We have had a number of inquiries from clients and friends about becoming a benefit corporation or "B-Corp." Can we do it? Does it make any sense to convert? Should we convert to benefit corporation or just try to get certified by B-Labs?
Our colleague Regina Robson is an expert in benefit corporation law and has published a number of articles on the subject. But talk is cheap. There is no better way to advise clients than to make ourselves the proverbial guinea pig and become a benefit corporation ourselves.
Becoming is benefit corporation is relatively simple as a legal matter but successfully integrating the sustainability and community value generating goals into an organization is a more holistic endeavor. Enter our friends at the Erivan K. Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph's University, in particular, friend of the firm and all around good guy Professor Ron Dufresne, Ph.D. Dr. Dufresne focuses his teaching and research on applied sustainable leadership and has been generous enough to use our firm as the subject of his capstone Applied Leadership and Sustainability course. As part of the course, a group SJU business students will evaluate the firm's practices and advise us on what we need to do to make the successful transition to B-Corporation land.
This will be the first in a series of posts mapping out the experience from beginning to end. Our goal is to set out a soup to nuts road map for other small and mid-sized organizations to make the transition to a benefit corporation.
Do we really need a warning to "consider the environment before printing this email" in our signature lines to become a B-corp? We will find out.