Graeme Newell

hanson bridgett: a law company with corporate social responsibility impact

Hanson Bridgett 1

For Profit Solutions to Social Problems

Hanson Bridgett is a long-standing legal company with corporate social responsibility at its center. It was one of the first certified B corporations and was instrumental in passing B Corporation legislation in California, North Dakota, and now in 27 states. Part of Hanson Bridgett’s purpose is to serve clients at the intersection of money and meaning. This can be interpreted many ways. One way to look at it is in finding for-profit solutions to global problems. Nonprofits have always been a valuable part of the social enterprise landscape, but recently, social entrepreneurs have decided to apply for-profit models to pressing social problems. A for-profit company with a traditionally nonprofit mission can be more versatile and flexible in its social entrepreneurial and CSR efforts.

Forming Partnerships

Thanks to Hanson Bridgett, a company with corporate social responsibility ideals can come together with other businesses. When these businesses come together, they can develop better, more effective products and services. These enhanced products and services can generate better jobs in a more equitable social fabric. Hanson Bridgett is constantly working with businesses that know they can do more than just make money. These are companies that use the power of business to make positive social and economic changes. Hanson Bridgett sees this as the most sustainable way to fix some of our world’s most enduring problems.

Hanson Bridgett began serving social entrepreneurs and impact investors over a decade ago. Their initial goal was to contribute their voice to conversations between social entrepreneurs. They began holding sustainable business forums. These forums were places where entrepreneurs could access education and support to help them build mission oriented businesses. Hanson Bridgett is also a founding member of the B Corporation movement. In 2007, they decided to sign the B Corporation Declaration of Interdependence.

B Corporation Pioneers

Around the same time, the B Corporation movement began to spread. More and more social entrepreneurial companies decided to apply for B Corporation certification. At first, the certification was voluntary, with no legal requirement for companies to follow it once they were certified. This made some entrepreneurs nervous when they realized their company’s mission and purpose could be compromised. Hanson Bridgett stepped in by drafting legislation to hold B corporations legally responsible for their triple bottom line outcomes. The B Corporation became a legal entity, just like a 501©(3) Corporation. This legislation has now been accepted in 27 states.

A Growing Coalition

Hanson Bridgett now has an active coalition of entrepreneurs and investors as its core clients. These clients work together in the social impact space. They are all looking for business solutions to social problems. Hanson Bridgett clients include potential investors for CSR companies as well as companies that are already established in solving societal problems. Every time a company with corporate social responsibility ideals joins the Hanson Bridgett team, another significant piece of social impact takes place.

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Three employees from Hanson Bridgett talks about being a BCorp and their mission.

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