26 Jul, 2019

Benefit Corporation legal status is coming to Australia

Three men sitting in front of a screen presenting at a B Corp event.

Benefit Corporations are businesses that are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, community, and environment.

Seated Massage is one of a community of more than 2700 progressive companies across 60+ industries around the world with one unifying goal – to redefine success in business. We meet comprehensive and transparent performance standards, using the power of our business to help alleviate poverty, address negative climate change along with building strong local communities and providing an inclusive and meaningful workplace for our people.

It’s not the easy route by any stretch. However, it is the meaningful route for conscious businesses.

Australia is now in the throes of legalising Benefit Corporation status for businesses via B Lab, based in Melbourne.

And businesses choosing to gain Benefit Corporation status won’t need to be a B Corp. They’ll simply be willing to embed their mission and purpose into their business DNA and have this vetted by an independent body each year.

To us, the next natural step is to legalise our mission and purpose by having these written up in our company constitution once Parliament has passed the minor amendments to the Corporations Act 2001 to enable Australian businesses to become benefit companies. The amendments would:

  • Include eligibility requirements for benefit companies
  • Specify how a company opts-in to the status
  • Include compliance provisions

So we, along with thousands of businesses worldwide both large and small, choose to be part of the burgeoning B Economy.

The B Economy is built by everyone who works for, buys from, invests in, learns or teaches about, or supports businesses striving to create shared and durable prosperity for all.

But hey, there are far more powerful players in the world of business pursuing this.

In 2018, Unilever’s 28 Sustainable Living Brands – those taking action to support positive change for people and the planet – grew 69% faster than the rest of its business. That’s up from 46% in 2017. They also delivered 75% of Unilever’s overall growth.

Unilever is one example of a big corporation moving towards embedding purpose and sustainability in its business. It’s a multinational company with 155,000 employees and 400+ brands. In 2018, the company made €51 billion in revenue.

Unilever’s subsidiaries include Certified B Corps like Ben & Jerry’s and companies incorporated as Benefit Corporations in the USA.

In the future, every Unilever brand will be a brand with purpose.

Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever

Don’t get left behind. Become part of the B Economy.

Check out these two valuable resources: Benefit Company, an opt-in legal status for companies that are for-profit and for impact; and The B Economy, a global movement reinventing the future.

Pic credit: Daniel Lawson