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Celebrating Major Shifts Toward a More Inclusive and Regenerative Economy
In 2019 we witnessed defining moments in history that are reshaping what success means in business. From business leaders declaring their commitment to putting stakeholders first to ambitious companies taking action on climate change by committing to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, it is evident that members of the Certified B Corporation community are making strides to create an economy that works for everyone, not just shareholders.
This has been a record-breaking year for the B Corps.
B Lab certified over 650 companies across the globe in 2019 — the most certifications in one year — expanding the B Corp community to over 3,100 companies hailing from more than 70 countries and 150 industries. Together, these companies are working to harness the power of business to solve the biggest social and environmental challenges facing the world today. This year alone, B Corps have:
- Offset 6.4 million tons of carbon
- Diverted 108 thousand metric tons of waste
- Performed 60,000 hours of volunteer service
- Protected 8,800 hectares of land.
Highlights of 2019
June: B Corp Leadership Development (BLD) Events
In the U.S. and Canada, B Locals host all-day conferences to strengthen and support the local B Economy. These events are avenues for employees of Certified B Corps and others in the B Economy to network, collaborate, and share best practices for strong business and maximum positive impact. Click here for more info.
August: Let’s Get to Work
In August, 33 B Corp CEOs called for the leaders of the Business Roundtable to put their words into action by adopting benefit corporation governance structures. B Corps around the world followed suit, challenging companies of all sizes to put stakeholders first as they kicked off the “Let’s Get to Work” campaign. The Business Roundtable’s announcement (that the purpose of business is no longer to uphold shareholder primacy, but rather to prioritize and care for all stakeholders) serves as a turning point in shifting the culture of business. As decades-long advocates of shareholder primacy, B Corps were encouraged by the growing momentum and energy around the world to use business as a force for good — something B Corps have long advocated for!
August also saw the soft-launch of the Imperative 21 coalition. This initiative, co-chaired by B Lab, aims to turn the promise of a new corporate purpose into meaningful action to lead for the long term.
The 2019 Best For The World Honorees are building a more inclusive, regenerative economy focused on having a positive impact for all stakeholders.
September: Best For The World Honorees
B Lab honored its 2019 Best For The World honorees, which represent the top 10% of all Certified B Corporations, spanning dozens of industries and countries. These companies aim for constant improvement through their B Impact Assessment goals and develop new, innovative ways of doing business that can serve as examples for other organizations.
Over 700 members of the B Corp community gathered in Los Angeles for the annual Champions Retreat to explore how to better create opportunities for all people and take sustainability to the next level. Similar gatherings took place across the globe in Mendoza, Amsterdam, and the UK. For the first time, the next Champions Retreat will take place in Mexico in 2021, bringing together the B Corp communities across the Americas!
December: Let’s Get to Zero
B Corp leaders took the main stage at COP25 (the United Nations’ annual climate conference), publicly committing to accelerate the reduction of their greenhouse gas emissions to reach a 1.5 degree trajectory leading to net zero by the year 2030. More than 500 B Corps around the world have pledged to work toward net zero, and the number continues to grow!
Looking Ahead to 2020
In 2020, we look forward to powering collective action on the climate crisis, enabling large multinationals to manage their social and environmental impact, and developing public policies to make business and investors accountable to all stakeholders. In January, B Lab, in partnership with the UN Global Compact, will launch the SDG Action Manager, the first-of-its-kind web-based solution to enable businesses to take meaningful action on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) over the next decade.
Thank you to our community for helping us reach these milestones as we continue to build a shared and durable future. Together, we can grow the movement of people using business as a force for good.
Help us accelerate this work in the year ahead: Donate now!
B the Change gathers and shares the voices from within the movement of people using business as a force for good and the community of Certified B Corporations. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the nonprofit B Lab.
A Year of Business as a Force for Good: 2019 in Review was originally published in B the Change on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.