Stonyfield joins the ranks of benefit corporations

By MIKE COTE March 04. 2017 7:26PM

Ingredients, consumers and good health are featured on banners in the cafeteria at Stonyfield Farm's headquarters in Londonderry. (Allegra Boverman/Union Leader)

LONDONDERRY - It's easy to say your company is committed to its ideals, but when you're legally bound to adhere to them, you have to live by those words. On Thursday, Stonyfield became certified as a benefit corporation, joining four other New Hampshire companies that have taken the step.

Benefit corporations, or B corps, are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on employees, suppliers, consumers, the community and the environment. Nicole Cirillo, who joined Stonyfield three months ago as its first mission director, will be overseeing the Londonderry company's goal to use business as a force for good.

"We've always been on a mission. We didn't become a B corp to prove this to anyone," Cirillo said Thursday. "We've just become a B corp really to allow us to amplify our mission and to do what we do in a much deeper, much more impactful, much more scaling way because we're part of a larger community."

Gov. Maggie Hassan signed legislation enabling the formation of benefit corporations in New Hampshire, effective Jan. 1, 2015, when the Granite State joined 25 states and the District of Columbia that allow them. Since then, six other states have passed similar legislation and eight others are working on it, according to benefitcorp.org. In New Hampshire, Stonyfield joins Monroe-based Pete and Jerry's Organic Eggs; W.S. Badger Inc., a health products maker based in Gilsum; ReVision Energy, a solar company with New Hampshire offices in Brentwood and Concord; and Home Free, a Windham-based cookie manufacturer.

Stonyfield has scheduled a B Day Celebration for April 10 at its Londonderry headquarters, where it will host other B corps from New England, which include dairy cooperative Cabot and Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, both based in Vermont. The event will include a keynote talk from Stonyfield founder Gary Hirshberg.

"You're never going to be finished with this work," Cirillo said. "Mission work is all about what you do every day and how you show up every day."


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