The Business of a Better World: Can a New Kind of Corporation Save Us and Our Economy?

Publishec on AlterNet, by Tara Lohan, April 15, 2012.

Corporations by today’s definition, are obligated to make as much money as they can. But a new kind of corporation is changing that and potentially our economy, too … //

2nd page: … The Business of Saving the World:  

While the coffee world has set up some of their own product standards through Fair Trade certification, most other industries operate without third-party verification and it can be hard to tell a green and socially conscious business from just clever marketing and a big ad budget. B Corp, however, holds a company accountable for not just its impact, but its mission. In fact B Corps have a Declaration of Interdependence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident:

  • That we must be the change we seek in the world.
  • That all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered.
  • That, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all.
  • To do so requires that we act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.

Last month B Labs released its list of the top companies that are the “best for the world.” In terms of overall impact, they highlighted companies such as Method Products, Better World Books, Global Green Energy Corp, Namaste Solar, Piedmont Biofuels, New Resource Bank, Re:Vision Architecture, to name a few. They also recognized the top performers for environmental impact like Patagonia, Bullfrog Power, Guayakí Sustainable Rainforest Products, IceStone, gDiapers, Larry’s Beans. For community impact there was, Care2, Cap Global, Virginia Community Capital, Ideal Network and for worker impact there was Exponent Partners, Heller Consulting, King Arthur Flour Company, Peaceworks Technology Solutions, Sungevity. The full list of top companies can be found here, along with high-fives for most impactful small companies, too … //

… Right now the mighty power of 500 B Corps may be a drop in the bucket compared to the huge multinationals that control our economy and politics. But our business-as-usual model in recent decades has put us on the fast track to financial and ecological ruin. Without a dramatic shift toward revolutionary change, we’re in a mess of trouble. By changing the way we do business, B Corps may be providing an invaluable part of the equation for change.

“It may take a while to displace the rent-seeking leviathans that get rich off lobbying, power plays, pyramid schemes and defense contracts,” concludes Raskin. “Then again, a lot of those companing root and blossoming right here in America, restoring the bonds of community while doing honest commerce. This is what economic recovery looks like.” (full long 3-pages text).


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