B Corporation: Business as a Force for Good

We’ve seen a lot of backlash against corporations in the very recent past, especially toward big multinational organizations, and while there are big companies focusing at least some of their efforts on social good and environmental solutions, some of that criticism is well-founded, and perhaps even deserved.

By their very nature, corporations are directed to provide the maximum value for their shareholders, which can be at odds with the idea of working toward the greater good in communities and for the people that live in them, including the larger community of humanity.

Corporate social responsibility and philanthropic initiatives can offset some of the negative environmental and social impacts that big business tends to create, and corporate sustainability programs work to help reduce the environmental footprint of their operations and supply chains, but it is possible to take those efforts further, as the recent B Corporation movement is demonstrating.

“B Corp certification is to sustainable business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk.

B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.” – B Corporation

By choosing to voluntarily meet higher standards for accountability, transparency, and performance, Certified B Corporations are working to redefine business success as being more than just posting record profits or increasing the share price.

B Corporations are leading the move to a more sustainable business climate by example, by not just creating jobs (and higher quality jobs), but by also helping to improve the quality of life in the communities where they operate. And through this growing movement, these B Corporations are also effecting change in policies, regulations, and finance, and offering a response to systemic challenges with “a concrete, market-based and scalable solution.”

Find out more about Certified B Corporations, join the B the Change movement, or measure the impact of your business on society with the B Impact Assessment.

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About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!