Business Magazine

Benefit Corporations: The Cheat Sheet

Posted on the 23 February 2011 by Blab

Benefit Corporations: The Cheat Sheet

What is a Benefit Corporation?

A new class of corporation that meets higher standards of:

Purpose creates a material positive impact on society and the environment, as measured by a third party standard

Accountability redefines fiduciary duty to include consideration of the impact of decisions on all stakeholders

Transparency reports on overall social and environmental performance using recognized third party standards

What are the benefits?

-Provides clarity that fiduciary duty includes creating a material positive impact on society and the environment

-Offers legal protection to consider the interests of the workforce, community, and environment, even in a sale

-Helps maintain mission over time by requiring 2/3 vote to change status

-Differentiates the business from greenwashers

-Makes it easier to become a Certified B Corporation

What’s the big picture?

-Legitimizes and accelerates sustainable business movement by providing legal recognition for businesses that adopt higher standards of corporate purpose, accountability, and transparency

-Creates a platform for future investment, procurement, and tax incentives for sustainable business

What’s the difference between a Benefit Corporation and a Certified B Corporation?

Becoming certified is one way to meet the Benefit Corporation statutory requirements to:

-create a material positive impact on society and the environment, as measured by a third party standard


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