Benefit corporations and certified B Corps
First of all…do you know that they are NOT the same?
Speaking with a few contacts of ours we found out that – especially outside of Italy and the USA, which are two of the few Countries where the status of benefit corporation is legally recognised – the difference with a B Corp is sometimes ignored and the two definitions are often confused.
As stated by the not-for-profit organisation B Lab, benefit corporations and certified B corporations are both leaders of a global movement to use business as a force for good. Both are for-profit organisations, meet higher standards of accountability and transparency, but there are a few important differences between the two.
To mention one, certified B corporations that for a reason or another end up not generating any positive impacts or don’t meet minimum performances or cannot comply anymore with the B Corp legal requirements simply face the risk to lose their certification, similarly to companies that don’t renew their ISO 50001 EnMS accreditation for example, but nothing stops them from keeping trading. Benefit corporations instead are legally bound to generate public benefit and sustainable value, hence – should they fail to do so – they must cease to be in business, which clearly has completely different implications!
We have put together the diagrams below to visualise similarities and differences. Why don’t you also browse our knowledge centre to learn more about them?