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12 de July de 2017First International Conference of B Lawyers
2img - First International Conference of B Lawyers
2img - First International Conference of B Lawyers
2img - First International Conference of B Lawyers
2img - First International Conference of B Lawyers
2img - First International Conference of B Lawyers

At the conference organized by Sistema B, in association with the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), attorneys from 13 countries assessed the legal identity of triple-impact corporations worldwide, aiming to promote new legal approaches to encourage the establishment of this type of organization in the region

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The trend of establishing a new economy is reflected by the emergence of companies incorporating social and environmental objectives in their business models, while at the same time generating economic benefits. These are the so-called "triple impact corporations", or "benefit corporations" as they are known in the U.S., the first country to legally recognize them.

Prominent legal experts from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, U.S., Italy, Mexico, Peru, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Uruguay gathered at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru to discuss the legal challenges posed by creating this new type of company, through the Public Benefit Corporation (BIC), and to review the role of Law as an agent in the development of a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

Among the event's participants was William Clark, from law firm Drinker Biddle, creator of the legislation framework for benefit corporations, which has been adopted by 31 of the 50 states that make up the United States. According to Clark, the goal of a corporation has changed through the decades. "A hundred years ago, the purpose of a business organization was expressed in the description of its business activity. Today, when we talk about its purpose, we are referring to its positive impacts," he said.

Among the participants of the First International Conference of B Lawyers were Senator Mauro del Barba, promoter of the "Società Benefit" Law in Italy; Rodrigo Goñi, representative of the Uruguayan National Party; Andrés Barreto, one of the promoters of the Benefit and Collective Interest Corporations Bill in Colombia; Luke Fletcher, of the U.K. law firm Bates Wells & Braithwaite and Chairman of the European Social Enterprise Law Association; Xoán Fernández, of Social Innovation at the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF); Pedro Tarak, President of the Board of Directors of Sistema B International; and María Emilia Correa, co-founder of Sistema B.

During his participation, Representative Rodrigo Goñi, pointed out the integrating potential of B Corporations. "In these organizations, I see the potential to build on the most wonderful attribute possessed by mankind: the creative skills and entrepreneurial spirit for organizing activities that add value."

CAF's Xoán Fernández spoke about the role of the private sector as an agent of change to promote broad and sustainable development across Latin America. "Through the Alliance of CAF with the B movement, the creation of legal groups whose aim is promoting legislation favoring the emergence of such companies in several countries is strengthened, as part of the strategy to consolidate an ecosystem of growth for B Corporations in the region," he said.

The conference also featured lawyers from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Uruguay who are actively engaged in legislative proceedings within these countries, which already have bills drafted or discussed. Lawyers from Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, United Kingdom and Switzerland also attended the event.

The meeting was organized by the Sistema B, the European Social Enterprise Law Association (ESELA) and the Benefit Company Bar Association, in partnership with CAF and FOMIN, and hosted by the University of Lima, University of the Pacific, and the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP).

 

Progress of Benefit Corporations throughout the world

A total of 31 states in the U.S. have already approved a law regulating Benefit Corporations. Italy has also incorporated a special law to regulate Benefit Corporations (Società Benefit).The United Kingdom established a special legal provision for the so-called Community Interest Companies, limited liability companies created to carry out a business or activity to benefit the community, rather than solely for the sake of private interest.

Canada also regulates different types of corporations, including Community Contribution Companies or Community Interest Companies.

In Latin America, namely in Argentina, Colombia and Chile, legislative proceedings are also underway to legally recognize triple impact companies.

 

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