Benefit Corporation Event
To B or Not To B: Are Benefit Corporations the corporate governance architecture of the 21st century?
World class thinkers examined capitalism past, present, and future; explored the foundations underpinning B Corps certification and benefit corporation legislation; and shared lessons learned from those at the forefront of the movement. This event took place on February 4, 2014.
View the presentations from this special event:
by Bart Houlihan and Yola Carlough of B Lab
2/20/2014 NEWS UPDATE: Benefit Corp Legislation passed in the NH state senate today.
If you're interested in more information on becoming a Certified B Corp or a Benefit Corporation, contact Yola Carlough, Senior Associate for B Lab New England,email@example.com.
The University of New Hampshire will host “To B or Not To B: Are Benefit Corporations the Corporate Governance Architecture of the 21st century?” Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2013. The event, which includes workshops, a keynote address and a panel discussion, will focus on how benefit corporations, commonly known as B corporations, may provide a new model for corporate governance.
The event is sponsored by the UNH Responsible Governance and Sustainable Citizenship Project, the Sustainability Institute, and the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics. All events are free and open to the public, but registration is required.
Benefit corporations are for-profit businesses that focus on society and the environment as well as profits. By meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance, benefit corporations are tasked to make decisions that are ethical and sustainable and drive profitable growth in ways that respect the constraints of earth’s limited resources and the needs of individuals.
“In the wake of governance scandals and unprecedented cases of corporate malfeasance over the last decade, many have suggested that capitalism needs a major overhaul if it is to fulfill its original promise of creating value for society broadly and not just for a limited group of shareholders. The suggested needed reforms to our current version of capitalism include more responsible and effective corporate governance and approaches to business, which create value for society in ethical and sustainable ways,” said Stephen Trzaskoma, director of the UNH Responsible Governance and Sustainable Citizenship Project, which is the lead sponsor of the event.
The UNH Responsible Governance and Sustainable Citizenship Project promotes ethics, citizenship, principled leadership, responsible governance, and the creation of sustainable institutions. For more information, visit http://cola.unh.edu/chi/rgscp.
Companies can seek voluntary certification from the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Today, there are more than 900 Certified B Corporations from 29 countries and 60 industries.
In addition to certification, 20 states have passed legislation to create a new legal corporate status, the benefit corporation, which requires businesses to simultaneously create shareholder value and social value. New Hampshire is one of 18 states currently considering legislation to create this new corporate status.
—MONDAY, FEBRUARY 3—
Pre-Seminar for Students
Location: Paul College, Room 135
No registration required, but please arrive on time!
Capitalism and Corporate Responsibility: Past, Present and Future
Part of MGT 798, Sustainable Business but any UNH student is welcome to attend this special session.
Professor Jim Post will share his perspectives and lead a vibrant dialog about the future of capitalism and corporate responsibility. This pre-event is especially designed to help students learn more about the history of capitalism and current initiatives designed to promote more responsible and effective corporate governance, and approaches to business, which can create value for shareholders in ways that are ethical and sustainable for broader society.
Guest Speaker: Dr. Jim Post, Boston University
—TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 4—
Concurrent Pre-Event Workshops
Location: Executive Development Suite, Paul College, Garrison Avenue, Durham
Pre-registration is required.
B Corporation: Building a better business (WORKSHOP FULL)
Audience: Sustainable Businesses, Social Enterprises, Entrepreneurs & Students
This practical workshop will walk you through: 1) the three easy steps your company can take to become a Certified B Corporation and 2) the benefits of Certification. With the guidance of B Lab, the non-profit that administers the Certification, and a leading local B Corporation, learn how 900 business leaders are building a better business by measuring their impact and living into a mission that serves both society and shareholders.
PLEASE NOTE: THE WORKSHOP ABOVE IS NOW FULL AND NO LONGER TAKING REGISTRATIONS.
Benefit Corporation: A new corporate form for the new economy
Audience: General Counsel, Attorneys, Law Faculty & Students
How do you ensure that your client's social mission will survive through changes in ownership or management? How does your client acquire capital that is respectful of their journey to benefit all stakeholders, not just shareholders? Join B Lab's co-founder as he explains the legal challenges in scaling a sustainable business, and how a new legal entity - the benefit corporation - provides entrepreneurs an easy but powerful solution to maintain mission. Co-sponsored by UNH Law and The Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership and Public Policy.
Main Event Keynote Speakers and Panelists
Location: Huddleston Hall Ballroom, Huddleston Hall, 73 Main Street, Durham
Keynotes and Panel Discussion
Pre-registration is required.
Keynote speakers and panelists include:
- Bart Houlahan, co-founder of B Lab, the national 501(c)3 non-profit behind the B Corporation certification
- Dr. Jim Post, John F. Smith Professor of Management, Boston University School of Management
- Peter Graham, chairman of the board, Seventh Generation, a Certified B Corporation
- Anders Ferguson, founding principal of Veris Wealth Partners, a Certified B Corporation
- Rebecca Hamilton, director of product development at W.S. Badger Company, Inc.,N.H.s first Certified B Corporation
- Senator Molly Kelly, NH-Dem
Moderator: Fiona Wilson, Assistant Professor, Strategy, Sustainability and Social Entrepreneurship, Paul College
This event is sponsored by the UNH Responsible Governance and Sustainable Citizenship Project in the College of Liberal Arts, the Sustainability Institute, and the Peter T. Paul College of Business & Economics.
Promotional partners include the Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership, and Public Policy; UNH School of Law; Carsey Institute; NH Businesses for Social Responsibility; Net Impact UNH, NH Small Business Development Center; Center For Family Business & CEO Forum; and Seacoast Local.
Yola Carlough joined B Lab in 2011. Her work in the area of Community Development facilitates entry into the B Corp community for businesses that commit to the highest standards of transparency, accountability and performance. Her efforts bring momentum, through membership growth, to the global B Corp movement that redefines success in business and builds a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable economy. She also manages a private consulting initiative in the field of sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
From 2007-2011, Yola was Director of Sustainability at Burt’s Bees natural personal care products in Durham, NC where she developed, integrated and monitored innovative strategies to achieve the brand’s short and long term corporate responsibility goals in a commitment to sustainable working and living practices that activate the power of business on behalf of positive environmental and societal change. As Executive Director of the Burt’s Bees Greater Good Foundation, Yola worked to create meaningful partnerships with non-profit organizations driving innovative, positive change through systemic, replicable models that seek to eliminate the root cause of social and environmental problems.
Prior to joining Burt’s Bees, Yola was Director of Social Mission at Ben & Jerry’s in Burlington, VT. where she managed pioneering environmental and socially conscious directions for the company’s domestic and international business.
Anders Ferguson is a founding principal, Veris Wealth Partners, and leads the company’s strategic marketing and business development. Veris is an independent advisory and pioneer in impact investing, serving investors who care as much about investment performance as using their wealth to positively impact society. Anders is a seasoned entrepreneur and financier building companies and non-profits across the broad sustainability sector since 1978. He served as a partner/advisor to three sustainable investment banks and consulting firms.
In 2000 Anders founded Spirit in Business working at the intersection of sustainability, leadership, mindfulness and business performance. He is a co-founder of the Dalai Lama Fellows, Chair of Friends of The Oberlin Project, Oberlin College, and co-founder of the Global Leaders Academy. He advises The Democracy Collaborative and Evergreen Cooperatives initiative in Cleveland, OH, and served as a director of the National Cooperative Business Association and Foundation. Anders graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in History and Environmental Studies. He lives with his family in Leyden, MA.
Peter M. Graham has been a director of the Company since September 2010. Mr. Graham is currently the Chairman of the Board of Seventh Generation, Inc., a privately-held consumer products company, a position he has held since 2000. He is also on the board of directors of Exam Works, Inc., a NYSE listed company where he serves on the audit, compensation, and nominating & corporate governance committees. Exam Works, Inc. is a leading provider of independent medical examinations, peer reviews, bill reviews and IME-related services to the insurance and legal industries, third-party administrators, self-insured parties and federal and state agencies. From 1994 through December 2004, Mr. Graham held various positions with Ladenburg Thalmann Group Inc., an investment banking organization, including Principal, President, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of its principal subsidiary, Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc. Mr. Graham joined Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc. in 1976 after having attended the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Rebecca Hamilton, Director of Product Development at W.S. Badger Company, Inc. (the first Certified B Corp in New Hampshire)
Rebecca Hamilton is an owner and the Director of Product Development for the W.S. Badger Company where she oversees new product innovation from concept to market as well as Badger’s sustainability initiatives. Her background in economic botany and her passions for organic living, safe products, and ethical commerce have led her to wider industry involvement and public service outreach. She is involved in safe cosmetics and Benefit Corporation legislation, has served as the Chair of the Natural Products Association Natural Seal Steering Committee, a member of the NSF Natural Standard Joint Committee, and board co-chair for the Natural and Organic Cosmetic Alliance, recently created to represent and protect the integrity of the natural and organic cosmetic industry.
Bart Houlahan, Co-Founder of B Lab (The national 501 (c)3 non-profit behind the B Corps certification)
Bart Houlahan, along with his partners, Jay Coen Gilbert and Andrew Kassoy, co-founded B Lab in 2006. B Lab is a nonprofit organization dedicated to using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Lab drives systemic 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) GIIRS Ratings and Analytics: a ratings platform (analogous to Morningstar and Capital IQ) 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. Prior to 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 and an Advisory Board Member of the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) at the Fuqua School of Business.
As New Hampshire's State Senator for District 10, Molly Kelly has been a strong voice of reason, working collaboratively with educators, business and civic leaders to build a modern economy and create sustainable jobs for today and tomorrow. As one of 11 siblings, a mother of four and a grandmother of six, she understands the challenge of working with many people to get things done.
Molly Kelly was first elected to the New Hampshire State Senate in 2006. A Keene resident for more than 30 years, Senator Kelly's passion for serving her community began when, as a student at Purdue University, she joined the College Service Corp. With the Service Corp and then early in her career, Molly became an advocate on behalf of people with disabilities, mothers, and children within healthcare settings.
Then a single mother, Senator Kelly completed her Bachelor's degree at Keene State College, receiving her Juris Doctor of Law degree from Franklin Pierce Law Center. She went on to become the director of Franklin Pierce College's Keene campus, and the director of Monadnock Hospice for the Monadnock Region. Senator Kelly has more than twelve years experience as a financial advisor.
James E. Post holds the John F. Smith, Jr. Professorship in Management. He is a member of the Business Policy & Law Department and teaches courses in strategic management, professional ethics and responsibility, and corporate governance. He is the author or co-author of many books, including "Redefining the Corporation," with L. Preston and S. Sachs, a study of governance and accountability.