B Corp Launch Week: Brains Trust event
B Lab Australia & NZ was lucky enough to have co-founder of the B Lab movement present during the Launch week here in Australia.
Using this valuable time Bart had in Melbourne, B Lab Australia & NZ organized a Brains Trust morning tea event on Friday the 29th of August whereby Bart’s wealth of knowledge was open to be shared with other professionals.
Bart showcased B Lab’s accomplishments in the USA, in successfully advocating for the introduction of a new corporate form in over 20 states.
In doing so, discussion was held on the suitability of this kind of reform in Australia, whether it was possible and whether it was needed.
Created in the USA, the Benefit Corporation seeks to do three things: create a corporate purpose, have an expansion of the duties of directors to not only financial stakeholders but also financial shareholders, and create an obligation to report on overall social and environmental performance.
Whilst Australia has a common law (precedent based) legal system, theoretically meaning companies and directors are subject to both common law and statutory duties and liabilities, research by Clayton Utz found that legislative change is still required in Australia in order to counter the inadequacies existing in the current law form.
This in depth discussion was a valuable contribution to showcase the need for the Australian legislature to embed social purpose into the legal framework.