There is a lot going on in the B Corp world right now, with Italy being the first country outside of the US to pass the Benefit Corporation legislation, and many other European countries are interested in following these footsteps. As an employee of mondora.com, an Italian B Corp who is living this legislation process, I would like to share the most recent updates with you, as mentioned recently in the Italian press.
The first article was published on January 11th in Italia Oggi, and written by Marino Longoni. This article talks about how Benefit Corporations (Società Benefit in Italian) are a new hybrid business form that put together both profit and social benefit objectives. The rules that govern these Società Benefit can be found in commas 376-384 of the legge di stabilità 2016. The term Società Benefit is relatively unknown, but will soon become common. The article goes on to discuss who will be responsible for monitoring the quality of Italian Società Benefit, and leaves us with a question: will it be the Italian Antitrust? And if so, how will they manage to check all companies?
The second interesting article was published in Wired Italia on January 19th, and written by Daniela Mangini. The article presents Società Benefit as an Italian legislation that “follows the Kickstarter model”: in other words this legislation enables Italian companies to add social and environmental benefits to the company’s mission and legal status. The article goes on to state that the quality of performance, and evaluation, of Società Benefit will be measured through a mandatory assessment, and the current B Corp B Impact Assessment seems to be the most likely candidate. In an interview with the team that helped create the Società Benefit legislation, the article reports that the B Corp movement is fundamental in balancing emerging situations, such as the sharing economy model, that the traditional economic model is not able to manage.
So what are the main benefits of this Italian legislation for other European B Corps? And how can these be of value to your company?
- Scalable legislation: the Italian Società Benefit legislation was thought for the European system, and will probably be adopted by other countries too, such as the Netherlands, France, Spain and Switzerland.
- Real-time change: Italian Certified B Corps are working on changing their legal status and including SB – Società Benefit in their title. Follow their progress to see how it’s done and avoid any legal nuisances!
- Value your B Corp score: the B Impact Assessment will likely remain the main reference for measuring Società Benefit’s objectives and goals: so keep working on that score and #BtheChange!
Italian Società Benefit legislation is a great opportunity for other European B Corps to monitor and evaluate the legal process, so they too can bring this law to their country and make Benefit Corporations a legally recognised entity.