This week, the California Senate passed a bill to recognize social purpose business [See article “California Senate passes bill for do-good businesses”, Ellen Lee in San Francisco Chronicle June 4 2011]. The Bill (SB 201) offers a much needed statutory change to corporate law and its emergence represents a significant tidal shift in public opinion and policy making. The bill acknowledges, for the first time, that businesses can (and should?) exist for more than profit making – that adding social and/or environmental benefit onto a profit-making framework is a good thing that deserves regulatory support to operate and grow.

Ecotrust Canada’s mission has always included a triple-e framework for business. We believe that eroding natural capital in order to produce financial capital is not good enough, and that modern day businesses need to protect communities and environments while they grow. We applaud the leadership demonstrated by the California Senate and hope that soon, this kind of regulatory innovation gains momentum in our country, which sadly right now, is very far behind.

The recent recommendations published by the Canadian Task Force on Social Finance begin to chart a path for Canada to enable rather than cripple an investment marketplace for socially responsible investment. We will do what we can as an organization to ensure that the public and our policy makers see that this is the right thing to do.

–Blog post by Brenda Kuecks, President, Ecotrust Canada