The Benefit Corporation: Can Business Be About More Than Profit?
The Benefit Corporation: Can Business Be About More Than Profit?
By Alex Goldmark / good.is
Jan 23, 2012

New laws took effect in Vermont and Virginia [July 11, 2011], giving ethical business a boost. If Vermont's law had been around 11 years ago, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield might not have had to sell their ice cream company.

Back then, Unilever made the highest bid for Ben and Jerry's, so the laws of shareholder responsibility forced the hippie founders to sell, even though they wanted to keep control. Now, with today's law, a new kind of corporation is created that prevents exactly that, the Benefit Corporation. Vermont and Virginia join Maryland and New Jersey in recognizing the new form of company. More than a dozen other states are taking steps to catch up.

"This new class of corporation is a milestone for two reasons," says Kyle Westaway, a lawyer who studies corporate forms and represented Launcht, the first company to file and officially become a Benefit Corporation in Vermont. The law, he says, "broadens the goals of the corporation from [just] profit to: profit, people and planet. Secondly, the Benefit Corporation increases transparency and accountability, by using an independent third party to verify that a business is acting in a socially and environmentally conscious fashion." 

Each Benefit Corporation must adhere to third party certification meeting certain environmental, social, or other non-financial standards. Many use the similarly named B-Corp Certification and Impact Assessment, which we've covered multiple times on GOOD.

0.0 ·
0
Featured Pay Per View Films
Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective (2015)
92 min
Within Reach (2013)
87 min
The Economics of Happiness (2011)
65 min
Trending Today
15 Easy Things You Can Do to Help When You Feel Like Shit
Maritsa Patrinos10,967 views today ·
The Design Flaw at the Core of Humanity's Malaise
Judith Schwartz1,947 views today ·
What Happened When One Family Decided to Go Outdoors Three Hours a Day for a Year
Hannah Alexander1,838 views today ·
6 Simple Self-Compassion Exercises
5 min1,485 views today ·
Dear Fellow White People: Did I Ever Tell You about the Time I Realised I was Racist?
5 min1,439 views today ·
Born Sexy Yesterday: Another Gendered Hollywood Movie Trope That Needs to Die
18 min1,355 views today ·
AI Has Already Taken Over - It's Called the Corporation
Jeremy Lent1,340 views today ·
Why Does Our Culture Focus So Much on Childbirth and So Little on The Time After?
Dr. Kathleen Kendall-Tackett1,092 views today ·
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min984 views today ·
Load More


Love Films For Action? 

If you feel like you get some value from this library, consider making a donation today. Every little bit helps.

Join us on Facebook
The Benefit Corporation: Can Business Be About More Than Profit?