CSR as a Formal Force for Good: The B Corp Model

Aug 29, 2016 3:45 PM ET

CSR as a Formal Force for Good: The B Corp Model

CSR has traditionally been a voluntary practice. It underlines a company’s sense of purpose with basic ethical standards, generally accepted norms of corporate behavior, and the spirit as well as the letter of law.

The idea of institutionalizing CSR through regulation is rare. But one example, currently growing in popularity, is the B Corp, a business model defined by the idea of “people using business as a force for good.” Developed by B Lab, a nonprofit, B Corp now includes 1,850 B Corporations in 130 industries in 50 countries. B Corp status requires companies to meet social sustainability and environmental performance standards, accountability standards, and to be transparent to the public.

Founder Ryan Honeyman describes B Corp certification as “similar to LEED certification for green buildings, Fair Trade certification for coffee, or USDA Organic certification for milk.” And to top off its business-driven regulatory focus, B Corp has been created by the market, not by government. That, says the Wall Street Daily, is “refreshing.”

I’m John Howell for 3BL Media. 

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