Benefit Corporation Passes MA Legislature

 

At Because Water we take corporate responsibility very seriously. A lack of corporate responsibility leads to decisions that can harm the environment, other businesses, and consumers. For example, we believe that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the result of  irresponsible business decisions overruling  ethics and common sense, and that we can reduce plastic waste with a conscious and concerted effort.

According to BCorporation.net, Massachusetts took a step towards more responsible business practices on Wednesday when the Massachusetts Legislature approved legislation for Benefit Corporations in an economic development bill. Massachusetts and 8 other US States have legislation which allows for Benefit Corporations to operate with socially and economically conscious business practices. This new designation allows businesses to be more transparent in their attempts to promote responsibility through business.

What is a Benefit Corporation?

A Benefit Corporation is a new type of company which aims to resolve environmental and social issues through business. A Benefit Corporation is held to higher legal accountability standards than normal businesses, and must prove that their model actively helps environmental or social causes. In addition, Benefit Corporations seek to promote and create a voice for sustainability in business. This means that  Benefit Corporations are thoroughly committed to more than just revenue, and can bring about real change in business ethics.

Benefit Corporations are required to prove their commitment to  social and environmental change and thus are held to much more rigorous standards than normal businesses. The non-profit B-Lab seeks to create a community of Benefit Corporations that maintain a standard of responsible business practices, and offers a certification to socially and environmentally conscious businesses. The goal of B-Lab, and the Benefit Corporation legislation, is to make it easier to identify a “good business” rather than just “good marketing”.

What does this mean for Massachusetts?

The addition of Benefit Corporation legislation in Massachusetts is not only great for socially and environmentally friendly businesses, but it is also a commitment to change the nature of American business. Benefit Corporations must pass certain requirements assessed by a third-party company; this means that companies are willingly subjecting themselves to higher standards of performance and commitment. This type of proactive dedication shows that business leaders are willing to change the face of business in Massachusetts and America to benefit the environment and the American people.

Americans are tired irresponsible business practices and corporate greed, and we are willing to fight for positive change. By introducing legislation for Benefit Corporations, Massachusetts has taken a huge step towards redefining corporate responsibility. Businesses willing to fight for the environment and social issues can use the power of business to fight for positive change.

Still don’t get it?

PBS does a great job defining exactly what a Benefit Corporation does, what regulations they are subject to, and how they will change the landscape of American business.

You can also show your support for environmentally conscious businesses by donating to a good cause.  Although not a B-Corp by definition, We love Water.org and their fight to bring clean water to impoverished populations.

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