New certification scheme aims to protect socially responsible companies.

AuthorHerro, Alana
PositionEYE ON EARTH - B Lab - Brief article

More and more businesses across the globe are finding that they can be successful while also being environmentally and socially responsible. But in some cases, the companies are so successful that they end up being bought out by larger conglomerates, some of which then cut out the socially beneficial aspects of the original business. Both Ben and Jerry's and The Body Shop, for example, have been criticized for their failure to maintain the founders' strict standards for social good.

So how can consumers and investors tell which companies are truly responsible? A new U.S. nonprofit organization called B Lab is hoping to address this challenge by creating a set of standards to protect companies and consumers that seek to work for the greater good. "We want to help consumers separate good companies from good marketing," says co-founder Jay Coen Gilbert.

A company that seeks certification as a "B Corporation" (the B stands for "beneficial") is required to amend its articles of incorporation to say that managers must consider the interests of not just shareholders, but also...

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