Milan, 11 July 2023 – B Lab, the international non-profit organization in charge of certifying B Corps worldwide, announced today the creation of B Lab Italia. Thanks to collective action and dissemination of B Lab’s tools in the country, the Foundation will grow, engage, and mobilize the B Corp community in Italy.
B Lab Italia joins the B Global Network, the B Lab network working across six continents towards a more inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy. By developing standards, policies, tools, and programs, B Lab aims to drive economic systems change in which companies meet increasingly high standards of social and environmental performance for all stakeholders.
The Foundation is a product of the commitment and ambitions of B Lab Europe, B Lab’s Global Partner in Europe, and Eric Ezechieli and Paolo Di Cesare, co-founders of NATIVA. Over the past eight years, NATIVA has been one of the first companies to disseminate the B Corp concept across Italy. Through its partnership with B Lab Europe, NATIVA has engaged the community in awareness campaigns and collective actions for systemic change. As a result of their work, since the first B Corp was certified in Italy in 2013, the Italian movement has grown, reaching 100 companies in 2018 and 240 in 2023, thus making Italy the second country in the European Union with the highest number of B Corps. The Italian movement has been among the most dynamic in Europe, playing a key role in advocating and then introducing the Società Benefit legal status, inspired by the Benefit Corporation model. In addition, the movement has stood out for its ongoing efforts in the areas of gender equality, climate neutrality, and education, also through communication campaigns such as #UnlockTheChange.
“Italian companies have been pioneering in bringing the B Corp movement across Europe, both in terms of legislation and as ambassadors, showing that there is a better way of doing business and using their voice to inspire others to follow suit. However, we must not rest on our laurels, as the willingness of Italian companies to embrace sustainability values is embedded in their DNA. Together with B Lab Italy, we will continue to provide them with strong tools to support their efforts in this necessary and challenging evolution,”
– Juliette Caulkins, Executive Director at B Lab Europe
“Ever since we became one of the very first B Corp in Europe, we realized that the B Corp movement and B Lab’s tools could help speed up the business evolution towards sustainability. After years of engaging with institutions and working to promote a new business idea with B Lab and B Corps, the time has come to take a further step forward. From the very beginning, we have been thinking as a ‘hub’ and for years have considered setting up a dedicated organization. Now, we have the right conditions for the B Lab Italia Foundation to take on the role of coordinator and support the B Corp movement and its values in Italy, further boosting its influence and positive impact,”
– Eric Ezechieli and Paolo Di Cesare, co-founders of NATIVA
Today, there are over 7,000 B Corporations worldwide, of which over 2,400 B Corps are in Europe, employing more than 600,000 people and with an aggregate turnover of over $1.8 trillion. In addition, 240,000 companies worldwide use the B Impact Assessment to measure their social and environmental impact.