Antony Page


You want to start a business: not just an ordinary business, producing ordinary social benefit, but a dual-mission business that will both make a profit and benefit the environment. This green business, you expect, will sometimes face trade-offs between the missions, in the sense that sometimes owners’ wealth and profit will have to be sacrificed to pursue environmental benefits. You’re optimistic, in that you hope the business will find outside investors and will scale up easily. Moreover, you don’t want to lie or even dissemble about your motives or about the business’s actions. You want to be both authentic and transparent. This Article looks at whether and how law, by means of recently enacted corporate organizational forms—benefit corporations, flexible purpose corporations and social purpose corporations—can help.


This essay is based on a presentation at the 2012 William and Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review Symposium, Managing Green Business: Defining, Regulating, and Supporting Environmentally Responsible Businesses.