Our History

We stand on the shoulders of giants. The movement to redefine success in business didn’t begin and won’t end with B Lab. There are many more significant milestones in B Lab’s short history and many more people and organizations than those mentioned below who have contributed to our collective success. To all, a huge thank you.

2006 Foundation

Inter-dependence Day

July 5, 2006

First official day of full time work at B Lab on what happily ever after becomes known as Inter-dependence Day

Declaration of Interdependance

Measuring what matters: the first B Impact Assessment

September 15, 2006

On an excel spreadsheet, the first version of what will become the B Impact Assessment is created, synthesizing the best practices in socially responsible business from Ben Cohen and Mal Warwick's SVN book, Betsy Power's work with Natural Capital Institute, and the small company version of the Global Reporting Initiative reporting standards

2007

1st B Corps Certified

June 8, 2007

B Lab coming out party at BALLE National Conference in Berkeley, CA; www.bcorporation.net goes live minutes before 19 original B Corps take the stage

BALLE Be a Localist

1st Standards Advisory Committee Meeting

September 12, 2007

Independent Standards Advisory Council convenes for the first time, institutionalizing sound governance for future evolution of standards for B Corp certification, GIIRS ratings, and any business that wants to use a free, credible, and useful management tool to benchmark their social and environmental performance

Impact Investing 'Born'

October 5, 2007

1st Rockefeller Foundation gathering in Bellagio, Italy at which the phrase 'impact investing' is born

A New Kind of Company

July 1, 2007

Inc. publishes first feature on B Corps with a strange boy band photo from Method's 'green room'

Inc. publishes first feature on B Corps

2008 Traction

10 Million Bags of Flour

December 6, 2007

King Arthur Flour becomes first B Corp to put Certified B Corp logo on product - lots of product

King Arthur Flour

If at first you don't succeed...

September 15, 2008

Governor Schawrzenegger vetoes AB2944 due to vigorous opposition from a few friends of the Corporations Committee of the California Bar, setting the stage for 'a new corporate form' at a later date

GOOD Business

October 1, 2008

GOOD + B Corps = GOOD Business, a one-time magazine precursor to the B Corp Annual Report and web-based channel on good.is, includes 3 awesome videos that have stood the test of time Watch Videos »

Good Business

Launch of B Lab's Policy Efforts

February 1, 2008

California Assemblyman Mark Leno responds to request from future benefit corporation legal champion Jonathan Storper of B Corp Hanson Bridgett and agrees to introduce AB2944 to create a constituency statute to permit businesses to consider stakeholder interests

1st Outside Grants to B Lab

February 19, 2008

Rockefeller Foundation's Social Investing Group makes first core support grant to B Lab of $500k to develop 'social capital markets infrastructure', followed shortly by a matching $500k from Halloran Philanthropies as part of their overarching plan 'to create the world we all want'.

1st B Corp Champions Retreat

September 25, 2008

50+ invited champions gather (and eventually get lost until 2:00am) in the high desert 90 minutes from La Jolla, CA

Champions Retreat

2009

GIIRS and IRIS Conceived

February 9, 2009

Presentation to what will become the GIIN Investors Council (Global Impact Investing Network) outlining the future of two organizations that will become IRIS and GIIRS Ratings & Analytics; Acumen, Rockefeller Foundation and B Lab agree to partner to co-create IRIS (Impact Reporting & Investment Standards)

1st Canadian B Corp

February 19, 2009

Better the World blazes the trail with help from future Canadian partner MaRS and law firm Blake's

"Jamie meet Andrew; Andrew, Jamie."

November 1, 2009

At an IC party in DC at future B Corp Busboys & Poets, champion Jim Epstein introduces Maryland State Senator Jamie Raskin to B Lab and within 30 days the nation's first benefit corporation legislation is introduced

1st B Lab standards partnership

February 12, 2009

Sustainable Business Network of Philadelphia holds first webinar launching partnership requiring all members to complete the B Impact Assessment

"Please hold.": 1st B Corp break proposed

February 25, 2009

Phone rings and a staffer from Philadelphia City Councilmember James Kenney's office says that a press release is planned to go out tomorrow announcing the introduction of legislation to create the nation's first B Corp tax break; legislation passes December 1st thanks to testimony from B Corps Greyston Bakery and Untours and comparative impact data that will later take the form of the B Corp index

2010 Acceleration

5:30am?!? Really?

July 1, 2010

For the distinction of becoming the nation's first registered benefit corporation, 11 companies -- and one inspiringly aggressive attorney with sharp elbows -- wait outside the offices of the Maryland State Department of Assessment and Taxation on the legislation's effective date

$1 million... dollars!

September 1, 2010

Cumulative savings for B Corps through service partnerships crosses $1MM mark

B Corp ad campaign launches

September 1, 2010

The generosity of Ogden Publications, Care2.com, Sustainable Industries, and BBMG helps B Lab launch ad campaign that has 96% of consumers saying 'I'm going to look for these B Corps the next time I go shopping, or at least learn more about them'

1st State Signs Benefit Corp Legislation into Law

April 23, 2010

Maryland starts the ball rolling thanks to Senator Jamie Raskin and champion Jim Epstein.

Maryland starts the ball rolling

1st 25 GIIRS Pioneer Funds announced

September 4, 2010

For SoCap announcement, 25 leading funds agree to more than they bargained for by committing to have their portfolios participate in the GIIRS World Tour beta test

2011

Around the world in 45 days!: GIIRS World Tour

January 31, 2011

200 companies from 25 funds across 30 countries in 45 days. Now that's a beta test!

"No Way?!?"

July 1, 2011

Looking at Yale School of Management's website confirms that they offer loan forgiveness to alums who go to work for B Corps.

GIIRS Official Launch at CGI

September 20, 2011

GIIRS Ratings & Analytics officially launches at Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting with 16 GIIRS Pioneer Investors declaring their investment preference for GIIRS rated funds and companies in their impact investing portfolios

3rd B Corp Champions Retreat

October 23, 2011

More than 150 B Corps gather at Longwood Gardens and In-ter-dependence Hall — for the first time collective action feels like what people want.

"The highest standard in socially responsible business"

May 9, 2011

Special social entrepreneurship issue of Inc Magazine leads with 8-page feature of newly certified Cascade Engineering, declaring B Corp to be "the highest standard in socially responsible business."

Version 3.0 of B Impact Rating System launches

July 25, 2011

All hail the SAC! New & Improved! More clear! More accurate! More work?!? SAC begins work on Version 4.0.

California crosses the finish line

October 9, 2011

Governor Jerry Brown signs benefit corps into law at 11:58pm over vigorous opposition from a few friends of the Corp Comm of the CA Bar.

500 B Corps!

December 15, 2011

The 'Drive for Five' reaches the finish line according to one team member's smartphone as the team is gathered for its holiday lunch.

2012 Movement

Un Gran Abrazo

January 16, 2012

Songs, dancing and rhythmic table pounding culminate 2 day Sistema B gathering with 80+ leaders from 6 countries to explore potential for a South American B Corp movement.

Best In For the World

March 7, 2012

More than 70 B Corps recognized in 1st Best for the World lists released as part of B Corp 2012 Annual Report.

First Indian B Corp

May 2, 2012

Shree Kamdhenu Electronics joins the movement to B the Change where the phrase was born.

First B Corp in-store retail program

June 7, 2012

Alfalfa's in Boulder shows off more than a dozen B Corps at lease line and on end cap, shelves and table tops.

100th benefit corporation registers

August 1, 2012

We're not sure exactly who or where, but it happened, we swear, right about there.

Mission Impossible

September 27, 2012

For three hours, the longest conference table ever is filled with the Secretary of State, Chancellor of the Court of Chancery, and innumerable past and current chairs of the Delaware Bar's Corporations Law Council in conversation with 11 heroic B Corps and investors about why strong benefit corporation law is necessary in Delaware.

"The start of the revolution"

January 3, 2012

Led by Yvon Chouinard from Patagonia, a dozen companies register as California's first benefit corporations on the first effective date, igniting a whole lot of media coverage, including CBS Nightly News and PBS Newshour.

El Primer Empresa B

January 19, 2012

TriCiclos very proudly becomes the 1st Certified B Corp in South America.

First African B Corp

May 1, 2012

Juhudi Kilimo's inclusive business serving Kenyan smallholder farmers leads the way.

First Brazilian B Corp

May 11, 2012

Ouro Verde Amazonia gives us an excuse to go to Brazil!

250th GIIRS rated company

August 1, 2012

Earthkeeper Alliance brings GIIRS Marketplace to early critical mass.

Cathedral builders

October 4, 2012

More than 200 B Corp champions gather to accelerate a global movement to redefine success in business at B Corp Champions Retreat and 5th Anniversary celebration.

2013

How Conscious is Your Business?

April 5, 2013

At Conscious Capitalism event in San Francisco, first breakout sessions focused exclusively on encouraging all businesses to measure what matters using the free B Impact Assessment.

Numbers 14-19

July 17, 2013

Rhode Island passes benefit corp legislation, capping a 90 day run that includes passage in Arizona (4/30), Colorado (5/14), Arkansas (5/19), Nevada (5/24), and Oregon (6/4).

500th Ripple

August 27, 2013

In one of more than 50 August ripples, six Colombian B Corps spread the word at Colombia Responsable, the major corporate responsibility event in the country.

Launch of B Analytics

October 11, 2013

GIIN and B Lab announce partnership to meet the market with a customizable data platform to help investors collect, benchmark, and report on impact.

15,000 Users

November 15, 2013

Without any explicit marketing, more than 15,000 businesses find the B Impact Assessment to help them measure, compare, and improves their social and environmental impact (5,000 actually complete the darn thing!)

"Delaware signals 'seismic shift'"

July 17, 2013

Members of Delaware Bar call Delaware's passage of benefit corporation legislation a 'seismic shift' in U.S. corporate law.

First Fortune 500 subsidiary

August 1, 2013

Plum Organics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Campbell's Soup Company, becomes first Delaware benefit corporation and the New York Times and World Economic Forum take notice.

Rocky Mountain High

September 15, 2013

Despite Biblical flooding, 300 Champions gather in Boulder to sight our next mountain to climb, discuss MLK's Letter, and join in service to a devastated community, including fellow B Corp Namaste Solar.

Oi!

October 23, 2013

300 celebrate launch of Sistema B Brazil and the importance of global movement at centerpiece of week long series of events.

Pretty Cool, Eh? 100th Canadian B Corp

December 30, 2013

Getting in just under the wire before the new year, Canada became the second country to pass 100 certified B Corps after the USA!

Now with 25% More Global

December 31, 2013

Non-U.S. B Corps reach 25% of total community.

2013

B the Change

January

The B Corp community launches the B the Change campaign with a line of branded products and a video that would be viewed over 80,000 times in 2014

We Have a Dream

France, Lebanon, and Venezuela

January

UTOPIES, 2b Design, and ETAVENCA join the community as the first French, Lebanese, and Venezuelan B Corps.

Best for the World

March

In March, B Lab releases the first of 2014's Best for the World lists, honoring the B Corps with the B Impact Assessment scores in the top 10% of the whole community. Lists honoring those who excelled in the Environment, Community, and Workers section would follow in April, June, and September.

Best for the World

West Virginia: Check!

March

West Virginia joins the list of states to sign benefit corporation legislation into law.

First German B Corp

April

Ecosia GmbH is the first German company to be B Corp certified.

The Skoll World Forum

April

The three B Lab cofounders travel to accept the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship on behalf of the global B Corp community.

Skoll Awardees

B Corp Leadership Development

May

The Bay Area B Corp community comes together for a day of skill-sharing and professional development, an idea that has sparked plans for future BLDs across the country!

BLD logo

B of Service

June

Throughout June, B Corps organize service events in their communities as part of the B the Change campaign, donating over 2,000 hours of time!

Chicago Beach Cleanup

Florida, Connecticut: Check!

June

Two more states are crossed off the benefit corporation to-do list!

Live B or Die?

July

New Hampshire is the final state of 2014 to sign benefit corporation legislation into law, bringing the current total to 27 states and D.C.!

Benefit corp legislative map

Europe Gains Speed

August

Fratelli Carli becomes the largest Certified B in Europe; meanwhile, Montagne Alternative becomes the first B Corp in Switzerland.

B Lab Australia

August

B Lab officially launches in Australia with a week of events and press highlighting the 44 founding Australian B Corps!

Founding Australian B Corps

Champions Retreat 2014

October

For three days, the global B Corp community takes over Burlington, VT for a gathering focused on community, inspiration, and collective action.

Retreat Logo

fiiS2014

October

Not to be outdone, Sistema B puts on fiiS2014, a social innovation festival that attracts thousands. B Lab staffer Andy travels to Chile for the event and reports back.

Onsite Reviews Wrap Up

November

Every year, 10% of the B Corp community undergoes an onsite review to verify their impact. In November, the last of 2014's 80+ reviews finish up in Chile and Argentina.

Hello, Bulgaria!

November

DeConi joins the community in November and becomes the first certified B Corp from Bulgaria.

First Public Utility Company

December

Green Mountain Power becomes the first public energy utility to become a B Corp.

Under the Wire

December

Solarus Sunpower Sweden AB certifies as a B Corp, making Sweden the last country of 2014 to get its first B Corp.

The First Publicly-Traded B Corp

December

Natura, a Brazilian cosmetics company, becomes the first publicly-traded company to become B Corp certified, prompting many to ask if this is just the beginning for big B's.

Version 4 of the B Impact Assessment

January

2014 starts off strong with a new version of the B Impact Assessment (revised every two years) and a new website to host it!

B Lab Colorado

January

B Lab proudly announces the opening of B Lab Colorado, helmed by Kim Coupounas, cofounder of B Corp GoLite. Colorado would be home to over 50 B Corps by the end of the year.

Employee Engagement

February

As part of the B the Change campaign, B Corps (like W.S. Badger Co) organize events educating and engaging their teams on the meaning of their certification.

Badger Employees

Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship

March

B Lab is blown away to receive news that the B Corp community would be honored with a 2014 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship.

First National B Corp Retail Promotion

April

The National Cooperative Grocers Association holds the first national retail promotion of B Corp products in their co-ops across the USA.

Seventh Gen at NCGA

Minnesota, Nebraska, Utah: Check!

April

Three more states pass benefit corporation legislation in April—including two in one day!

#1000BCorps

May

At long last, the 1000th B Corp is certified! The community celebrates with a social media extravaganza using the hashtag #1000BCorps.

1000 B Corps header

Ghana & Uruguay

May

Open University of West Africa and 3vectores become the inaugural B Corps from Ghana and Uruguay.

B Corp Store

June

Looking to serve the needs of conscious consumers, a group of B Corps form the B Corp Store, an ecommerce site stocked exclusively with products from B Corps.

Welcome, Taiwan!

June

DOMI joins the community as the first B Corp from Taiwan.

Hey, that's us!

July

In his op-ed "The Creative Climate," New York Times columnist David Brooks cites B Corporations as an example of creativity and innovation.

B Corp Ambassadors

July

Three athletes become the first class of B Corp Ambassadors, releasing videos explaining why they support the B Corp community and want to B the Change in their sports.

Ambassadors header

Collaborative Fund & CircleUp love B Corps

August

Collaborative Fund and CircleUp announce a partnership to invest $4 million in certified B Corporations.

Hey, that's us! Pt. II

August

James Surowiecki of The New Yorker profiles B Corporations in the piece "Companies with Benefits," highlighting B Corp Warby Parker.

Keep on Bikin'

September

Team B the Change has a strong showing at Climate Ride once again, raising over $30,000 for B Lab throughout the year and finishing with the East Coast ride in September.

The B Corp Handbook is Released

October

Fresh on the heels of the retreat, Ryan Honeyman of B Corp Honeyman Sustainability Consulting releases The B Corp Handbook, a guide to the why's and how's of B Corp certification.

B Corp Handbook

The B Corps Fellows

November

B Lab announces the creation of the B Corps Fellows, the first national service program for the impact economy, and calls for applications from undergrad and MBA graduates.

B Corps Fellows

European Partners Convene

November

B Lab's partner organizations in Europe "achieve liftoff" and convene collectively for the first time.

European Partners

Crowdfunding Success

December

For six weeks, B Lab participates in the Social Entrepreneurs Challenge, a crowdfunding campaign for Skoll Awardees. The SEChallenge ends in December with over $65,000 raised for the B Corp movement, and nearly as much from the Skoll Foundation in matching funds!