And on the policy side, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts this year introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act, which directly cites benefit-corporation legislation as the norm for the entire country and would give it more teeth for enforcement. B Lab certifies companies based on how they create value for non-shareholding stakeholders, such as their employees, the local community, and the environment. . Coen Gilbert and his team consulted with her corporate attorney and then other lawyers around the country. Coen Gilbert told Business Insider, laughing. Danone CEO Emmanuel Faber has said he is so pleased with what the certification has done for that business that he is aiming to have all of Danone achieve it by 2030. With around 250 associates worldwide now, the cost of keeping the cogs of the B Corp movement turning is growing by the day. With certified firms on every continent, it is impossible to point them all in a single direction. “As big as the B Corp community is, we're just a fraction of a much broader movement of people using business as a force for good, all around the world in many different contexts,” says Gilbert. At that point, the majority of folk would have thrown in the towel. Work is now under way to build its presence in Africa and Asia, with countries such as South Africa, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and China among the early forerunners. The remainder, for now, is picked up by philanthropists and grant-makers. Reuters Events is part of Reuters News & Media Ltd, 5 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AQ. Yet, these three fast friends have not only spelled out what an inclusive business structure looks like; they have also demonstrated how to build a movement around that structure. They're focused on a particular product attribute or practice,” explains Houlahan, an ex-investment banker. There are numerous member resources that are available to a B Corp once they are allowed to form. "And that was one of the dominant and most inspiring attributes of all the entrepreneurs and investors we'd been meeting, is they weren't screaming, yelling about an unjust system — they were actually working and investing in building companies that were making real differences in the lives of their workers, their communities, and future generations through their environmental practices. usa today, april 3, 2015. B Corp Certification is the most powerful way to build credibility, trust, and value for your business. Some B Corps may also be allowed to charge annual fees, collect fundraising, and other non-profit activities that are inviting to investors. Yours Truly, Julie Fahnestock, founder of B Storytelling & Secrets of B Corp Consulting Alumna. Launched last month, the initiative seeks to spark a “front-and-centre public conversation” about the direction of politics in the US and the importance of citizen action. B Corps are leading a global movement of people using business as force for good. If that purpose is ever to change, then there needs to be a set of rules that allows companies to legitimately consider the interests of all its other constituents. Think of the Marine Stewardship Council, the 1SO 26000, and the Fair Labor Association code all rolled into one. Initiating the creation of a whole new type of legal corporate entity was no small feat, yet the job of these three change-makers is far from done. In the past year alone Unilever acquired Brazilian organic food company Mae Terra, organic tea maker Pukka, US eco-laundry brand Seventh Generation and Sundial, a US haircare brand that serves consumers of colour. Unlike narrower certifications, Common Objective founder Tamsin Lejeune says this puts the onus on brands, rather than their suppliers. Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan and Andrew Kassoy believe the currently prevalent system of shareholder wealth maximization is both socially deleterious and outdated. Fink said at a New York Times conference in November that he believes that so-called ESG metrics — environmental, social, and governance — will be used by every investor within five years to judge a company's performance. Other venture investors in B Corps include Benchmark Capital, Founders Fund, Andreessen Horowitz, GV, Prelude Ventures, Tao Capital Partners, Khosla Ventures, S2G, Collaborative Fund, Blueberry Ventures, Thrive Capital, General Catalyst and Sequoia. Josh Driver, founder of tech startup Selfless.ly, explained why he chose to build a tech startup as a B Corp: The B Corp certification makes a strong statement about how Selfless.ly operates, the culture that surrounds our team, and the accountability we have to others to help make the world a … Few people set out to change the world the way Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan, and Andrew Kassoy did when they founded B Lab. Ethical Corporation recently sat down with its three founders, Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan and Andrew Kassoy, to find out. Houlahan's reply was basically, "Dude, what the f--- are you talking about?". And, yes, of course, for the all-important  holders of corporate capital, too. “It's pretty rare for companies to be doing stuff collectively and not just individually trying to sell their own stuff [yet] you've had hundreds of B Corps all around the US, all participating in that campaign.”, As big as the B Corp community is, we're just a fraction of a much broader movement. the atlantic, nov. 26, 2014. When Coen Gilbert began growing the idea for what became B Lab, the giant corporations that were buying the small, socially responsible companies like Ben & Jerry's seemed like the bad guys. The Creative Climate. “You can't expect a different outcome for society or for the environment if a company is still beholden to the interests of a single shareholder . Dezember 2015 das erste europäische Land, das eine der Benefit Corporation entsprechende Rechtsform eingeführt hat. B Corp. They are aware that profits are needed to maintain and grow a business, but they are not willing to generate these profits at any cost. Oliver Balch talks to Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan and Andrew Kassoy, about the movement's exponential growth, and the need to win over mainstream investors to their inclusive business model. Bart describes such as move as a “pretty fundamental shift” for most businesses, Jay agrees, saying it is daunting, particularly for those companies that are listed or on the hunt for external capital. It is this willingness to allow their baby to grow of its own accord that has been so crucial to B Corp’s success to date. Both by law and by culture, most people understand that the purpose of business is to maximise value for shareholders. She agreed with Coen Gilbert that the reign of shareholder primacy, rooted in economic theory most popularly expressed by free-market economists like Milton Friedman in the 1970s and then entrenched in judicial precedent throughout the 1980s, was not only harmful to other stakeholders but bad for the long-term health of a business. But there was a hitch. I'm passionate about re-imagining a financial system based on people. For Gilbert the campaign encapsulates the seemingly paradoxical dynamic within the B Corp movement of autonomy and self-determination, on the one hand, and a strong spirit of community and cooperation on the other hand. guardian, jan. 7, 2016. Die Benefit Corporation (B-corporation) ist eine seit 2010 in vielen Bundesstaaten der USA eingeführte Unternehmensform, mit der Gemeinwohl und privatwirtschaftlicher Nutzen besser vereinbar gemacht werden sollen. As for B Lab itself, the three former college mates, who shared digs at Stanford in the late 1980s, hope it will become more self-sustaining over time. The more than 2,600 Certified B Corps range from smaller private companies like Kickstarter to corporations like the food giant Danone's North American subsidiary. Bottom line: Venture investors do not “hate” B Corps. And increasingly that’s what people care most about. Registered in England and Wales: 2505735. He found it to be a fundamentally flawed concept, and his movement was designed to help decrease its hold over society. That said, not everywhere needs a change in law. Shareholder primacy, where a stock price can benefit at the cost of everything else, leads to a toxic short-termism, Coen Gilbert believed. These were world-changing events. He went through the stress of knowing that his sister worked in downtown Manhattan during the 9/11 attacks, and he learned she was pulled to safety from debris by a first responder. Some of today’s highest profile mission-minded companies – outdoor apparel company Patagonia, rebel ice-cream brand Ben & Jerry’s, and The Body Shop’s parent Natura, to name just a few – now carry the B Corp sticker. 2014 Wirtschaftliche Unterstützung benachteiligter Gruppen B Corp ist the world's largest community of purpose-driven businesses who measure their success by the benefits they yield to their stakeholders (with their shareholders being just one group of stakeholders). Connecting the drops in the battle against climate chan... Scorched earth strategies: How Cargill, Unilever and Di... ‘We can win the war on plastic waste if we marshal th... For sustainable, read resilient as companies strengthen... Biden’s first steps spur audacity of hope for US climate action proponents, 'The mining sector must come clean about its growing impact on deforestation', Working to protect Earth’s most precious raw material. In 2010, the state of Maryland approved a new-look company form that allowed corporate directors to balance profits with other considerations. Then he and his business partners fully developed the idea of a B Corporation. In 2010, B Lab began lobbying US states to pass "benefit corporation" legislation, a status that is the legal parallel to the B Corporation designation. For Coen Gilbert, B Lab will help ensure this trend reaches its conclusion, because he is convinced that shareholder primacy is a lesser way of doing business, even for the shareholders themselves. Vous suivez désormais les articles en lien avec ce sujet. B Corps are required to embed stakeholder governance into their articles of association, legally committing themselves to making decisions through the lens of a triple bottom line: profit, people and planet. The other founder is from India and is working on an H-1B at a large tech company. The B Lab founders worked their network and certified a freshman class of 19 B Corps in 2007. Team. He said B Corps and people fighting for the same values "are bending that arc of history or that lever of economics so it bends more towards justice and inclusion and equity and the creation of a more shared and durable prosperity. After months of discussion and planning, Houlahan decided that after they sold AND1 to American Sporting Goods in May 2005, his friend's ambitious idea would be worth pursuing. This fee starts as low as £500 for certified B Corps and scales with revenue. Take Action on Spreading the B Economy Today. With the New York Declaration on Forests' goal of halving deforestation by 2020 in tatters, there's an urgent need to press laggards for action, Angeli Mehta reports on how L’Oréal, Microsoft and BASF are cutting water use in their own operations – and beyond, Comment: David Grayson of the Cranfield School of Management draws some wider lessons from what was described as 'one of the worst ESG scandals in modern UK history' during the recent House of Commons debate, in which Labour MP Liz Kendall criticised investors for failing to hold Boohoo to account, Comment: Chhavi Sharma of climate solutions charity Ashden says building a more inclusive and diverse energy ecosystem will be critical to reaching SDG7 by 2030, Even if Democrats fail to secure the Senate, there is growing optimism the Biden administration’s commitment to… https://t.co/FpHbzwEoGR, Watch Terry Slavin's interview with @Cop26 highlevel climate champion @topnigel about the #racetozero, US reentry… https://t.co/9l6QNJbXB3, RT @DavidGrayson_: There are supply chain problems to be tackled in UK as well as internationally: my article for @REvents_SustBiz The kind of pan-stakeholder model that the B Lab founder were advocating simply didn’t exist. Kassoy points to the recent Vote Every Day campaign, which was conceived, designed, financed, and executed by a group of concerned US-based B Corp companies off their own bat. Certified B Corporations pay an annual certification fee, which licenses them to use intellectual property like the Certified B Corp logo. "And then I had realized what I had said — like wow, that is a pretty big thing to just lay on somebody on New Year's Day without any warning!" B Corp alone won’t usher in a truly stakeholder economy. Paul Polman, Unilever’s retiring CEO, was recently quoted as saying that Unilever itself was working towards B Corp certification: “It would send a strong signal to the market and attract hopefully even more of the right shareholders.”. In the US, where the B Corp movement began, corporate law prevented many companies from altering their legal status, even if they wanted to. Not that the movement’s founders want to, he adds: “This is no longer about Bart, Jay and Andrew … This movement has been, and will continue to be, defined by the B Corporations themselves.”. B Corporation certification (assessed by the not-for-profit B Lab) is given to for-profit organisations who achieve at least a minimum score against a set of social and environmental standards. After leaving the basketball-apparel company AND1, Jay Coen Gilbert founded the B Corporation movement, aimed at toppling shareholder primacy. In The New York Times on August 25, 33 B Corp CEOs called for the business leaders of the Business Roundtable to put their words into action by adopting benefit corporation governance structures. B Lab analysts grade each company on its benefits across five areas and refresh the assessment every three years. With certified firms on every continent it is impossible to point them all in a single direction. Yet other certifications boast similar figures, if not higher. People want to work for, buy from, and invest in businesses they believe in. So what makes it such great shakes? . Even if Democrats fail to secure the Senate in January, there is optimism that the Biden administration’s commitment to addressing climate change is riding economic and financial tailwinds. The B Corp certification is to businesses what fair trade is to coffee, the team describes. By 1999, Coen Gilbert had reached a level of financial success where, though still focused on AND1, he began considering options for what could come next. The real breakthrough came in 2013, however, when the state of Delaware, known as the home of US corporate law, agreed to introduce similar legislation. Coen Gilbert doesn't see his movement as a charitable act, but a participant in a major shift in how businesses are run. 4. “The … They can count on some powerful advocates already. 1. The B Lab founders are pinning their hopes on leaders in the corporate world to win the argument for them, But, despite growing interest on Wall Street, support for the B Corp model is still mostly at the “whispering behind-the-scenes” stage, according to Kassoy: “Investors tend not to have the courage to come out and talk about these kinds of things. Companies can also apply to be legally recognized as "benefit corporations" in 34 states and Washington, DC, as well as in Italy, with other countries considering legislation. Annina frank | Kassel und Umgebung, Deutschland | Founder at F.N.B. After he and Houlahan left AND1 in 2005, they sought a partnership with Newman's Own, the food company that uses all its profits for charitable purposes, but nothing came of it. B Corps are helping their employees, customers, and community vote safely this Fall. Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan, and Andrew Kassoy – B-Lab Founders. “Epoch-making” is not a word to be bandied about lightly. The sadness he felt made him think about his own mortality, and "that triggered a pretty intense period of reflection on what's the highest and best use of my life," he said. If this is something your board is behind, then this is something we'll support.". Certification fees and other services cover about 55% of the organisation’s running costs. B Corp Certification doesn’t just evaluate a product or service; it assesses the overall positive impact of the company that stands behind it. This idea would mature into the notion of B Corporations, where the B stands for "benefit." “Most certifications are pretty stovepipe. Benefit Corp Inc. Italien ist seit dem 22. that simply doesn’t work,” he states. Today, a company can register as a benefit corporation in 34 states and Washington, DC. Can B Corp be the next Fair Trade for socially-minded corporations? ‘L… https://t.co/74Dsp7Lc9q, Scorched earth strategies: How Cargill, Unilever and Diageo are cutting their water footprints, Connecting the drops in the battle against climate change, Mining firms ‘failing to get to grips with worsening water security crisis’, From 500 litres of water a day to 50: P&G heads up partnership to stave off next Day Zero, The Gulf companies innovating to reduce their dependence on desalination. B Lab is transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. new york times, july 7, 2014. B Lab certifies companies for "B Corporation" status, which publicly holds them accountable to stakeholders beyond shareholders, like employees and the environment. Emmanuel Faber, head of French food giant Danone, which acquired America’s largest public benefit corporation, WhiteWave Foods, in 2017, is another vocal supporter. "We actually created a system that was counter to human nature, and we're in the middle of a mid­course correction," he said. Connecting B Corp founders and investors. Ethical Corporation recently sat down with its three founders, Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan and Andrew Kassoy, to find out. The trio take heart from recent announcements by the likes of BlackRock chief executive Larry Fink about companies embracing a social purpose other than pure profit maximisation. He told Business Insider that the certification had received tremendous employee support and won over skeptical investors, adding that Danone's plan helped it renegotiate a €2 billion syndicated banking loan with 12 major banks at a lower cost. While the value and success […] I joined Wefunder in early 2018, after 7 wonderful years running Kiva's U.S. lending division. Working with a small alliance of chief executives who bought into their vision, they began lobbying legislators on Capitol Hill and elsewhere. Coen Gilbert brought charitable initiatives to AND1 but realized he wanted something on a larger scale. Today, there are 2,655 Certified B Corporations across 60 countries, and they include Danone North America, Patagonia, and Amalgamated Bank. So if your startup is still in the bootstrapping phase, it may not be worth it quite yet. And though all three say the growth trajectory of the B Corp movement would have been much faster without the legal clause, the requirement is non-negotiable. I'm focused on trying to find B Corps who can benefit from raising capital on Wefunder. In a similar spirit, B Lab regularly reaches out to other organisations that share their disruptive vision, such as Conscious Capitalism and the Richard Branson-backed B Team. One founder is on a green card and already works there. The story doesn't end there. They brought on Andrew Kassoy, a Wall Street connection, and launched B Lab the next year. And then two weeks later, one of his AND1 team members died in a car accident on his way to work. Partly, it’s because the movement has grown so exponentially, Houlahan responds. Coen Gilbert had enough of a financial cushion that if the project failed miserably, he'd be able to work his way back onto Wall Street. Why the reticence? Ce thème a bien été retiré de votre compte. "And I think it's a cool thing to observe and to be a part of. Outside the US, B Corp already counts a strong and growing base of certified firms in South America, Australia, the UK and mainland Europe. It's about the entire company and its impact on all of its stakeholders, not just one of its stakeholders.”. In Gilbert’s words, it serves as the “guardrails on corporate behaviour”. Diana Rojas reports, Comment: The impact of the extractives sector on forest loss has been largely overlooked, says CDP's Morgan Gillespy. He spent the next few years reading books and attending conferences about using business for social good. Companies going through the B Corp process would be overseen by the company B Lab. Not the B Lab founders. This is the second in a weekly series of excerpts from the upcoming book “The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good.” By Ryan Honeyman I first discovered the AND 1 mixtapes in This article is part of Business Insider's ongoing series on. Jay Coen Gilbert was celebrating New Year's Day in 2005 at his colleague and friend Bart Houlahan's house when he broke some unexpected news. Can the H-1B co-founder lead this company? Credit: Robert Cicchetti/Shutterstock. B Corps are coming together to ensure Americans know that it's their right to vote. B Corps have been around in the US since 2007, with brands like Ben & Jerry's and Patagonia achieving certification. He met with Leslie Christian, who was then the CEO and president of Portfolio 21 and focused on socially responsible investing. After a few years of recruiting companies, Coen Gilbert wanted to further help companies with a social mission retain it after selling or going public, and he believed the next step would be through a legal certification. Jonny Price FUND MANAGER. The trio see themselves as “bridge-builders”, “not cathedral-makers”. B Corp founders reveal impact to date. He became involved with the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies and the Social Venture Network. B Corp certification is about the entire company and the impact on all its stakeholders. Pushed further about future plans, however, and the co-founders become uncharacteristically sheepish. Ben & Jerry’s owner Unilever has bought into the B Corp movement, quite literally, as it has sought to expand its Sustainable Living brands. 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Today, you also have someone like Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, saying in a letter to CEOs that "to prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.". Another goal for the near future is to keep growing its international reach. Nice is suddenly fashionable in Corporate America. A leader in economic systems change, our global network creates standards, policies, and tools for business, and we certify companies—known as B Corps—who are leading the way. Four days after that, their dad died from lung cancer. Through their growing network of B Corp alliances around the world, the B Lab founders hope to see other national legislatures follow suit. ", "I think that is a conscious human choice," Coen Gilbert said. According to the co-founders of B Lab, shareholder capitalism is failing us. The ‘B’ in B Corp stands for “beneficial”: for customers and employees, suppliers and sub-suppliers, oceans and orangutans, flora and fauna. There was a chance to find out how the B Corps people are getting on one year on from launching in the UK at a session put on by Marmalade, the fringe event that happens alongside the Skoll World Forum. (The B Corp certification is an independent label.) Building a Better Business. It can be costly The fees for B Corp certification range from $500 to over a million, depending on how much your company makes. Companies that pass requirements pay an annual fee. One of the big challenges ahead is to get investors on board. The 2006 Companies Act in the UK, for instance, gives firms flexibility to amend their articles of association accordingly. This long and exacting list of social, ethical and environmental requirements turns what sounds like a wishy-washy idea into robust reality. Certified B Corporations are social enterprises verified by B Lab, a nonprofit organization. Pioneers Post, April 13, 2016. “Most certifications are pretty stovepipe. Coen Gilbert thinks that in the future, the toxic short-termism he believes results from shareholder primacy will seem absurdly outdated. © Reuters Events 2020 | TERMS OF USE | PRIVACY POLICY | ABOUT US | +44 0207 375 7212 |, Getting investors to back the B Corps is the next big challenge. After completing the sale of AND1 — the basketball-apparel company Coen Gilbert cofounded and Houlahan helped lead as chief financial officer, chief operating officer, and president — he was going to start an organization that would allow companies to apply for a designation that would publicly hold them accountable for the ways they benefitted workers, communities, the environment, and customers. When Coen Gilbert's friend Seth Berger, a lifelong basketball fan, told him in the early '90s that his solution to avoiding a traditional finance path after business school would be by starting a specialized basketball-apparel brand, it seemed like a fun idea. Headlines in the New York Times declaring that ‘American Capitalism Isn’t Working’ are also helping to build momentum. “We can act to create the economy that we want through our everyday actions with what we buy, what we invest in, where we go to work. Disadvantages of B Corp certification. B Lab UK was founded by two entrepreneurs, both of whom were founders of B Corps - Charmian Love, CEO of Volans and James Perry, Director and co-founder of COOK Food. B Corp founders reveal impact to date. The number of certified B Corps is nearing 2,700 companies, encompassing around 150 industries in 60 or so countries. Examples of B Corps. Once a firm crosses a certain performance threshold on these dimensions, it makes amendments to its corporate charter to incorporate the interests of all stakeholders int… In 2010, a Delaware corporate lawyer helped B Lab with a proposal for a "benefit corporation" legal status. The trio’s initial desire was to create something, Gilbert says, “that would assist in supporting and uplifting all the entrepreneurs and investors around the world that were trying to use their business for a higher purpose than just maximising personal wealth, but more to create, sort of, community health.”. Kickstarter co-founder and CEO Yancey Strickler said the company pursued B Corp certification to “bind the company and future leaders of the company to act with a set of values.” Strickler added: “If it’s just based on assessment, there’s always the opportunity to betray those values or, when you’re in a tough spot, to make a decision to compromise. As with their efforts to change the law, the B Lab founders are pinning their hopes on leadership within the corporate world itself to win the argument for them. Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, has written "Benefit Corporation legislation creates the legal framework to enable companies like Patagonia to stay mission-driven through succession, capital raises, and even changes in ownership, by institutionalizing the values, culture, processes, and high standards put in place by founding entrepreneurs." It is this second attribute that edges them towards possible “epoch-making” territory – if they can get the rest of the Wall Street to follow the likes of Paul Polman and Emmanuel Faber in conversion to the B Corp cause. Italy and Colombia have already done so. ", D'autres articles qui pourraient vous intéresser.

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