Responsible Business Is Real!
B Corps and Benefits Corporation Legislation in the News
There is no denying that many businesses and legislators are taking a greater role in driving positive social and environmental change. Just read the Business Insider and watch Nike’s new ad featuring Colin Kaepernick—how far they have come since the days of being branded as the global leader in corporate villainy. Watch this
With the passing of the Benefit Company Legislation in British Columbia this fall (the legislation passed 1st and 2nd reading in the legislature in April and will go to committee for debate for final vote in October), British Columbia will be on the vanguard of driving positive social change in the Commonwealth. That’s right—not just Canada but the entire Commonwealth! No other Commonwealth jurisdiction has come this far.
And it all started with our coast cousin to the south—the Benefit Corporation movement started in California with the passing of the Corporate Flexibility Act in 2011, and it hasn’t looked back.
Here are a few examples of how this movement is making headlines around the world:
Forbes reported on Accountable Capitalism in their story, “Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Republicans, CEOs & BlackRock’s Fink Unite Around ‘Accountable Capitalism.’” Senator Warren announced that she will introduce legislation called the Accountable Capitalism Act to require all corporations with more than $1 billion in revenue to become federally chartered and adopt a new model of corporate governance based on the benefit corporation model already in use in 34 US states. And it’s not just liberals that support it. It’s supported by politicians and individuals of all stripes and has been signed into law by Democrat and Republican governors across the US. You can read more about the Conservative Right adopting the Benefit Corporation model as well as everyone else here.
The Wall Street Journal featured an opinion piece written by Elizabeth Warren (“Companies Shouldn’t Be Accountable to Only Shareholders”) that outlines a shared vision of the responsibility of corporate governance. Read more
The Economist printed the story “Danone rethinks the idea of the firm” about how Danone is leading a global revolution that Emmanuel Faber (Chief Executive Officer of Danone) believes is the beginning of the end of globalization. Danone became B Corp Certified in April 2018, making it the largest consumer-facing B Corp in the world with $28 billion of annual revenue driven by brands like Activia, Evian, Volvic, and many more. He has redefined the goal of the company. The “purpose of this firm is not to create shareholder value”, he says. “Instead it is to get healthy food to as many mouths as possible, benefiting everyone from suppliers to consumers to owners”. Read more
The Taipei Times, in their article “Taiwan embraces the B Corp ethical business revolution,” describes how Taiwan sees the trend towards social enterprise and the possibilities it opens to building a better future for Taiwan. Read more
An exciting part of this story is in this headline of TheStreet.com: “Amalgamated Bank Shares Pop in Nasdaq Debut”. The movement is not just about companies wanting to feel good. It’s also about driving profits and raising capital. Amalgamated Bank, a Certified B Corp, became the first B Corp bank to complete an IPO and the results were positively surprising.
The success of Amalgamated Bank’s IPO proves that investors favour companies that want to have a positive impact. More and more investors are taking the time to find investments that reflect what they care about. Investors want to earn good returns, but they also want to invest responsibly, taking into account stakeholders other than just the shareholders. Watch the video here.
At Cove, we believe, as a business, we have the capacity to improve lives in our community through the products and services we provide, the way we conduct our business, and our environmental activism.