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  • Awarded: 2014
  • Issue Areas: Clean Energy · Environmental Sustainability · Responsible Supply Chains · Standards · Sustainable Markets · Water Management
  • Region: Central America · Europe · North America · South America
  • Web: bcorporation.net
  • About the Organization

    B Corp certification is to sustainable business what LEED certification is to green building or Fair Trade certification is to coffee. B Corps are certified by the non-profit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

    There is a growing community of more than 1,400 Certified B Corps from 42 countries and 130 industries. B Corps use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.

    B Lab operates three interrelated initiatives to support these entrepreneurs on the road to a new economy. In addition to certifying B Corps to meet rigorous standards, B Lab operates GIIRS, a ratings agency and analytics platform for impact investors, and also works to pass legislation for new corporate forms. To date, 26 states as well as Washington, DC, have passed benefit corporation legislation.

    The work of the B Corp Community will influence the next generation of leaders whose names we do not yet know and whose ideas we cannot yet imagine.

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    The private business sector creates wealth for a very few, while externalizing costs to many.

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    B Lab creates a blueprint for business in the 21st century.

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    Thanks to the work of Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan and Andrew Kassoy, a new legal form, the benefit corporation, makes it possible to balance shareholder value with social benefit.

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    More than 1,000 corporations have committed to the B Lab path.

    Ambition for Change

    Companies around the world assess their social and environmental value creation, and include enhancement of those values in their corporate missions. Individuals and communities enjoy greater economic opportunity, society addresses its most challenging environmental problems, and more people find fulfillment by bringing their whole selves to work.

    Path to Scale

    For-Profit Social Entrepreneurship

    B Lab Company has identified a number of drivers of the changes it promotes in business values and practices, including increased resilience, customer and employee satisfaction, access to new sources of capital, and policy actions that may give preference to benefit corporations in different jurisdictions.

    Business Model

    Benefit corporations succeed through their profitable business activities. B Lab Company, a nonprofit, is supported by philanthropy and corporate fees.

    Believing that the private sector can and must be a force for good, a force for solving the problems of the world and not for creating them or making them worse, B Lab creates a blueprint for business in the 21st century. Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan and Andrew Kassoy, who founded B Lab in 2006, were longtime friends who had lived together at Stanford. They had worked in businesses committed to serving a double or triple bottom line, valuing social and environmental benefits along with profits, and experienced the frustration of working within a legal system that made this well-nigh impossible by recognizing the rights of shareholders, including their right to insist on maximizing profits, as paramount. B Lab exists to enable double and triple bottom line businesses to take advantage of a new legal form, the benefit corporation, that makes it possible to balance shareholder value with social benefit. It supports those businesses and promotes their success through corporate certification and enhancing their access to capital. At the time of the Award, there were about 1,000 certified B corporations around the world.

    Impact & Accomplishments

    As of early 2015, there are more than 1,200 B Corporations.

    Affiliated

    Andrew KassoyCo-Founder, B Lab
    Bart HoulahanCo-Founder, B Lab
    James PerryDirector, B Lab UK, B Lab
    Jay Coen GilbertCo-Founder, B Lab
    Katie KerrCommunications Director, B Lab
    Marcello PalazziCo-Founder, B Lab

    See All Awardees →