The City Council of Philadelphia on Thursday voted to give tax breaks to businesses that pass the B Corp Rating System for sustainability.
Philadelphia is the first city in the country to adopt a financial incentive for sustainable businesses.
For tax years 2012 through 2017, 25 eligible businesses will receive a tax credit of $4,000 to be used against the gross receipts portion of the Business Privilege Tax.
Companies can be classified as certified sustainable businesses once they are certified as B Corporations (www.bcorporation.net/).
The B Corp Rating System was created by the non-profit organization B Lab to promote "a new type of corporation which uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems."
To date, B Lab has certified 240 companies in 28 US states.
B Lab says it only certifies companies that go beyond "good marketing" to truly embrace good corporate values that include the interests of employees, community and the environment.
Some statistics on certified B Corps:
- 72% use renewable energy.
- 51% have public-transit or carpooling incentives.
- They are 30 times more likely to be located in green buildings.
- 82% have programs for volunteering in their local community.
- 74% are affiliated with local charities, and they are 30 times more likely to donate at least 10% of their profits to charity.
- 9 out of 10 are locally owned, and they are three times more likely to be owned by minorities or women.
- 44% offer some form of employee ownership.
- They are twice as likely to offer health insurance and retirement plans.
- 25% are saving money as a direct result of their B certification.
Read additional coverage by the Philadelphia Inquirer at the link below.