, public transparency, and legal accountability. 90% of Americans say
that “companies must not only say their product or service is beneficial but
also prove it” (Cone Communications). 66% of global consumers will pay more to support companies that are committed to making a social and environmental impact (Nielsen Global Corporate Sustainability Report). As corporate executive Richard Stammer noted in the Harvard Business Review, “While consumers are clearly rewarding values-based businesses, there’s a very big catch: consumers are not accepting brands’ social and environmental claims at face value.” This means that companies must take steps to convince consumers that they “authentically demonstrate commitment to social and environmental impact in order to build consumer trust and business value,” according to the Nielsen study.
- B Corps lead a global movement to redefine success in business. According to
the B Corporation site, more than 2,000 B Corps in 50 countries representing
more than 130 industries have been certified. Becoming a B Corp lets companies join the ranks of those, such as Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, and Kickstarter, that are also doing great things.
- B Corps have a leg up when it comes to attracting, engaging, and retaining
talent. 93% of employees want to work for a company that “cares about them as individuals,” and 74% say their job is more fulfilling when they are provided
with opportunities to make a positive impact on social and environmental issues
- B Corps appeal to Millennials who care about more than a single bottom line.
Millennials will soon make up 50 percent of the workforce and will account for 75% of the workforce by 2025. According to Cone Communications, 76% consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work (as opposed to 58% of all American workers). 75% would choose to work for a
socially responsible company even when the salary is lower than at other
companies (as opposed to 55% of all American workers).