On July 24, 2020 Cove Continuity Advisors Inc. became one of the first registered benefit companies to be registered under the new British Columbia Benefit Company legislation that was passed into law on May 15, 2019.
Changes to the Business Corporations Act introduce a new type of company – a benefit company. B.C. businesses have the option of becoming a benefit company. A benefit company is a for-profit company that commits to conducting its business in a responsible and sustainable way. It must also promote one or more public benefits. Benefit companies choose what type of public benefit they want to promote. Public benefits must have a positive effect for a group of people (other than business shareholders), communities, organizations, or the environment.
The company rules in the Business Corporations Act apply to benefit companies, along with a few new rules.
A benefit company must:
- Have a “benefit statement” in its notice of articles
- State its public benefits and its commitments to promote those public benefits and to conduct business in a responsible and sustainable manner in its articles. This is called a “benefit provision”
- Publish an annual benefit report and post it on its website (if it has one)
Directors of a benefit company must:
- Balance their duty to act in the best interests of company with their new duties to conduct business in a responsible and sustainable manner and promote the company’s specified public benefits
20.01 Benefit Provision
This Company is a benefit company and, as such, is committed to conducting its business in a responsible and sustainable manner.
The Company commits to promote the following public benefits:
- Providing financial support to non-profit organizations, approved by the third-party organization “1% for the Planet”, engaged in fighting climate change and environmental degradation;
- Providing financial support to organizations and individuals engaged in educating other individuals towards gaining physical, mental and/or emotional self-sufficiency;
- Using the Company’s voice and influence to promote justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in the Company’s local and global communities; and
- Using the Company’s business as a force for good by promoting transparency and accountability in the way the Company does business while promoting these same values throughout the Company’s business ecosystem such that all stakeholders, including the Company’s shareholders, employees, customers, partners, suppliers, community and the environment, benefit from governance practices that are inclusive and compassionate.