Certified B Corp
BVDV is officially certified as a ‘B Corp’ (Benefit Corporation). As such, our law firm is part of a worldwide network of organisations that contribute toward achieving a sustainable and responsible society. BVDV is the first law and tax consultancy firm in the Netherlands to be awarded this certification. The certificate is awarded to companies with a social and/or ecological impact, who take responsibility, are transparent as well as make a contribution to the economy of the future. At present, there are nearly four thousand B Corps worldwide in over thirty countries.
Social impact, responsibility, transparency and sustainability
B Corp is an American organisation that is focused on building an international network of companies that promote sustainable projects. The companies involved set the bar high in terms of social and/or ecological impact, transparency, and responsibility. The business performance standards are comprehensive, in depth, and transparent, measuring the impact of a company in terms of all its stakeholders, such as employees, suppliers, society and the environment. Unlike traditional organisations, certified B Corporations feel an obligation to assess the impact of their decisions not only in terms of the interests of their shareholders, but in terms of all other stakeholders.
The certification goes towards defining BVDV all the more as a ‘social enterprise’. We are very pleased with that status, as it allows us to set a good and clear example to our clients and other organisations, enabling us to inspire them to make a similar impact contribution. Within BVDV, a lot of things work very differently than they do in traditional law and tax consultancy firms. This entails key advantages for our employees as well as our clients. We are a commercial company, but are simultaneously responsible, fair, flexible and innovative, both internally in respect of our colleagues, and externally in respect of our clients. Our rates are lower and each employee, for example, has the freedom to make their own financial arrangements with individual clients. At BVDV, clients pay for the work, not the costly overhead. For that reason, the ‘office surcharge’ often billed by traditional law firms has been scrapped.
In order to become B Corp certified, companies are subjected to an extensive investigation in which the following categories are evaluated: management, staff, society and the environment. Our law firm achieved a particularly high score in the ‘management and staff’ category. Other B Corp companies in the Netherlands include Dopper and Tony’s Chocolonely. In global terms, BVDV sits alongside Ben & Jerry’s in the B Corp family.
We originally started off with the ambition to revamp the traditional legal profession. We wanted to make it just as professional, but much more enterprising and without all the red tape. Together, we want to cut complexity in our profession and, where possible, give priority to simplicity and trust.
Being the first Dutch law office with a B Corp status we bear in mind the social (e.g. a sustainable workers environment because of a better work/life balance) and environmental (e.g. by buying sustainable products) impact of all our decisions. That way we strive not only to be best for our workers and clients but also to be best for the world.
As a B Corp BVDV undersigned the B Corp Declaration of Interdependene:
“We envision a global economy that uses business as a force for good. This economy is comprised of a new type of corporation – the B Corporation – which is purpose-driven and creates benefit for all stakeholders, not just shareholders.
As Certified B Corporations and leaders of this emerging economy, we believe:
- That we must be the change we seek in the world.
- That all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered.
- That, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all.
- To do so requires that we act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.”
BVDV advocaten & fiscalisten is proud of our status as a Certified B Corp. As part of that commitment and in recognition of the role that taxes play in contributing to a healthy society, we use our professional judgment to provide advice regarding tax positions with multiple potential interpretations that accurately reflects the income and operations of the client in each jurisdiction for which the client seeks our advice based on the details of the client’s income and operations provided to us, and do not advise clients to take a position unless we believe it has at least a reasonable basis for being sustained by applicable tax authorities. If a client takes a tax position despite our advice to the contrary, we reserve the right to stop working for such client.