Better Business: Chris Marquis
The Benefit Corporation Gateway gathers curated, useful information for academic researchers, policy makers and entrepreneurs interested in the innovative concept of benefit corporations.
New Case: Certified B Corps
Using Business as a Force for Good
Abstract: A growing number of organizations are incorporating corporate social responsibility into their strategy and operations. Such organizations distinguish themselves as having a triple bottom line: people, planet, and profit. Certification systems guide organizations in their journeys toward becoming sustainable businesses and permit them to differentiate themselves from other organizations in the eyes of investors, employees, consumers, suppliers, and the community at large. This chapter presents one such system: the B Corp certification. B Corps (or B Corporations; the terms are interchangeable) are perhaps the fullest contemporary expression of the argument that businesses have a purpose beyond maximizing shareholder profit. In this chapter, we discuss the B Corp Certification's origin, how a business becomes a B Corp, and the advantages and risks of doing so. Next, we present two brief case studies that illustrate B Corp businesses. Finally, we consider the road ahead for B Corps, including evolving issues, such as the B Movement and its ecosystem.
Authors: Maria Ballesteros-Sola, Céleste M. Grimard, and Marchal Worsham
A case study that detail how Danone participated in a cohort to move its holdings through the B Corp process.
The B Corp clinic is an excellent opportunity to network within the local business community and explore sustainable practices with partner companies.
Recognize the incredible value-add for your department or on-campus organization through the successful implementation of a B-Corp clinic.
Opportunities for students to learn management and leadership capabilities such as project management skills, remote work and collaboration skills, and effective communication with disparate actors.
B Impact Teams are self-organized teams of college/university students that assist businesses to measure and manage their impact. These student-led consulting teams serve their local community by assessing social and environmental metrics of community businesses using the B Impact Assessment.
Schools around the country have formed B Impact Teams on their campuses to serve their local business community. B Impact Teams work one-on-one with businesses, host workshops for area businesses, and more. Check out some examples below to find out more and to start planning how your B Impact Team will work with companies.
Events and Workshops
Hundreds of educational events and workshops are held on campuses each year to inform and inspire students and faculty to get involved in the movement of people using business as a force for good. Here are some examples of successful programs.
Emzingo is a social enterprise and certified B Corp focused on creating the next generation of Responsible Leaders. Since 2010, we have partnered with universities to provide project-based experiential learning programs focused on leadership and social impact. Programs include:
· International and domestic faculty-led treks that are 7-14 days and primarily take place during spring break, winter break, May, and August. These are typically co-designed with faculty and staff at our university partner
· Summer "impact internships" called the Global Impact Fellowship (undergraduate, 8 weeks) and NexGen (graduate, 6 weeks), the latter of which won the Ashoka U Award for Innovation. These programs have multi-school cohorts and combine a consulting project with cultural immersion, leadership development, coaching, and mentoring
· Social Impact Courses that run over the course of a full or half semester and include a consulting project along with a 7-14 day Trek. The theme or focus area of this experience can be customized.
Emzingo works in South Africa, Peru, Brazil, Spain, Australia, and the U.S. and has partnered with universities all over the globe, including Cornell University, McGill, Princeton University, USC, IE Business School, and Notre Dame.
Faculty and educators around the country from diverse disciplines spanning business, law, sociology and environmental science are changing the way business is taught - including how to use business as force for good, how to measure companies’ impact on all of their stakeholders, evolving legal structures, and innovative approaches to investing and finance. How will you teach your students to rethink the relationship between business and society?
You can bring business as a force for good into the classroom by teaching about the B Corporation movement, the nuts and bolts of assessing corporate impact, and evolving legal structures.
Campus decision-makers are finding creative ways to cultivate the impact economy ecosystem through formal programs. Several schools have found ways to support the repayment of student loans for MBA graduates, if they are employed at a Certified B corporation, or to offer stipends for students to intern at Certified B Corporations during the summer, such as Yale School of Management, NYU Stern School of Management, and Columbia School of Business.
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