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B Corp Certification

On July 29, 2010, Wendel Rosen earned B Corp Certification, one of only a few law firms in the nation to receive this designation.  Wendel Rosen was evaluated based on an assessment questionnaire, supporting documentation and an individual review. 


What is a B Corp?

A certified B Corp , is a relatively new form of corporate organization.  In 2006, Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan, and Andrew Kassoy, founded B Lab, a nonprofit organization that certifies as B Corporations businesses adhering to true corporate social responsibility.  To become a certified B Corp, a business must meet comprehensive social and environmental performance standards that are measured via a survey called the B Impact Rating System.  The survey rates companies on products, practices and profits. B Corps strive to create economic opportunity, build strong communities and preserve a healthy environment.  In addition, B Corps must expand corporate responsibility to include the interests of all stakeholders – employees, the community, the environment – rather than shareholders alone.  An independent Standards Advisory Council oversees the certification ratings and audit requirements. 


Benefit Corporation Legislation

Currently, several states have ratified legislation recognizing Benefit Corporations, including California.  Wendel Rosen was proud to be a part of the effort to pass legislation in our state.  Donald Simon, a green business partner at the firm served on the legal working group that drafted and pushed the passage of AB 361 (Huffman).  Click here to see an interview with Wendel Rosen attorney Donald Simon discussing Benefit Corporation legislation.

If you would like to know more about becoming a Benefit Corporation in California, you can review this PowerPoint presentation that Donald recently shared with an Green Chamber of Commerce audience. 


Why Did Wendel Rosen Become a B Corp?

Being a certified B Corp reflects how we go about ‘business as usual’ here at Wendel Rosen.  As a pioneering law firm when it comes to adopting and promoting sustainable business practices in the profession, B Corp certification was a natural step.  In 2003, we launched our Green Business Practice Group and became the first certified green law firm in the country (certification conducted by the Bay Area Green Business Program).  The Green Business Practice Group donates one percent of its annual revenue to environmental non-profits through its membership in 1% for the Planet, and firm attorneys serve as general counsel to organizations such as Build It Green and the U.S. Green Building Council - Northern California Chapter.  We also support numerous organizations that are committed to building strong local communities and nurturing businesses emerging in disadvantaged neighborhoods, such as Rebuilding Together Oakland, East Bay Economic Development Alliance and Inner City Advisors.