New Legislation for Benefit Corporations

There are currently just over 300 B Corporations in America (we are one of those), and that number is sure to rise now thanks to new legislation in Maryland and Vermont. Realizing that what is best for shareholders is not always what is best for citizens, Maryland became the first state to enact legislation protecting and incentivizing socially responsible companies, referred to as Benefits Corporations.  Vermont followed in May, and similar legislation is currently under consideration in New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Washington, Colorado, and Oregon. This legislation encourages companies to adopt socially responsible policies through tax incentives and legal protections from shareholders interested solely in profit. Supporters of this legislation, such as Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder Seventh Generation says this legislation is, “part of a larger transition to a more just, equitable, and sustainable economy. It’s the beginning of creating institutions that support that transition.”

The idea of a socially responsible company is a direct reaction to 20th century American capitalism, which was driven by profit. New Living operates with a focus on social responsibility by:

– Making our communities healthier by providing products that are non-toxic and part of safe indoor air quality

– Sparking local economic development by producing healthy building materials locally

– Educating installers and contractors on how to protect themselves from toxic materials

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