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AdeptID is now a Benefit Corporation
January 15, 2021 at 12:00 AM
by Fernando Rodriguez-Villa
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We’re pleased to announce that AdeptID officially became a Public Benefit Corporation this week. While this does not change any aspect of our company’s mission, it is a formal commitment to that mission and a demonstration of our belief in principled and accountable capitalism.

What does it mean to be a benefit corporation?

A public benefit corporation (also called a PBC, or simply a benefit corporation) is a for-profit company that incorporates commitments to higher standards of purpose, accountability and transparency into its corporate charter. From benefitcorp.net:

  1. “Purpose: Benefit corporations commit to creating public benefit and sustainable value in addition to generating profit. This sustainability is an integral part of their value proposition.
  2. Accountability: Benefit corporations are committed to considering the company’s impact on society and the environment in order to create long-term sustainable value for all stakeholders.
  3. Transparency: In most regions, benefit corporations are required to report, in most states annually and using a third party standard, to show their progress towards achieving social and environmental impact to their shareholders and in most cases the wider public.”

Any company can become a benefit corporation so long as it amends its charter accordingly and follows reporting obligations. AdeptID is one of a select group of companies whose business itself provides a measurable social benefit.

Our charter now reads:

“The specific public benefit purpose of the Corporation is to make job mobility and career fulfillment easier for all individuals and organizations.”

As our models highlight transferable skills and potential in individuals, we make it easier for employers to hire hard-to-fill roles. As we do so, we unlock economic value for employers, individuals, and training providers that enable the transition.

This status change makes our dedication to long-term, stakeholder value part of our charter, our company’s most important legal document, and provides a framework through which we can be held accountable.

Does this mean AdeptID is no longer interested in profitability or enriching its shareholders?

Absolutely not.

We would not have taken this step if we felt it would hurt AdeptID’s long-term business interests. We will continue to charge a fair price for our services and make investments in team and technology that we believe will yield an attractive return. It does mean that we will not pursue strategies deliver profits to the harm of our stakeholders.

In the long run, we’re convinced that our return will be highest when it has the maximum positive impact on the world. Our shareholders (including ourselves and future employees) are best served when we’re looking at our business with that impact lens.

Is this change just about Marketing?

We don’t think Marketing has to be a dirty word. It’s important for us to communicate with our stakeholders in a way that is authentic and easy to understand (we certainly have work to do on the latter). Being a benefit corporation sends a message to the talent we want to work with, the partners we want to trust us, and the communities we want to serve.

That said, we also see benefit corporation status as a commitment to company health. Over the holiday break, we filled out the B Impact Assessment to determine how we scored against a set of criteria meant to measure the impact AdeptID has on its community and environment.

The criteria in the assessment were entirely consistent with what we would want to do to ensure the health of the company (our score of 133 greatly exceeds the 80 required for certification). Among others, these criteria include:

  • Following fair and inclusive recruitment practices
  • Measuring our impact on our community
  • Monitoring and minimizing our energy usage

These are practices that we would want to adopt in any case. The impact assessment, and our new status, provide us with a framework that will keep our company healthy.

If you are reading this, you are likely an AdeptID stakeholder of some form. That means we are now formally committed to you. If you have ideas about how we can be more transparent or accountable, do not hesitate to reach out to us directly.