Yesterday, The Boston Globe published an article on benefit corporations by Ben Schreckinger entitled “Virtue Inc.” Read the entire article for yourself, but I just wanted to point out two things about the article.
First, Boston College Law School Professor Kent Greenfield provides quotes near the end of the article. This was interesting to me because the quotes show that benefit corporations are starting to get the attention of some of the top thinkers in the legal academy. (Professor Greenfield is the author of The Failure of Corporate Law: Fundamental Flaws and Progressive Possibilities, among other works).
Second, Professor Greenfield expressed concern that “opt-in solutions like benefit corporations risk diverting momentum from bigger reform efforts that could affect the way all corporations do business.” While there has definitely been a fair bit of change brought on by the broader corporate social responsibility movement over the past few decades, much of that change appears to be fairly surface level, at least in the United States. It still remains to be seen whether benefit corporations will be more successful in making large-scale and core changes in what Professor Greenfield refers to as the harmful “narrow focus on shareholder interest.”