The February 6 session of Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility was a new addition to the CCSR course this semester. The session featured guest speakers Kara Peck, Director of Business Development at B Lab; and Jessica Saba, Media Relations and Corporate Responsibility Manager for 1908 Brands. Kara and Jess introduced students to the B Economy, including Certified B Corps, Benefit Corporations, and the B Impact Assessment.

Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.  

Benefit corporations (sometimes called Public Benefit Corporations, or PBCs) are a new legal entity (like a C Corp or LLC), used to create a solid foundation for long term mission alignment and value creation. The Benefit corporation form protects mission through capital raises and leadership changes, creates more flexibility when evaluating potential sale and liquidity options, and prepares businesses to lead a mission-driven life post-IPO.

The B Impact Assessment (BIA) is a tool that provides a comprehensive and objective measure of a business’s positive impact on society and the environment. By answering a set of questions that reflect impact indicators, best practices, and outcomes, a company receives a composite score on a 200 point scale. The assessment is customized to each company based on size, industry, and geography.  

Students logged into the BIA in class and explored the sections and questions with their own companies in mind.