B corp and benefit corporations: the way to change
When we talk about B corp and Benefit Corporations we refer to two terms that are part of the Purpose Driven Businesses movement starting in the U.S. and now crossing all over the world. The movement aims to spread the concept of business with purpose beyond profit, driven to return extracted resources to society (regenerative model).
Our company has decided to join the movement and in the next few months will be engaged in carrying out a structured plan outlining the sustainability practices already in place with the international standards of B corp companies, as well as defining an action plan with new business projects from a sustainable point of view. There are some decisive steps in this project, first and foremost the statute change that will allow Fedegari to become a benefit company.
Following the United States, Italy is the first state to formalize the meaning of Benefit Corporation or benefit society, introducing a dedicated regulation in the 2015 Stability Law, defining it as:
“Corporations that in carrying out an economic activity, in addition to the goal of dividing its profits, pursue one or more goals of common interest and operate in a responsible, sustainable and transparent way towards people, communities, territories and the environment, cultural and social goods and activities, entities and associations and other stakeholders.”
By becoming a benefit company, Fedegari undertakes a formal commitment in its statute: to create even more value and benefit for society by acting in a transparent, sustainable and structured way.
Which are the steps to becoming a B corp?
First, it is necessary to map performance and measure the value Fedegari is creating for society and the territory. We use the B Impact Assessment (BIA). It consists of answering 200 questions related to company performance. The result is a sustainability profile, given by the sum of the points obtained by answering each question.
Becoming a benefit corporation brings significant benefits to companies, making them ready and open to future changes. In addition, by becoming a benefit corporation, it acquires eligibility for B corp certification.
A company becomes B corp when it obtains official voluntary certification certifying high standards of verified performance, accountability and transparency in the areas of:
- Governance (accountability, transparency, ethics, mission and commitment)
- People (salary and benefits, training, flexibility and work environment, health and safety)
- Community (donations and volunteering, diversity and inclusion, supplier relations and engagement)
- Environment (energy consumption and efficiency, real estate impacts, waste production, supply chain environmental impacts)
- Customers (impact of products/services on customers)
B corp certification is the world’s most advanced standard for measuring the economic environmental and social impacts of companies.
What can we do to achieve the desired sustainable impact profile level?
Nativa is a Benefit company working in close collaboration with B lab and offering consultancy for companies interested in B corp certification. They will support Fedegari in this journey. Nativa’s goal is to guide companies and support them in transforming economic paradigms of production, consumption and culture to lean toward the systematic regeneration of social and natural systems.
Nativa will work with Fedegari to develop an evolution/improvement plan toward a targeted impact profile. This will bring a real change inside and outside the company.