27 Jun What is a Benefit Corporation – Utah Sustainable Green Business
Most people know that there are privately and publicly held companies, non-profits, LLCs (or limited license companies), INCs (incorporated), etc. While non-profits are their own separate type of business that is taxed and reviewed differently, with a much different business goal than other for-profit companies, even for-profit companies have their own different classifications.
Most companies like LLCs are known as S Corps, but there are also C Corps. Most of these distinctions have to do with how the business is taxed. However, there is a separate, and we believe and more distinctive, designation that companies in Utah may now be classified as. A Benefit Corporation.
Several years ago, SB 133 was signed into law allowing Utah businesses to change their business designation to that of a benefit corporation – LUX Catering & Events was one of the first 13 businesses to jump aboard and take advantage of the new law and change our status from and S-Corp to a Benefit Corporation.
So, what exactly is a Benefit Corporation?
A Benefit Corporation is a company that is voluntarily and eagerly desirous of holding itself accountable to the community in which it operates as well as to hold itself to a higher standard of excellence to the community and the environment but still wanting to make a profit while doing so. Basically, being a Benefit Corporation is like enrolling in the Honors Program for businesses!
Benefit Corporations have a responsibility to hold themselves to a higher standard in their business operations to ensure their actions are environmentally sustainable as well as to be an involved members of the community by actively helping and/or reinvesting in the community. While this may make a benefit corporation sounds a non-profit, instead a designated Benefit Corporation needs to do all that while still being a for-profit company.
And it is totally possible! LUX Catering & Events has created, as part of our business tenets, many facets that help us to be a sustainable and green business in Utah. These efforts include:
- LUX Catering & Events is the only caterer in Utah with a comprehensive recycling program in place. We track our usage and waste and recycle or repurpose as much of our waste as possible – including mixed recyclables like plastic, paper, etc; glass; and even green waste, such as inedible parts of food but that are still organic matter. Our green waste is part of a new program in Utah, the Wasatch Resource Recovery Project, where our green waste is taken and composted then redistributed to local farms and community gardens to enrich the soil.
- LUX Catering & Events is part of Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky Program, which means all of the electricity we use is offset by wind power energy that we purchase.
- 40%-70% of our food, depending on the season, is sourced locally. Which means that more of our supplies have less distance to travel which equals less carbon emissions dues to trucking and shipping. Additionally, this means that more money and resources are kept in Utah to Utah farmers, artisans, producers, etc.
- All of the disposables we use as part of our events are biodegradable within 30 days at the landfill. We are not leaving a carbon or waste print on this Earth longer than 30 days with our waste.
- We donate half a million dollars every year to local charities, non-profits, and community cultural organizations!
We are doing all of these things while still growing every year exponentially in revenues, sales and profit! And we are being recognized for our efforts! Last year, we won Utah’s Business Magazines Green Waste Award for one of the top Utah businesses with a recycling program! This year, we won the 2017 Best of State award for Utah’s best caterer – a lot of success in the judging process was all of our efforts that come back to making Utah a great state to live in.
Another important part of being a Benefit Corporation is being accountable and transparent with the state of Utah and our community. We invite you to learn more about how LUX Catering & Events holds ourselves to higher standards environmentally, sustainably, and by our community while still working hard, growing, and being profitable by viewing our Annual Benefit Corporation Report for Fiscal Year 2016
To learn more about Benefit Corporation status and to learn the 3 P – people, planet, profit – visit our close friends at p3utah.org