Man's hands holding BUSINESS section of newspaper.

New Business Model

In the old paradigm, companies just sought to make a profit, plain and simple. This all-for-profit mentality often came at great expense to workers, the community, and the environment. As we enter the first decades of the 21st century, we are reaching a tipping point in many areas. The climate is changing, populations are growing, and people are increasingly disenfranchised from wealth and social services. Governments just aren’t keeping pace with the changes that are desperately needed to solve today’s issues. That’s where a new type of business model can become an incredibly powerful tool. Certified B Corporations aim to redefine what true success means in business by making the world a more sustainable place – through business!

The innovative nonprofit organization B Lab serves a global movement of people who are using business as a force for good. Their vision is that one day all companies will compete not only to be the best in the world, but the Best FOR the World®. If this vision can be achieved, society will enjoy a more shared and durable prosperity.

 B Lab is driving this change by: 

1) Building a global community of Certified B Corporations who meet the highest standards of verified, overall social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability;

2) Promoting Mission Alignment using innovative corporate structures like the benefit corporation to align the interests of business with those of society and to help high impact businesses be built to last;

3) Helping tens of thousands of businesses, investors, and institutions Measure What Matters, by using the B Impact Assessment and B Analytics to manage their impact—and the impact of the businesses with whom they work—with as much rigor as their profits;

4) Inspiring millions to join the movement through story-telling by B the Change Media.

Just what is a B Corporation?

Individually, B Corps must meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability, and aspire to use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems.

How can a business be B Corp certified?

Step 1: Meet Performance Requirements and complete the B Impact Assessment.

Step 2: Meet the Legal Requirement and determine the path for your corporate structure and state of incorporation.

Step 3: Make it Official! Sign the B Corp Declaration of Interdependence and Term Sheet.

There are currently nearly 1900 Certified B Corporations operating in 50 countries and covering over 130 industries. These companies are maintaining their mission and differentiating from pretenders or green washers. They are benchmarking and improving their performance. This allows them to attract and engage better talent while collaborating with peers. It can also save money and generate good public relations—even raise capital. It’s a win-win situation for the company, the people and the environment!

Some of the content in this blog post was republished with permission from B Lab.

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About The Author

Melody Meyer's picture

Melody is the Vice President of Policy and Industry Relations for United Natural Foods (UNFI). In this role she is responsible for communicating and educating all stakeholders on critical organic issues. Her Blog www.organicmattersblog.com covers a range of organic and sustainable food issues.

She is the executive director of the UNFI Foundation which is dedicated to funding non-profit organizations that promote organic agriculture  www.unfifoundation.org. Melody serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Organic Trade Association www.ota.com.

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