I am thinking about bottom lines before bed.
This is an excellent piece by the New Yorker's James Surowiecki about B Corps, or for-profit companies that pledge to achieve social goals as well as financial ones:
There are more than 1000 B Corps in the U.S. (I'll be finding out tomorrow how many there are in Argentina). The fiduciary duty of these companies goes beyond making money and stretches into returns that are often far less quantifiable - positive environmental impact, for example. In the U.S., at least, the promise of these sort of returns has been attracting investors to B Corps and encouraging the growth of a movement.
The more I read and the more I see, the more I understand that business is never easy or simple. But the idea of B Corp provides a neat narrative. Entrepreneur has idea for product people will buy (financial win). Product is made using clean technology (environmental win). Because people are buying products, company adds jobs (social win). There is the triple bottom line that the entrepreneur envisioned from the beginning.
What feels like a more complicated and more dramatic story is the fight to turn companies that were born with one sole purpose - that money makin - into a triple threat. How would H+M even begin to unravel the way it makes its sweaters (in sweatshops out of cotton that drank all of California's water supply)? What can convince a CEO and her Board of Directors that the challenge would be worth it?