“We just need to become the Ben and Jerry’s of the utility world!”
So said Mary Powell (pictured left), CEO and president of Green Mountain Power, as she announced in 2014 that her electric utility had just earned B Corp certification, making it one of more than 1,700 companies in the world committed to rigorous standards for sustainability, accountability and transparency.
Nonprofit B Lab administers the B Corp designation, which has drawn companies spanning 50 countries and a range of industries to expand their commitments beyond traditional shareholder returns -- though Green Mountain remains the lone utility in the bunch.
The movement toward corporate social consciousness has led to legislation in 31 states that allows businesses to classify themselves as “benefit corporations,” a structure whose priorities align with the B Corp philosophy.
For an electric utility, that means moving from just selling energy, toward “energy as a service.” We’ve written about them before. Back in