Working for Impact Through B Corp Certification
As a mission-based marketing agency and movement company, LOACOM has strived since its inception to build a better world. Our better world philosophy is built into our DNA — captured in our corporate values, reflected in our clients, and acted on through how we engage with and help build community. We’ve always seen business as a vehicle to help achieve sustainability, and we know we’re not alone.
‘Business’ and ‘sustainability’ may seem contradictory, especially in light of the traditional role that business — especially large business — has played (extractive, degenerative, dehumanizing, polluting, etc.) on an ever-industrializing planet. But there’s been a clear shift in how many business leaders, entrepreneurs, and changemakers view their corporate roles. And in the era of climate chaos and dwindling resources, this shift couldn’t have come at a better time.
B Corporation is a glowing example of this corporate shift.
B Corps are a type of company that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. Recognizing that society’s most challenging problems cannot be solved by government and nonprofits alone, the global B Corp community works toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of high-quality jobs with dignity and purpose.
To become a certified B Corporation, businesses must meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. They are reviewed, graded, and awarded points based on an intense audit process by the nonprofit B Lab, and, if a business meets the standards to become certified, they must re-certify every three years by going through a new audit to ensure continued compliance.
THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK
The B Corp commitment adds an additional, critical step in order to codify a business’s participation: a newly certified B Corp must commit to a specific legal framework within its first two years of certification. Certified B Corporations are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on all their stakeholders.
B Corps make this legal change by updating their Articles of Association, reincorporating as benefit companies and benefit corporations, or making other structural changes. The B Corp legal framework helps companies protect their mission through capital raises and leadership changes and gives entrepreneurs and directors more flexibility when evaluating potential sale and liquidity options.
LOACOM, in becoming a certified B Corp in the state of California in February 2019, had two options that would meet B Lab’s legal requirements: become either a Benefit Corporation or a Social Purpose Corporation within two years of its February 2019 certification. Critically, unlike other states, the state of California offers both Social Purpose Corporation (SPC) and Benefit Corporation legal structures as options satisfying B Lab’s mandates.
Due to a few differences between Benefit Corporations and SPC’s, outlined below by SPZ Legal and summarized nicely here, LOACOM chose Social Purpose Corporation status due to its seamless integration with our business model. Particularly, with our ongoing focus working on projects that aim to benefit the environment, local communities, and societies as a whole — while fulfilling our mission to cultivate, connect, and activate ecosystems of changemakers to build vibrant communities and nurture a thriving planet as articulated in our Articles of Incorporation — SPC status felt like the right choice.
As such, as of December 2020, our Articles of Incorporation and associated business documents reflect our new name: LOACOM, Social Purpose Corporation, doing business as LOACOM.
WORK = IMPACT
At the end of the day, certified B Corps are in business to bring about positive change through the impact of their products, services, and relationships. And while becoming an official Benefit Corporation or Social Purpose Corporation formalizes a company’s intentions (and adds a cool label/trust mark), it’s the actual work the company does (and how it does it) that shifts the needle.
To this end, LOACOM is committed to the following work principles:
- Work as often as possible within the ‘B-Economy,’ directly supporting other B Corps,
- Work as often as possible with both business and nonprofit members of 1% for the Planet,
- Work strictly with mission and values-aligned companies and organizations,
- Work to build and/or support the ‘movements’ that our clients care deeply about,
- Work continuously to improve our internal and external approaches to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in the workplace and community,
- Commit 1% of annual revenues to 1% for the Planet members, through both executive and employee giving programs,
- Commit funding to social justice and BIPOC-led organizations and initiatives through an employee giving program.
As the challenges facing our global community continue to mount, we look forward to working with the changemakers and movement builders to regenerate and uplift people and planet, building a better world with every interaction.