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
Trending Today
Revolution and American Indians: “Marxism is as Alien to My Culture as Capitalism”
Russell Means78,488 views today ·
15 Powerful Quotes From the World's Most Humble President
Hyacinth Mascarenhas15,178 views today ·
MP Says Government is Intentionally Making People Destitute to Prevent Organised Opposition
2 min11,736 views today ·
This Short Film Plays Out Like an Epic Movie That Will Shake Your Soul - But the Movie Is Real, and We are The Actors
6 min6,568 views today ·
Welcome to Marinaleda: The Spanish Anti-Capitalist Town With Equal Wage Full Employment and $19 Housing
Jade Small6,532 views today ·
Every Town Needs a Remakery
Jeremy Williams5,156 views today ·
Without Saying a Word This 6 Minute Clip From Samsara Will Make You Speechless
6 min4,543 views today ·
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min4,045 views today ·
Why We Can and Should Abolish the Police and Prison Industrial Complex
2 min3,998 views today ·
Load More
New
Meet The Woman Rescuing Fruit and Feeding Her Community
2 min
Debating the British Empire's 'Legacy' Is Pointless - This Is Still an Imperial World
Ibtisam Ahmed
9 Times Video Games Were Great for Mental Health
Marijam Didzgalvyte and Jish Newham
What is Populism?
6 min
5 Things You Can Do To Help Immigrant and Muslim Neighbors
Lornet Turnbull
Why We Can and Should Abolish the Police and Prison Industrial Complex
2 min
Break the Chain - Fortnight of Action Against Fracking Supply Chain Begins
Andrew Butler
Republican Fight to Criminalize Protest Tactics
5 min
Trouble, Ep. 1 - Killing the Black Snake
30 min
Load More
What's Next
What I've Learned About U.S. Foreign Policy (2000)
118 min
Libertarian Self-Marginalization
14 min
George Carlin on Corporate America
4 min
Like us on Facebook?
The Benefit Corporation: Can Business Be About More Than Profit?