This month's photo depicts employees of the online marketplace Etsy, a certified B-corporation, as the company became public on the floor of the NASDAQ.
Following the e-commerce website Etsy’s Initial Public Offering, the potential conflict between operating as a certified B-Corp and a publicly traded company has come to the front of interested parties’ minds. Though it is not the first B-Corp to go public, it has created a much larger splash than its predecessor, Ralley Software. By the end of their opening day Etsy’s stock value had increased by almost 87%, showing the scale investor interest.
In line with the spirit of the certification, Etsy intends on reporting a positive environmental and social impact, while also creating value for shareholders. Other companies such as Ben and Jerry's ice cream and Natura, the Brazilian cosmetics giant, have also chosen to occupy what is still a somewhat untested legal category of having a social and environmental mission, while still maintaining a commitment to shareholder returns. Even Unilever recently announced that the company is considering B-corp status. The trend among some businesses to take the full impact of their operations into account is a critical transition in thinking for both industry leaders and investors.