We’re a Public Benefit Corporation

August 1st, 2017

CauseLabs has been a certified B Corporation since December of 2014. Today, we're proud to announce we are now incorporated as a public benefit corporation (PBC). CauseLabs joins the ranks of the best companies in America at being the best for America.

Why are we excited to be a public benefit corporation?

For years, CauseLabs’ team members have performed with a socially responsible ideology. We strive to invest in our people, to create positive impact, and to accelerate the mission of our partners.

Our commitment to meaningful work and the people we serve led us to align profitable business goals with a mission focused on people and purpose. Our conversion to a PBC is a measure of that commitment and invites accountability. We are excited to share with the world that companies can use technology advancements as a force for good and a driver for exponential growth.

What is a PBC and how is it different from a B Corp?

A Public Benefit Corporation, also known as a PBC is a legal status recognized by 33 states and the District of Columbia as of August 1, 2017. Companies do not have to be PBCs to take an assessment to become a certified B Corporation.

B Corps, or certified B Corporations are for-profit companies certified by B Lab, a nonprofit based in Denver, Colorado. B Lab offers a rigorous third-party assessment, which reports metrics on a company's social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

PBCs, like certified B Corporations, are for-profit corporations. These companies also commit to high standards of corporate purpose, accountability and transparency. PBCs use profits to grow social impact and generate returns for their stockholders.

In decision making, PBCs must consider the impact on society and the environment. This allows directors to pursue mission and consider social impact alongside financial interests.

Why are many public benefit corporations also certified B Corporations?

PBCs must also report their social and environmental performance to their shareholders. For added transparency, PBCs often use a third-party to assess their performance. CauseLabs' reports are available on the B Lab website. We have also created a public annual report, which can be found at causelabs.com/impact

What benefits does a PBC provide?

Being a PBC has benefits for all stakeholders, from internal staff to our communities. Over the years CauseLabs has voted and implemented several policies related to diversity, equality, the importance of balance and family, and environmental sustainability goals.

Our environmental goals are harder to track and assess. As a distributed team, it’s challenging to measure our total carbon footprint. Yet, we improve each year and our team is mindful in both company and personal decisions. Building awareness into our culture makes a big impact on our environmental choices.

Another advantage we’ve experienced is the ability to attract and keep talent. Mission-driven companies attract prospective employees who seek values and mission alignment. This alignment and passion for our work are excellent for retention.

If you’re interested in learning more about PBCs in Delaware, start at the beginning with this post about public benefit corporations from Gov. Jack Markell as he signed PBCs into law in July 2013. You can also find out the latest at benefitcorp.net.

What is the meaning of social impact?

PBCs talk about social impact. What is social impact? Companies who focus on social impact are intentional about creating positive change that addresses pressing social challenges.

For example, a fashion brand may source ethical materials, work with entrepreneurs in developing countries to create new jobs, or use a more sustainable shipping boxes. All of these examples are considered social impact, but sustainable shipping might also be classified as environmental impact or environmental sustainability. PBCs look at all these factors and set goals for improvements in their business operations.

As noted, these are typically written into their bylaws meaning that investors or shareholders who join the company cannot go against these initiatives without changing the bylaws or potentially changing the company entity type. In most states, the environmental and social impact of public benefit corporations is also reported on and publicly shared either on their website and/or through some 3rd party auditing or certification service.

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