The business and human rights (BHR) movement shares several goals with the Benefit Corporation (B Corp) movement: having corporations respect human rights; maintaining a “wide aperture” so that all company impacts on people and communities are addressed; and creating rigorous standards of conduct and means of accountability.
“Making Corporations Responsible: The Parallel Tracks of the B Corp Movement and the Business and Human Rights Movement,” published in Business and Society Review (Sept. 4, 2017, 122:3 285–325) argues that the two movements are traveling in parallel and thus missing an opportunity for mutual learning to improve their effectiveness. The BHR movement can look to B Corps (both the legal entity and the certified company) for concrete examples of viable companies that actually value human rights, not just where there is a “business case” to do so. The B Impact Assessment, the B Corp certification tool, can better ensure that B Corps are in fact respecting human rights by adopting BHR standards.
Both movements must consider the potential contradiction between unlimited scaling — a key goal of B Corps — and the ability of large multinational corporations to respect human rights.
The full article can be accessed here.
Business and Society Review is a journal of the W. Michael Hoffman Center for Business Ethics at Bentley University and is published by Wiley.
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