We are now a Benefit Corporation! Why we changed our corporate status.

We are now a Benefit Corporation! Why we changed our corporate status.

We are now a Benefit Corporation!

Why we changed our corporate status.

Q. What is a benefit corporation?

A.  A benefit corporation is a for-profit corporate entity that is essentially equivalent to a C-corp for tax purposes.  It differs from the normal foundational construct of a corporation in that a benefit corporation can state a benefit to humanity as a primary goal, rather than profit alone.  This seemingly simple change can have large impact on the actions of company.  The directors of a traditional corporation can be held legally accountable to make decisions that have the best chance of providing maximum profit to their shareholders even when the more profitable option is at odds with the morals of the directors.  A benefit corporation provides a way to avoid that situation.  While it is still a for-profit company, with monetary gain as a goal, there is a higher goal which can supersede profit – a benefit to humanity.  Directors of a benefit corporation are required to consider the impact of their decisions not only on shareholders, but on society and environment.

A benefit corporation is also committed to an additional level of transparency.  As a benefit corporation, Pacific Biochar is legally obligated to provide annual public benefit reports with detailed company information using a third party standard.

Q. What benefit to humanity does Pacific Biochar plan to provide

A. This answer is directly from Pacific Biochar’s Articles of Incorporation:

“…the purpose of this benefit corporation shall be to create a general public benefit including, but not limited to, the specific public benefit of preserving the environment through anthropogenic climate change mitigation.”
Q. Why did Pacific Biochar choose to do this?

A. Because we feel it is the right thing to do.

Q.  Are there any other companies that have voluntarily chosen to become a benefit corporation and subject themselves to the extra work?

A. Yes, Patagonia is perhaps the most famous example.

Q. Why did you choose a wave as the image on this web post?

A. That particular wave breaks over a reef pass in the Pacific Ocean, a reef pass that is thousands of years old, and perfectly shaped.  It is beautiful to see, and the feelings I get thinking about the days I spent riding it are best described as some kind of love.  As our atmosphere changes, and glaciers melt, and oceans rise, that reef pass will be buried under a flooded ocean.  It is something tangible and lovable.  Polar bears are too, but I have never met one.  That wave is an iconically beautiful way for me to personally express my love for the climatic era of the past thousands of years, which we may soon be leaving if significant and dramatic actions are not taken immediately.

Q. What next?

A. We look forward to helping carbon find it’s way safely back into soil.

Thank you for taking part!

– Josiah Hunt

CEO | Pacific Biochar Benefit Corporation
Naturalist by nature