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B the Change Weekly: July 26, 2019
Delivered on Fridays, B the Change Weekly delivers the most important and most relevant stories about people using business as a force for good. The newsletter features a weekly note from the B the Change team alongside insight and context on the stories we share here on Medium. Below is our latest roundup. To receive these insights directly in your inbox, sign up for B the Change Weekly today. Now on to the good stuff:
Traditional businesses operate under the doctrine of shareholder primacy, which puts the returns to shareholders above all other business motives. This often means that the environmental and social impact of a business’s operations take second chair to growing shareholder profit margins.
Businesses that incorporate as benefit corporations adopt a new form of corporate governance that puts people and planet on the same level as profits — holding business directors accountable to balancing shareholder returns with the full impact scope of the company. More than 10,000 businesses have adopted this new form of corporate governance, but a new milestone was recently achieved when Brazilian B Corp Natura acquired Avon in an all-stock deal. This marks the first time an existing U.S.-listed publicly traded company voted to adopt benefit corp governance.
This week, we highlight stories showcasing the global uptake of stakeholder governance as signs of the coming upheaval of shareholder primacy.
The team at B the Change
Beauty Brand Leading the B Corp Movement
“Ding dong, AVON calling!” was a catchphrase in the ’60s that represented more than door-to-door direct selling of cosmetics; it represented financial independence for women and a culture shift. More than 50 years later, the iconic brand is signaling a new business trend about putting purpose first by agreeing to an all-stock sale to Brazil-based beauty brand Natura valued at $2 billion, effectively creating the world’s fourth-largest beauty brand with roughly $10 billion in global revenue.
On Forbes, read Jay Coen Gilbert’s piece on how the first existing U.S.-listed, publicly traded company voting to upend shareholder primacy by adopting a benefit corp governance structure is one sign among many of the global business trend toward purpose.
Your Business Can Take Climate Action
Business has a huge impact on the planet. With this comes an opportunity to change, improve and take action. Certified B Corporations believe in balancing profit with consideration of people and planet, and are leading the way with their environmental performance. Whether your business is looking to make small, collective changes or setting long-term environmental goals, your choices can have a big impact.
Doing Good Down Under
The Certified B Corporation community shows how business can be used as a force for good, and not just profit, around the world. July is B Corp Month in Australia and New Zealand, where B Corps are sharing the stories of business for a better world — how they’ve changed, what’s worked, and what they’ve learned.
On B the Change This Week
Here’s your chance to catch up on all the good stuff we shared this week:
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.