Location

University of Dayton

Start Date

10-2-2015 8:45 AM

End Date

10-2-2015 10:15 AM

Abstract

Over the past decades, issues of corporate accountability and social responsibility have risen to the forefront of international debate. The U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (Guiding Principles), endorsed by the U.N. HRC in June 2011, lays out authoritatively the state duty to protect and the corporate responsibility to respect human rights. In an effort to operationalize the Guiding Principles, the U.N. Working Group on Business and Human Rights has called on all states to develop a National Action Plan (NAP) regarding domestic implementation of the Guiding Principles. A key first-step in the creation of a NAP is the completion of a national baseline assessment, a taking of stock of the current conditions affecting the protection and promotion of human rights by the state and businesses alike. With over twenty-five countries now committed to the creation of a NAP, it is increasingly important to evaluate the existing corporate landscape, specifically structures that claim to be socially and ethically motivated.

The B Corp movement began in 2006, through the work of California based non-profit B-Lab. A B Corp is a business certified by B-Lab as committed to creating and supporting social and environmental rights. The B Corp movement has grown in size and stature, spreading into over thirty countries and garnering a reputation for excellence. Boosts to the movement have recently come from the certification of large multinational companies, and the interest of others that followed. As the B Corp movement continues to proliferate, it’s normative value on the business and human rights field merits analysis. What are the normative implications of the B Corp movement?—Is it a tool that should be embraced by business and human rights activists or one that undermines the movement by enabling corporations to claim an inability to take into account ethical considerations without adoption of a special corporate form?

Comments

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Oct 2nd, 8:45 AM Oct 2nd, 10:15 AM

The Normative Implication of the B Corp Movement in the Business and Human Rights Context (abstract)

University of Dayton

Over the past decades, issues of corporate accountability and social responsibility have risen to the forefront of international debate. The U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (Guiding Principles), endorsed by the U.N. HRC in June 2011, lays out authoritatively the state duty to protect and the corporate responsibility to respect human rights. In an effort to operationalize the Guiding Principles, the U.N. Working Group on Business and Human Rights has called on all states to develop a National Action Plan (NAP) regarding domestic implementation of the Guiding Principles. A key first-step in the creation of a NAP is the completion of a national baseline assessment, a taking of stock of the current conditions affecting the protection and promotion of human rights by the state and businesses alike. With over twenty-five countries now committed to the creation of a NAP, it is increasingly important to evaluate the existing corporate landscape, specifically structures that claim to be socially and ethically motivated.

The B Corp movement began in 2006, through the work of California based non-profit B-Lab. A B Corp is a business certified by B-Lab as committed to creating and supporting social and environmental rights. The B Corp movement has grown in size and stature, spreading into over thirty countries and garnering a reputation for excellence. Boosts to the movement have recently come from the certification of large multinational companies, and the interest of others that followed. As the B Corp movement continues to proliferate, it’s normative value on the business and human rights field merits analysis. What are the normative implications of the B Corp movement?—Is it a tool that should be embraced by business and human rights activists or one that undermines the movement by enabling corporations to claim an inability to take into account ethical considerations without adoption of a special corporate form?