We are often asked – what exactly is a B Corporation? B Corporations are a new kind of company that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. You can think of a B Corporation certification as analogous to a Fair Trade or LEED certification, but for a business instead of a bag of coffee or a building.
There are currently over 778 B Corporations from 27 countries representing 60 industries, including consulting, solar energy, and yes, even law. Larger B Corporations include Patagonia, 7th Generation, and Etsy. Smaller B Corporations include Arizona’s own Sechler CPA, Sputnik Moment, and Goodman’s Interior Structures.
Why did we choose to become B Corp certified? We believe that business has a higher social purpose beyond simply generating a profit. The B Corp assessment gives us a framework to measure our efforts against rigorous values and responsible practices as we grow our firm. Also, we learn from and are inspired by the efforts of our fellow B Corporations.
For example, each year Carter Law Group implements increasingly conscientious business practices. In addition to our environmental practices, significant pro bono efforts, and local purchasing policies we are also offering free metro passes to employees, acquiring loaner bicycles for the office, and participating in a barter program with local businesses.
Still, there is much more work to do. Measuring our success in these fields against independent third-party criteria gives us a sense of pride and accomplishment but it also challenges us to continuously look for ways to improve our practices.
Ellis Carter is a nonprofit lawyer licensed to practice in Washington and Arizona. Ellis advises tax-exempt clients on federal tax matters nationwide.