Should a company who has a mission largely beyond maximizing profits, such as having a big focus on environmental or social issues be able to be recognized for that? In some states- California, Hawaii, Louisiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts Virginia, South Carolina, New Jersey, Maryland, and D.C.- you can. In another baker’s dozen or so, including our own Colorado, similar legislation is being considered.
Two of the main questions that keep arising are
1) Should those companies be held to the same goals, even when profits are slim or nonexistent?
2) What are these goals and should they have a standard? Otherwise the concern is companies would become benefit corporations simply for marketing and not really have an positive impact.
Hopefully our legislature will come up with a solution that can have a great impact on our communities! Read more about benefit corporations at the Wall Street Journal.