Catalyst Law is thrilled to share that the firm is now a Certified B Corp! We are dedicated to serving our values-driven clients with high-quality and friendly legal services, while at the same time positively contributing to our community, remaining mindful of our impact on the environment, and ensuring that our firm’s practices are consistent with our social values. Let’s just say that we like to practice what we preach.
Historically, corporations were governed and ruled by one concern only – maximizing profits. Business was, by law, truly all about the money.
The typical business structure and obligation proved frustrating to many entrepreneurs who wanted to do more. In addition to making a profit, these leaders wanted to contribute to their community, help sustain the environment, and enhance diversity and fair treatment of workers. In essence, they believed that their business and the way it was run should reflect their values. They were convinced that success should be me assured by more than just bottom line profits. And shareholders increasingly understood the value of such positive contributions to society alongside the return on their investment.
Thus, the concept of the benefit company was born. Benefit companies have an expanded legal purpose beyond shareholder return – they must also provide a general public benefit. They are required to consider the impact their business has, not only on their owners’ profits, but also to the interest of their stakeholders. In most states, a company now has the option to incorporate into its legal documents the triple-bottom line goals of positively impacting society, workers, the community and environment in addition to maximizing profit.
Now declaring those values when forming a company is one thing, but how do those companies stay accountable to that vision and mission?
Companies, now including Catalyst Law, are certified as a B Corp by the non-profit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. B Lab is building a community of Certified B Corporations™ by verifying applicants’ social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to their public-driven goals. B Lab evaluates applicants for certification on financial practices, the make-up and treatment of their workforce, engagement with their local community, the green building standards of their office environment, recycling procedures, water and energy usage, customer satisfaction, and support of underserved or purpose driven enterprises.
Only those companies that go through B Lab’s rigorous compliance review process are able to use the Certified B Corporation logo in connection with their business. Today, there are over 2,400 Certified B Corps around the globe, and more than 80 in Portland, Oregon, including our friends at Beneficial State Bank, Modernist Financial, and Avenue Agency. We are proud to join them in redefining success in business, so that one day everyone uses business as a force for good.
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