Why My Company Became a B Corporation
by Nancy Goldstein, Compass(X)Strategy
I was 13 years old, like many Jewish kids, I stood up in front of my friends and family, read nervously from the Torah, and publicly declared (mostly symbolically) “Today I take my part in adult society.” This week, I stood up and made another declaration. Thankfully, this time my teeth are straighter and I have outgrown my teen gawkiness. This time, I publicly declared my values. Today, I declare that I believe business can be better. That business can be a force for good. Today, my company has become a Certified B Corporation.
A B Corporation (B stands for Benefit) is a new kind of company that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. Though new, the idea is rapidly spreading. In just three years there are already more than 400 companies representing 50 industries and a combined revenue of $1.5 billion. Unlike traditional companies, B Corporations are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their employees, consumers, suppliers, community and the environment.
B Corporations have become a legally recognized corporate structure (like a C corp or an S corp) in Maryland, New Jersey and Vermont. Six other states have legislation pending. Additionally, the city of Philadelphia passed a tax break for Certified B Corporations in December 2009.
Why are states and cities getting behind this movement? The City Council of Philadelphia found that B Corporations in their city provided more than just economic benefits. The found that that good companies are good businesses.
- 44% offer some form of employee ownership
- They are twice as likely to offer health insurance and retirement plans
- 9 out of 10 are locally owned and are 3 times more likely to be owned by women or minorities
- 82% have programs for community volunteering
- 74% are affiliated with a local charity and are 30 times more likely to donate at least 10% of their income to charity
I am so honored to be a part of this community of forward thinking business leaders. My 13 year old self would be proud.
Here’s how you can learn more about how Compass(x) Strategy is being a force for good or about how you can begin assessing how your company can do more.