There’s much to be hopeful about in the rise of socially conscious companies around the world. And it’s not just my generally sunny optimism; this trend is backed by substantive statistics.
The first public benefit corporation legislation in the United States was passed in Maryland in 2010. Today, there are more than 4,000 public benefit corporations in this country.
The nonprofit B Lab certified its first B Corps in 2007. By the time my firm, Oliver Russell, was certified in January 2012, there were 299 B Corps in the world. By mid-2017, the number of B Corps globally increased to more than 2,100 companies. While this is still a small community, this growth rate demonstrates an accelerating trajectory that harbors good things for the future of social impact.
Perhaps the strongest validation for this movement comes from financial investors funneling more money into companies specifically because they deliver positive social and environmental impact alongside profit. In 2015, a study of 126 institutions by the Global Impact Investing Network showed that this group had made more than $15 billion in impact investments in 2015 — and planned to increase this amount by 16 percent in 2016.1
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