Other than traditional companies and corporations, B-Corporations don’t only focus on the benefits of their shareholders but also their stakeholders like people or the environment. This type of corporation is not yet authorized in all US states. Only 33 states and the District of Columbia authorized B-companies. In 55 countries there are over 2,500 certified B-Corporations. For those corporations and their shareholders, it is important to make good impact on society, workers, the community and the environment, next to their financial benefit. They not only publish yearly revenue reports but also yearly reports on how they benefitted the stakeholders.
Not many companies are ready to step away from the traditional values fo corporations and into a new world of caring for what happens around outside of the US. One of the first corporations in Europe, Kering, an international luxury group that owns brands like Guggi, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen, has declared that large global brands can also incorporate values and principles designed to achieve objectives beyond sheer profit. Furthermore, the CEO of Kering added that everyone needs to make a contribution to this new movement. It is time to transform the Fashion Industry, and other industries, so that it addresses our social and environmental challenges as achievable.
Not only in the fashion industry can report changes, but there is also a movement of benefiting stakeholders in other industries like the food industry. As a matter of fact, the largest B corp in the world right now is Danone North America. Their mother company Danone France started talking about social impact many decades ago. In a 1972 speech, the CEO of Danone France said that responsibility doesn't end at the factory gate or the factory door. Many other subsidiaries of the parent company have already been certified as B Corps. Danone is a big example of how Corporations should handle things and how open-minded they should be.
B Lab, which is doing the assessment for the certification, has the vision that one day, companies will not only compete to be the best in the world but also the best for the world. We certainly hope that this will soon be something that is also the vision of more global corporations. Taking care of the environment and the people is the foundation for a working and better world. Times are changing and profit is not all that counts anymore. Many companies are shifting towards more social company policies.