Hawaii, California newest states to recognize Benefit Corporation designation

A growing movement to recognize social and environmental benefits as a legitimate purpose of corporate activity, alongside making money, has added two new states to the growing roster of those adding “Benefit Corporation” as a state-recognized legal designation. Both Hawaii and California recently passed Benefit Corporation statutes, joining four other states with such laws on the books; legislation has been introduced in five others as well.

According to B Lab, which both certifies companies as “B Corporations” (a formal process that is not state-recognized) and promotes the adoption of legal “Benefit Corporation” structure and mandates at the state level, state-registered Benefit Corporations “are legally required to pursue the creation of material positive impact on society and the environment, while meeting higher standards of accountability and transparency.  Current law requires corporations to prioritize the financial interests of shareholders over the interests of workers, communities, and the environment.”

Natural Investments, LLC is one of the founding members of B Lab, and an early recipient of the B-Corporation certification.  The company’s home state of Colorado has yet to enact a Benefit Corporation option.

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Jim Cummings

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