On November 15, 2017, SOM’s Social Impact Lab hosted Andrew Kassoy, one of the three co-founders of B-Lab. Launched in 2006, B-Lab promotes and certifies B-Corporations, which are companies that voluntarily commit to high standards of accountability, transparency, and social and environmental performance.
B-Lab’s mission is to create a “more durable and shared prosperity” by developing a global movement of people using business as a force for social good. To support this goal, B-Lab has focused on creating an infrastructure in which a new market and a new economy based on these broader values could flourish. In conjunction with its work with businesses, B-Lab has developed two widely used analytical tools—the B-Impact Assessment and B-Analytics – that allow investors and institutions to measure and manage their impact.
In his talk, Kassoy highlighted the “historic, global cultural shift” taking place in the business world. As employees and customers alike demand higher ethical and environmental standards from businesses, B-Corporations are well placed to thrive. Kassoy noted that B-Corporations have a distinct advantage in attracting talent, particularly millennials who seek meaningful work.
Kassoy believes B-Lab’s emphasis on a pragmatic, systems-based approach to impact measurement has allowed the nonprofit to attract a diverse membership. There are currently over 2,300 B-Corporations registered in more than 50 countries around the world. As B-Lab reaches an increasingly global scope, Kassoy stated the organization has been careful to adapt to local legal frameworks without compromising impact.
Kassoy urged students to take on a leadership role in their careers and, whether or not they work in a B-Corporation, to ask of potential employers, “What is the impact this business is having on society?”
By Megan Kearns