EarthTalk: What Are “B Corporations?”


Published:

Dear EarthTalk: I know what C Corporations, S Corporations and LLCs are, but what are “B Corporations” and how does this status help the environment? —Robert Gendarme, Chicago, IL

C Corporations, S Corporations and LLCs are legal business structures distinguished by how they pay their taxes under U.S. federal income tax law, whereas a B Corporation (or “B Corp,” with the “B” standing for “Benefit”) isn’t actually a legal entity and is still taxed based upon its chosen C, S or LLC structure.

“B-Corp” is a certification awarded by the non-profit B Lab to for-profit companies which meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. “B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk,” reports B Lab, which has certified upwards of 2,100 companies from 50 countries and across 130 industries. To qualify as a B Corp, a company must be working primarily to solve an environmental or social issue through its work as a business entity.

B Lab launched in 2006 with the first B Corp certification of 19 companies coming a year later. The non-profit began lobbying efforts across the country in 2008. In 2010 Maryland passed the nation’s first B Corporation Law, followed closely by California in 2011. When Patagonia and 11 other well-known California companies registered as B Corps on the first day possible in January 2012, major national news outlets covered the story, putting the B Corp concept “on the map,” so to speak. And later that year, the movement went global when companies in Africa and Brazil became certified B Corps.

“I think B Corp ... will allow the values of my company to continue, even after it's sold and it’s way down the line and we’re dead,” says Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia’s founder, adding that he compares it to a conservation easement on a piece of property. “It’s a conservation easement on a business.” Besides Patagonia, some of the better-known companies now certified as B Corps include Ben & Jerry’s, Etsy, Warby Parker, Plum Organics, New Belgium Brewery, Stonyfield Farm, King Arthur Flour, Cabot Cheese, Badger and Seventh Generation.

Today 33 U.S. states recognize Benefit Corporation status while six more—Alaska, Georgia, Iowa, Mississippi, New Mexico and Oklahoma—are considering it. Companies that want to pursue B Corp status should check whether it’s recognized in their state by looking it up on benefitcorp.net’s State-by-State Status page. If the answer is yes, the next step is taking B Lab’s “B Impact Assessment,” which assesses the overall impact a company has on its stakeholders, including a heavy emphasis on sustainability and environmental considerations. The assessment takes two to four hours to complete depending on company size, sector and location. Several of the questions concern sustainability issues such as energy efficiency, waste and pollution mitigation efforts. For instance, one of the assessment questions asks: “What percent of energy (relative to company revenues) was saved in the last year for your corporate facilities?”

Companies that qualify must then revise their articles of incorporation so that managers and directors can start factoring in how their decisions affect all stakeholders, not just financial shareholders, while recertification every two years requires that companies maintain that commitment to all stakeholders in order to keep their status.

CONTACT: B Lab, www.bcorporation.net.

EarthTalk® is produced by Roddy Scheer & Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of the nonprofit Earth Action Network. To donate, visit www.earthtalk.org. Send questions to: question@earthtalk.org.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

January 19, 2019

There’s no place as comfortable as home when the Moon visits Cancer. Settle into household chores and duties. If you venture out, familiar places have the strongest appeal. Nostalgic memories may occur throughout the day. Things get active and…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

January 2019

Learn Reiki to awaken your healing hands to care for yourself, your loved ones and pets. Facilitated by Lou Orsan, Reiki Shihan (Master-Teacher) This one-day class covers the basic...

Cost: $150

Where:
Northeast Reiki Center
61 Nicholas Road, Suite B2
Framingham, MA  01701
View map »


Sponsor: Northeast Reiki Center
Telephone: 508-808-5696
Contact Name: Lou Orsan
Website »

More information

This class meets 4 times: January 13th, February 24th, March 24th, April 7th The Eclectic Institute of Aromatherapy and Herbal Studies offers a comprehensive hands-on training in the art and...

Cost: $625 plus a material fee of $50

Where:
Misty Meadows Herbst Center
183 Wednesday Hill Rd
Lee, NH  03861
View map »


Sponsor: Misty Meadow Herbal Center
Telephone: 603-659-7211
Contact Name: Wendy Snow Fogg
Website »

More information

With Amy Bernier In this empowering workshop we will explore the innate intelligence of our gut, “the second brain”. We will use yoga postures and breath work to refine our digestive...

Cost: $40

Where:
State of Grace Yoga and Wellness Center
104 East. Hartford Ave.
Uxbridge, MA  01569
View map »


Telephone: 508-278-2818
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Show More...
Show Less...

Show More...
Show Less...

Instructor:  Peyton Pugmire Adult level Come together in a warm and uplifting space to get creative, connect, and breathe! At each meeting, we will have fun making a meaningful craft...

Cost: $45

Where:
Creative Spirit
80 Washington Street
Marblehead, MA  01945
View map »


Sponsor: Creative Spirit
Telephone: 781-797-0389
Contact Name: Peyton Pugmire
Website »

More information

One of the most mysterious and magickal of the archangels, Uriel, has a variety of different and conflicting roles in angelic lore. In The Book of Enoch he is one of humanity’s advocates...

Cost: $45

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
386 Merrimack Street
Suite 1-A
Methuen, MA  01844
View map »


Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
Website »

More information

World famous seminars (www.understandingofmusic.com) turns beginners into musicians, revitalizes and inspires even pro musicians.

Where:
Boston, MA


Telephone: (781) 599-1476
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

With Sherri Snyder-Roche. This yoga workshop will explore self-compassion, self-love and pushing through discomfort to help your recovery process. Recovery from divorce, eating disorders,...

Cost: $95 for 6 weeks or $17 drop in

Where:
State of Grace Yoga and Wellness Center
104 E. Hartford Avenue, Unit A
Uxbridge, MA  01569
View map »


Telephone: 508-278-2818
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Holistic Problem-Solving with Dr. HermanSJr. Tired of missing opportunities that could further your life, your education, even your work? Tired of missing threats that continue to hold back your...

Cost: $100

Where:
Caffe Nero
368 Congress Street
Boston, MA  02210
View map »


Telephone: 321.30.PSYCH(7792)
Contact Name: Soni
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Deepen Your Practice DYP-30 Hour Yoga Alliance Course January–May 2019 5 Saturdays, 10am–4pm 1/19, 2/2, 3/30, 4/27, 5/18 Looking to deepen your practice but a 200 Hour training...

Cost: $599

Where:
KJ Fitness
Tewksbury, MA


Sponsor: Relax and Recharge With Chuck
Contact Name: Chuck
Website »

More information

January 19–20 With Patty Collinsworth Weekend class hours: Saturday, 10–5pm and Sunday, 10–5pm Learn how to open the Akashic Records for yourself and others in this...

Cost: $170

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
386 Merrimack Street
Suite 1-A
Methuen, MA  01844
View map »


Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
Website »

More information

The Eclectic Institute of Aromatherapy and Herbal Studies offers a comprehensive hands-on training in the art and science of Aromatherapy. This course covers the...

Cost: $550

Where:
The Soul Purpose
1225 Gar Highway
Swansea, MA  02777
View map »


Sponsor: The Soul Purpose
Telephone: 774-264-1329
Contact Name: Jessica Kozak
Website »

More information

Join nationally known psychic medium/spiritual counselor, Diana Harris, for a mediumship gallery. Diana is a bridge – a conduit between heaven and Earth. Ms. Harris will answer your questions...

Cost: $70

Where:
private office
North Andover, MA  01845


Sponsor: Diana Harris
Telephone: 978-973-6637
Contact Name: Diana Harris
Website »

More information

Holistic Problem-Solving with Dr. HermanSJr. Tired of missing opportunities that could further your life, your education, even your work? Tired of missing threats that continue to hold back your...

Cost: $100

Where:
Caffe Nero
368 Congress Street
Boston, MA  02210
View map »


Telephone: 321.30.PSYCH(7792)
Contact Name: Soni
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags