Socially responsible companies get leg up in S.F. 

Socially responsible companies will be given preferential treatment when doing business with San Francisco after the unanimous approval of new legislation by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Such so-called benefit corporations, or B Corps, will now have a leg up in The City’s contract bidding processes by having their final ratings given a 4 percent cost leeway compared to other applicants. The proposal, put forth by Supervisor David Chiu, originally involved an 8 percent adjustment.

Other compromises included providing the same benefits to companies from surrounding counties or Sacramento, and exempting the measures if a local business would be prevented from winning a bid.

B Corps are loosely defined as companies that “create a material positive impact on society and the environment,” and base decisions not on profit alone, but also the well-being of workers and the surrounding community. Such companies are certified by the state. Some 21 California companies currently have the designation.

San Francisco is allowed to give preference to B Corps after state legislation that passed in January.

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