New legal form recognizes companies with purpose

The Congress of Deputies has witnessed today the announcement of a political agreement for the creation of the legal figure -Common Benefit and Interest Societies (SBIC)- that recognizes in Spain the companies that generate a social and environmental benefit, in addition to an economic return. The proposal has just been included in the Create and Grow Draft Law, through a transactional amendment announced today, as explained by the representative of the socialist parliamentary group in the Commission for Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation in the Congress of Deputies Pedro Casares.

The announcement was made during the presentation of this legal proposal at the Congress, organized by B Lab Spain and Talent for the Future with the support of political youth and opinion leaders from civil society. To date, the compromise amendment has been supported by the Socialist Group, Popular Group, Confederal Group and also has the signature of Más País, among others, and the opinion will be approved tomorrow in the Economic Affairs Committee. So, if there are no news, it will also be approved in the plenary session of Congress next Thursday, June 30.

Among the supporters for the bill, framed in the “companies with purpose” initiative coordinated by B Lab Spain, the more than 30,000 signatures collected through stand out, which have also been delivered this same Tuesday in Congress with the support of 400 organizations and 50 personalities, including organizations such as Oxfam Intermón, Save the Children and Economists Against the Crisis; scholars such as Alberto Montero, Víctor Lapuente or Toni Roldán; journalists like Iñaki Gabilondo and Ana Pastor; or activists like Laura Baena (Club de Malasmadres) and Nacho Dean.

Pablo Sánchez, executive director of B Lab in Spain, and Elsa Arnaiz, from Talento para el Futuro, have explained the details of the bill, in an act in which Antón Costas, president of the CES, as well as members of the Committee on Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, headed by its secretary, Pedro Casares, together with representatives of the youth of the political parties, and different opinion leaders such as Concepción Galdón, academic director of social innovation at IE University, Patricia Gabeiras, founder partner of the Gabeiras & Asociados law firm, Miguel Alba, head of inequality and the private sector at Intermón Oxfam and Mikel García-Prieto, general director of Triodos Bank. They all discussed the new economic model and the key role that Purpose-Driven Companies will play in it, to guarantee a more responsible and sustainable future for future generations.

B Lab Spain, a non-profit organization that promotes the B Corp movement in Spain, has coordinated the #CompaniesWithPurpose initiative to request their legal recognition as Benefit and Common Interest Companies, as is already the case in countries such as France or Italy. Encouraging and accelerating the creation and growth of this legal figure will be key to aligning business objectives with those of the 2030 Agenda, thus stimulating compliance with high social, environmental and good corporate governance standards in the Spanish business fabric.

In legal terms, the need to create this figure has been detected, since there is currently no legal name for those commercial companies whose statutes state that they seek a social and environmental impact, as demonstrated in the Green Book of Purpose-Driven Companies. , prepared by the law firm Gabeiras & Asociados.