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  • Awarded: 2015
  • Issue Areas: Early Childhood to Primary Education · Sanitation · Standards
  • Countries Served: Argentina · Australia · Austria · Brazil · Canada · Chile · Colombia · Costa Rica · Denmark · Ecuador · France · Germany · Greece · Ireland · Israel · Italy · Kenya · Mexico · Netherlands · New Zealand · Paraguay · Peru · Portugal · South Africa · South Korea · Spain · Switzerland · Taiwan · Turkey · United Kingdom · United States · Uruguay
  • Web: benefitcorp.net,
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    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.

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    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.

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    Friends for over 20 years since living together at Stanford, Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan and Andrew Kassoy founded B Lab in 2006 after years of searching for how to be of greatest service to social justice. From their prior business experiences and discussions with leaders of triple-bottom line companies, they came to the idea of using business as a force for good—to address social and environmental issues at scale by creating the framework and market infrastructure necessary to allow businesses to remain mission aligned as they grow and scale.

    Prior to B Lab, Jay and Bart were Co-Founder and President of AND1, respectively, a $250 million basketball footwear and apparel business. Andrew, an investor in AND1, spent his career as a private equity investor; which included his involvement as a Partner at MSD Real Estate Capital, a $1 billion real estate fund controlled by MSD Capital and the investment vehicle for the assets of Michael Dell and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. Together, Jay, Bart and Andrew bring their extensive personal experience in the private sector to leverage the impact of B Lab and the movement of people using business as a force for good.

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    Impact & Accomplishments

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

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