Why B Corp Certification Matters
Companies can attract younger workers by seeking — or touting — B Corp status, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Since 2007, B Lab, the nonprofit that awards companies with a B Corp logo based on their environmental and social business practices, says 859 companies — including Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, Etsy and Method Products — have been certified in 29 countries and 60 industries.
The Wall Street Journal says millennials — people between the ages of 21 and 32 — want to make a social impact through their work. Rob Michalak, director of social mission at Ben & Jerry’s, tells the paper that the ice-cream company’s B Corp sustainability certification, earned in October 2012, sparked interest among 20-something job seekers. And Portland, Ore.-based grocery chain New Seasons Market, says its B Corp designation helps attract better-qualified candidates.
Some 25 percent registered benefit corporations in the US have received B Corp certification, Jay Coen Gilbert, a co-founder of B Lab, tells WSJ, adding that corporate interest is “high.”
There are currently about 200 benefit corporations in the US, according to a report by Worldwatch Institute published in May. The total gross revenues for all certified benefit corporations is about $6 billion annually, and together these businesses employ about 30,000 people, the report says.
An increasing number of municipal and state governments have addressed benefit corporations through legislation and tax incentive programs. In 2009, Philadelphia was among the first cities in the US to provide a pilot tax incentive for certified benefit corporations.
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