Going beyond shareholder value

2015

B Lab is a nonprofit organization dedicated to using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. Founder Bart Houlahan talks to Dawna Jones about their mission.

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Bart Houlahan along with his partners, Jay Coen Gilbert and Andrew Kassoy, co-founded B Lab in 2006 with a determination to build a global movement of people using business as a force for good. B Lab drives change through three interrelated initiatives:

1) Certified B Corporations: a corporate certification for sustainable businesses and social enterprises that meet higher standards of social and environmental performance and legal accountability;

2) B Analytics: a customizable data platform that drives capital to impact investments by assessing the social and environmental performance of companies and funds; and

3) Benefit Corporations: a new, legally-recognized corporate form that changes corporate fiduciary duty, permitting companies to create shareholder value and social value.

Some 1,300 companies in the US and Europe countries have since taken the test to start the process of becoming B-Corporations. Logically, the results are more lucrative than those restricted to achieving shareholder value. But more than money is at stake. The health of society and the environment underlies economic prosperity so B-Corporations can achieve more by thinking big.

In this chat with Dawna you’ll learn:

  • Why B-Corporations are making a difference to owners who care
  • What’s involved in becoming a B-Corporation
  • What challenges companies face when moving from traditional to B-Corp status
  • At what point in their growth do companies decide to become a B-Corp.

Prior to setting up B Lab, Bart was President of AND 1, a $250 MM basketball footwear and apparel company. Bart is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute, a recipient of the 2014 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, and an advisory board member of the Fuqua Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE), the Wharton Impact Investing Initiative, and the G8 Impact Measurement Working Group.

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Evolutionary Provocateur

Dawna Jones
Dawna Jones

The Evolutionary Provocateur bi-monthly show is for executives, managers, and supervisors (OR for leaders at all levels) who have noticed that it is not what you know but who you are that has the biggest impact.

Dawna Jones, the show's host, believes that by raising awareness and understanding we can make a quantum leap to a new level of innovation in business - but it has to be done collectively.

What better way to do it than by provoking the evolution of how you see yourself and your role!

Find out more about Dawna at www.FromInsightToAction.com