The Future Business Council is proudly supporting B Lab Australia and New Zealand’s proposed ‘benefit company’ amendments to the Corporations Act 2001.
The amendments would legally introduce a new voluntary corporate structure – known as a ‘benefit company’ – which would allow company directors to pursue both profit-making and the public good. Willing companies could opt into this new structure, enshrining the triple bottom line principles of ‘profit, people and planet’ into their constitutions. The voluntary structure will expand directors’ duties to require directors to consider the interests of all stakeholders, and report on social and environmental performance as well as financial indicators.
The proposed legislation would give legal protection to company directors that integrate a consideration of public benefit into their managerial decision-making.
Similar legal reform has taken place in 32 US States, where there are over 4,000 benefit corporations, and also in Italy. They are also being considered in Canada, UK, Colombia and Argentina.
As a representative organisation of next generation and purpose-driven businesses, we believe that benefit company legislation is a much-needed legal innovation that will help companies differentiate themselves in a competitive market, and protect their missions as they grow so that they can create high quality jobs, attract investment and continue to improve the quality of life in our communities. Future Business Council looks forward to these changes being adopted in support of a prosperous and progressive business community and economy.