New Danone Public Benefit Corporation: Wave of the Future for Corporate America?

The tie up between Danone’s North American dairy business and WhiteWave has created one of the top-15 U.S. food and beverages companies by sales, as well the country’s no. 1 dairy business (excluding cheese), reports Fortune.  But the new unit, called DanoneWave, now tops another ranking and one that has nothing to do with food: On April 12, the day the acquisition of WhiteWave was approved, the newly formed enterprise received its status of “public benefit corporation”—the largest company in the U.S. to have that distinction. A benefit corporation has a certain legal framework that is meant to hold a company to a higher standard than the pure pursuit of profit. Instead, it’s mandated to balance the interests of all stakeholders, rather than prioritize shareholders, and is required to create a positive impact on society.