Social Entrepreneur Says B Corp. Designation Makes Sustainability A Fiduciary Responsibility

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The United States is transitioning from "Shareholder capitalism" to "Stakeholder capitalism," social entrepreneur Jay Coen Gilbert told an audience at Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business on January 21. Gilbert is a leader of the movement to create so-called "B Corporations" or "Benefit Corporations," which seek to simultaneously make money and make sustainable contributions to society. The nonprofit B Lab, which he cofounded in 2006, acts as a certifying organization for businesses that desire to wear the B corporation label. Gilbert said B Lab has now certified nearly 400 B corporations representing more than 60 industries in more than 40 states. One of the more familiar names is Seventh Generation, a leading brand of "Green" cleaning products.