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Nearly 1,700 Companies Withdraw from North Carolina Events in Response to HB2

Standing for Inclusion, B Corps Relocate Series of October Events

Published 04-11-16

Submitted by B Lab

Today, in response to HB2, North Carolina’s new law limiting anti-discrimination protections, the global community of nearly 1,700 Certified B Corporations announced it will relocate a cluster of October events out of North Carolina.  Those events include the annual global gathering of B Corp CEOs and executives; a series of public talks and street festival called B Inspired; a conference for the economic development arms of city governments, corporate supply chain managers, and impact investors called Measure What Matters; and a conference for university educators teaching business as a force for good. 

“B Corps seek to build a more inclusive economy, and that is not possible with laws like HB2 on the books,” said Jay Coen Gilbert, co-founder of B Lab, the nonprofit behind the B Corp movement.  “Through the upcoming legislative session, we will work closely with the North Carolina B Corp community and the LGBT community most affected by this law to make North Carolina more business friendly and enable us to return as soon as possible.” Read B Lab’s full statement on North Carolina HB2.

HB2 requires people to use public bathrooms associated with the sex assigned on their birth certificate instead of that with which they identify, which most adversely affects transgender people. HB2 appears to remove the civil right of all people to file anti-discrimination lawsuits with the State based on race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, or handicap. HB2 also eliminates the ability for cities in North Carolina to support a living wage. The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) has filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of HB2 under the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Kevin Trapani, CEO of The Redwoods Group, a Morrisville, North Carolina-based commercial property casualty insurer and Certified B Corp said, “As it actually says in North Carolina law, we believe that discrimination ‘foments domestic strife and unrest, deprives the State of the fullest utilization of its capacities for advancement and development, and substantially and adversely affects the interests of employees, employers, and the public in general.’ We are ready to work with proponents of HB2 to help forge ‘One North Carolina’ that lives up to its own creed so that we can welcome the global B Corp community to our great state as soon as possible“ 

John Replogle, CEO of Seventh Generation, who leads the national brand and Seventh Generation Ventures from HQ Raleigh, said, “As a founding B Corp, we stand united with the 1,700 CEOs who are using business as a force for good and will muster all of our resources to overturn this abhorrent law. North Carolina deserves better and the business community must stand united that HB2 is bad for our state and bad for business.’ 

 

B Lab is a nonprofit organization that serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good.  Its vision is that one day all companies compete to be best for the world and society enjoys a more shared and durable prosperity.  B Lab drives this systemic change by: 1) building a global community of Certified B Corporations; 2) promoting Mission Alignment using innovative corporate structures like the benefit corporation to align the interests of business with those of society; 4) helping tens of thousands of businesses, investors, and institutions Measure What Matters, by using the B Impact Assessment and B Analytics to manage their impact -- and the impact of the businesses with whom they work -- with as much rigor as their profits; and 4) inspiring millions to join the movement through compelling storytelling by its multi-platform branded media company B the Change Media.  For more information, visit www.bcorporation.net

Certified B Corporations meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability.  They achieve a minimum verified score of 80 out of 200 available points on the B Impact Assessment, which measures the positive impact of a company on its workers, customers, community, and the environment, and are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on all stakeholders, not just shareholders.  There are 1,674 Certified B Corporations in 130 industries and 48 countries, including 32 in North Carolina.

Partial list of B Corp CEOs available for comment 

Eric Henry, CEO, TS Designs (NC)
Kevin Trapani, CEO, Redwoods Group (NC)
John Replogle, CEO, Seventh Generation (NC)
Maria Kingery, CEO, Southern Energy Management (NC)
Jostein Solheim, CEO, Ben & Jerry’s
Rose Marcario, CEO, Patagonia
Wendy Collie, CEO, New Seasons Markets
Christine Perich, CEO, New Belgium Brewing (NC) 

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B Lab

B Lab

B Lab is a nonprofit organization that serves a global movement to redefine success in business. It's vision is that one day all companies will compete not only to be the best in the world, but best for the world.

B Lab drives this systemic change through a number of interrelated initiatives: 1) building a community of Certified B Corporations who lead this movement and make it easier to tell the difference between “good companies” and good marketing; 2) passing benefit corporation legislation to create a new kind of corporation legally required to create value for society, not just shareholders; 3) helping investors invest for impact through use of the B Analytics data platform; and 4) helping businesses measure, compare and improve their social and environmental performance through use of the B Impact Assessment as a free powerful educational tool.

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