Join B Corps and Advocate for a Stakeholder Economy

February 7, 2024

B Corps Speak Up for Policy to Help Build a Just and Regenerative Economy

For Certified B Corporations, building a more inclusive and regenerative economy includes demonstrating how to use business as a force for good and advocating to make it the norm for more companies. Policy engagement and advocacy are important tools for B Corps to help realize the three pillars in B Lab U.S. & Canada’s Theory of Change: climate justice, racial equity, and a stakeholder-driven economy. 

“We know from experience that policymakers are eager to hear from businesses,” says Grace Mausser, Policy Manager at B Lab U.S. & Canada. “As businesses that have chosen to use their profits and growth to positively impact their stakeholders, community, and the planet and who are committed to having a positive impact on their community, B Corps have a responsibility to use their power with policymakers for good.”

Mausser said that topics important to B Corps have become the subject of public debate in the United States and are increasingly a concern in Canada. They include policies and regulations related to business practices around environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. “B Corps can serve as an example of what good business looks like in practice, provide real-life stories of ESG in local communities, and advocate for policy changes in a way unique to their sector and location,” she says. 

Some B Corps already are doing that by speaking up about regional issues that affect their workers and communities and calling for federal regulations to encourage an economic system that creates value for all stakeholders. Mausser said B Lab U.S. & Canada provides training, education, collaboration, and other resources for B Corps looking to build their advocacy practices. “We believe that this combination of activities will help push our community toward being an active constituency of businesses that are prepared and ready to advocate in a variety of jurisdictions on issues across our impact pillars,” she says.

Advocacy examples and resources show how B Corps can nurture partnerships, advance policy to encourage a stakeholder economy, and build policymaker knowledge of the value of purpose-minded businesses. Advocacy efforts as part of collective action are also among the impact topics under consideration as part of evolving standards for B Corp Certification.

Take Effective Policy Action at Your Company

This free resource shares how B Lab U.S. & Canada and the B Corp community are building a stakeholder economy and driving collective political action to make the rules of the game more equitable and beneficial for all.


Take an Industry Focus to Build Advocacy Relationships

While the number of B Corps is growing rapidly, policymakers’ awareness of the B Corp community’s purpose and goals has not kept pace, Mausser says. “We want to tell our stories and drive home the points that B Corps are building up local communities, investing in people, employing constituents, growing the economy, providing valuable and innovative products and services, and serving purposes beyond profit.”

B Corps that engage in advocacy opportunities help build momentum for change, Mausser says. “In the short and medium term, our aim is to build relationships with policymakers and provide a business voice in support of aligned legislation and regulations,” she says. “In the long term, we seek to build B Corps’ reputation and credibility in order to have a seat at the table when relevant policy is decided.”

One example is B Corp Beautycounter, which was founded in 2013 with a vision to make its network of consultants involved in making the beauty product industry safer and better. Since then, the company’s consultants and customers have advocated for stricter guidelines and regulations to shift the personal-care industry away from using harmful and questionable ingredients. Consultants host meetings with members of Congress in their hometowns, advocating for updates to laws governing personal-care products.

Beautycounter and its community of advocates have influenced the passage of 16 pieces of legislation related to the environment, cosmetics, and health. That includes the MoCRA (the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act), the first major update to industry regulation since 1938.

Learn More: The Beauty of Effective Corporate Activism: How Beautycounter’s Network of Consultants and Clients Are Achieving Better Beauty and Health Laws

b circle and capitol

Policy Engagement

Learn how B Lab U.S. & Canada works with B Corps, policymakers, partners, and other stakeholders to move the needle on policy changes critical to creating a more just and equitable society.


B Corps Forge Campaign-Aligned Partnerships for Advocacy and Community Engagement

Partnerships with other businesses and community organizations can help B Corps identify advocacy opportunities, Mausser says. “Finding a partner who can inform and guide your advocacy work is important to making it feasible for your organization. B Lab can be that partner in many cases,” she says. “We do direct advocacy work on issues related to stakeholder governance and ESG and work closely with partners on climate justice and racial equity issues. We work to get relevant advocacy opportunities in front of B Corps and give them the support they need to engage.”

Partnerships with other organizations were crucial for The Body Shop’s voting rights campaign in 2022 to dismantle barriers for first-time voters. The B Corp’s North American stores served as voter registration hubs. The Body Shop celebrated National Voter Registration Day with an event in partnership with fellow B Corp Tony’s Chocolonely. A voter registration portal created with the nonpartisan democracy organization HeadCount provides links to voting registration information and resources.

Learn More:

Why Businesses Must Protect Voting Access for All Eligible Americans

B Corps Collaborate to Engage Around Community Issues

B Corp organizations known as B Locals and other regional partnerships are another avenue for advocacy. B Corp employees are familiar with local and regional policy issues and can play an essential role in advocating for change through B Locals or other collaborations. Mausser says local nonprofits and policy organizations can also be valuable partners for B Local organizations and individual B Corps. “Perhaps it is an organization that you have a philanthropic relationship with, and you can explore an opportunity to also engage in their advocacy work more directly,” she says. 

As members of the regional Good For Michigan organization, B Corps in Michigan collaborate with other companies committed to measuring their social and environmental impact. To reinforce this work, Good For Michigan launched The Impact Project to get business leaders civically engaged and align their business impact efforts with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Impact Project includes resources focusing on regional economic goals — including growing the middle class, supporting small businesses, and building strong communities — and broader policy issues such as accessible voting, affordable child care, and paid sick leave. 

Learn More:

Advocate Where You Are: B Locals Collaborate for Policy Action


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