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B Corporations by Andreas Renner, Founder B Corp Germany


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B Corporations are a new type of for-profit organizations that meet a high standard of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. They redefine success in business by competing not to be the best in the world, but to be the best for the world.

By introducing the concept Andreas shared how to become a B company and what the benefits are.

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B Corporations by Andreas Renner, Founder B Corp Germany

  1. 1. Talks and Insights LEADERSHIP Meetup #6 B Corporations by Andreas Renner, Founder B Corp Germany
  2. 2. B Corp Certification Overview
  3. 3. Outline 1 B Lab & B Corp Overview 2 Why Certify? 3 Steps to Certification ü  Business Case ü  Measure What Matters ü  Protect your Mission ü  Final Steps 4 Resources
  4. 4. B Lab serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good. B Lab’s vision is that one day all companies will compete to be best for the world, and as a result society will enjoy a more shared and durable prosperity.
  5. 5. Building a movement of leaders Creating paths for others to follow A Shared & Durable Prosperity Certified B Corporations Building Collective Voice Mission-Aligned Governance Measure What Matters
  6. 6. The Evolution of Business 20th Century 21st Century Shareholder Corporation Stakeholder Corporation Maximizes Shareholder Value Creates Social Value and Shareholder Value was about is about Today there are: 60 Million Conscious Consumers $2.7 Trillion in Socially Responsible Investments 100,000 Social Entrepreneurs & Responsible Businesses
  7. 7. People are Demanding Better Last 20 Years Good Products “ 21st Century Good Companies 90% of Americans say that companies must not only say a product or service is beneficial, but they need to prove it.” – Cone Communications 73% of consumers care about the company, not just the product when making a purchasing decision.”“ – BBMG
  8. 8. vs.• A certification conferred by the nonprofit B Lab • A company that meets a high level of social and environmental performance AND makes a legal commitment to consider all stakeholders • Any for-profit company in any country can pursue certification (LLC’s included) • A corporate form (taxed like a C-corp or an S-corp) that has a higher level of transparency, accountability and purpose • A legal entity that has protection and permission to consider its impact on all stakeholders, not just shareholders • Available in 31 states in the U.S., Puerto Rico, & Italy Certified B Corporation Benefit Corporation
  9. 9. B Corporation certification is to business what Fair Trade is to coffee, Bioland is to milk or FairWear is to a T-shirt.
  10. 10. Certified B Corporations are leaders of a global movement of people using business as a force for good. They meet verified higher levels of 1.  Social and environmental performance 2.  Transparency 3.  Accountability
  11. 11. 1800+ CERTIFIED B CORPS 50+ COUNTRIES 140+ INDUSTRIES 1 UNIFYING GOAL The B Corp community is good company to keep.
  12. 12. The B Corp community is good company to keep. Location: Hopland, California Product/Service: Wine 100% of workers paid above living wage. Free on-site financial education to all workers. >30% suppliers create employment in chronically underemployed populations. Scholarship programs for children of employees. 100% organic vineyard practices.
  13. 13. B Corps in the Public Market
  14. 14. Why Certify? 1.  Maintain Mission 2.  Differentiate from Pretenders 3.  Benchmark and Improve Performance 4.  Attract and Engage Talent 5.  Collaborate with Peers 6.  Save Money and Access Services 7.  Generate press 8.  Raise Capital
  15. 15. Maintain Mission1 Adopting the B Corp legal standards: 1.  Bakes the values of the company into its legal DNA 2.  Gives protection and permission to consider non-financial stakeholders (community, employees, suppliers, environment) 3.  Ensures that mission can survive through new management, succession, or ownership “Benefit corporation legislation creates the legal framework to enable mission-driven companies like Patagonia to stay mission- driven through succession, capital raises, and even changes in ownership, by institutionalizing the values, culture, processes, and high standards put in place by founding entrepreneurs.” Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia First to register as a benefit corporation in California on January, 2011
  16. 16. Differentiate from Pretenders2
  17. 17. Benchmark & Improve Performance3 “The biggest surprise to me was realizing that our employees deeply cared about the things the B Impact Assessment measured.” Jennifer McKaig, Etsy
  18. 18. Attract & Engage Talent4 B Corp certification provides a platform to engage current staff and give employees more meaning in their work. B Work: In partnership with Fitzii, a hiring platform to help B Corps win the war on talent. Free B Corp Leadership Development (BLD): 1 day conference for B Corps, by B Corps for thought leadership development for employees of all levels of the company. SF, NYC, Boulder, BC, Australia, New England.
  19. 19. Collaborate with Peers5
  20. 20. Save Money & Access Services6 A suite of partnerships and discounts Tuition Discounts / Forgiveness ERP Software Discount Software Discount Legal Advice Software Discount Hiring platform & Free Job Postings
  21. 21. Generate Press7 “B Corp is one of 20 Moments That Mattered Over the Last 20 Years” “‘B Like a B Corp is one of 5 Business Trends to Master in 2016” “Benefit Corps are one of “5 Noteworthy Happenings in 2015” In my work, I often wonder to what extent business can help society in its goals to alleviate poverty, preserve ecosystems, and build strong communities and institutions… B Lab has proven that there is a way – the B Corp movement shows us that business, the driving force of our economy, can be an agent of change and live up to society’s standards.” - Secretary of State Madeleine Albright “
  22. 22. Raise Capital7 Find Companies & Funds Gain Visibility With Leading Impact Investors GIIRS rated companies and funds are highlighted in the search features of B Analytics as being best in class in terms of measurement practices. Getting listed on B Analytics exposes a company to 100+ impact-focused investors who have a stated preference for GIIRS Rated Companies.
  23. 23. Steps to B Corp Certification Get a baseline Engage your team Documentation & Review Finalize & Submit Understand your roadmap Know your business case Engage leadership and board Meet the requirements BUSINESS CASE MEASUREWHAT MATTERS PROTECTYOUR MISSION
  24. 24. Who Can Certify? •  For-Profit Companies of Any Size •  Any Industry / Geography •  Customized assessment based on industry, size, geography •  Any Legal Structure (sole proprietors, LLC’s, Corporations, etc.)* •  Companies over 1 year old – special Pending B Corp program for start-ups*
  25. 25. Know your business case B Corp Certification helps companies: 1.  Maintain Mission 2.  Differentiate from Pretenders 3.  Benchmark and Improve Performance 4.  Attract and Engage Talent 5.  Collaborate with Peers 6.  Save Money and Access Services 7.  Generate press 8.  Raise Capital Know your business case Engage leadership and board
  26. 26. Engage your leadership & board Identify relevant decision makers (President, CEO, CMO, etc.) Explain objectives and benefits Start conversation about requirements, particularly legal Know your business case Engage leadership and board 1 2 3
  27. 27. Understand your legal roadmap ❑  Determine your path based on corporate structure and country (US or Canada) or state of incorporation: ▪  Amend your governing documents OR ▪  Adopt benefit corporation status Examples: ❑  LLC in the United States: Amend operating agreement ❑  Delaware Corporation: Adopt Benefit Corporation form within 2 years of certification
  28. 28. Meet the legal requirement Adopting the B Corp legal standards: •  Bakes the values of the company into its legal DNA •  Gives protection and permission to consider non- financial stakeholders (community, employees, suppliers, environment) •  Ensures that mission can survive over time
  29. 29. Measure What Matters Governance WorkersCommunity Environment Customers
  30. 30. Get a baseline Dedicate two hours to get a baseline. Create a free B Impact Assessment account Take a first pass of assessment Review initial score See how you stack up compared to the 40,000+ businesses globally Get a baseline Engage your team 1 2 3
  31. 31. Impact Business Model May be based on a product, beneficiary, particular process, activity or structure Unique to the B Impact Assessment Extraordinary & contingent upon company Covers facilities, purchases, employees, and governance Aligned with other best-in-class standards Applies to all companies independent of design or intent Operational Impacts
  32. 32. Take a first pass and use estimates
  33. 33. Registration responses determine your company’s assessment track ●  Company Details ●  Geography ●  Sector and Industry ●  Size
  34. 34. ●  Shows questions marked to ‘revisit’ ●  Questions can be answered within reports. Revisit Question Report
  35. 35. Explain This & Show Examples Provide resources, case studies, and definitions to answer questions
  36. 36. Gather a team to steward the process ●  Identify the right people (eg. Human Resources, Operations, Finance) ●  Explain Objectives and Benefits ●  Assign Questions and deadlines Engage your team Get a baseline Engage your team
  37. 37. OR gather documents It may be easier to gather information from your team and respond to assessment questions yourself. ✓  A payroll register/employee roster ✓  Employee handbook ✓  A list of our "significant suppliers" (top 80% of suppliers/vendors by dollar volume) ✓  A breakdown of revenue from our various products and services ✓  A P&L ✓  Any resource use tracking (energy, GHG's, water, etc.) ✓  Any sustainability / corporate social responsibility goals, reports, progress tracking
  38. 38. Meet the Requirements Filter by: 1.  Section, Impact Area 2.  Difficulty of change 3.  Score Value Customized Improvement Report Documentation & Review Finalize & Submit Meet the requirements
  39. 39. Finalize & Submit Company Profile Disclosure Questionnaire Submit Assessment for Review (90% complete) 2 3 1
  40. 40. Upload Operations Documentation ●  6-10 questions ●  Randomly Selected Examples: ●  Employee handbook ●  Breakdown of suppliers by location ●  List of board members Complete 60-90 minute review call Documentation & Review 1 2
  41. 41. Final Steps ❑  Sign B Lab Term Sheet ▪  Certification term is 2-years ▪  Participate in on-site review if randomly selected (10% of Certified B Corps each year) ❑  Sign the Declaration of Interdependence ❑  Pay licensing fees ▪  Annual licensing fees based on the tiered structure ❑  Public profile on 1 2 3 4
  42. 42. Pending B Corp Status for Startups A one year program designed to help startups (< 1 year ops) understand and improve their impact with the ultimate goal of creating a lifelong leader in using business as a force for good. Two step process: 1.  Protect your mission 2.  Start measuring impact 1 2
  43. 43. Redefine success in business. Help create the new economy. Build a better business. Compete to be not only the best in the world, but the best for the world. Join Us
  44. 44. Resources View past webinars at ●  Why: Case for Certification with Fetzer Vineyards ●  Increasing your Impact, Improving your Score ●  Maintaining Mission: Meeting the Legal Requirement for B Corp Certification ●  B Impact Assessment: ●  How to Certify as a B Corp: ●  Legal Requirements: ●  FAQ for Investors & Directors: ●  Pending B Corp Status for Start Ups: ●  Case Studies: ●  B Corp Press: