Why B Corporations are at a crossroads

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

The B Corporation movement, which certifies companies that meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, has made enormous progress since its launch in 2006 by nonprofit B Lab.

Well-known brands that have embraced the B Corp label include Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia, New Belgium, Seventh Generation, Warby Parker and Etsy. At last count, some 2,076 B Corps have been certified in 50 countries. That’s impressive.

But the B Corp movement is at a crossroads. If B Lab is to achieve its bold vision — “that one day all companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the best for the world” — then publicly traded, mainstream companies, the companies  that dominate the U.S. economy, need to become B Corps.

Otherwise, B Corporations will remain a niche, albeit a valuable niche, like the Fair Trade or Organic certifications, to which the label is often compared. Less than 1 percent of U.S. cropland was certified organic, as of 2011. Fair Trade is a blip in the global trade marketplace.

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