Putting Canadian business on the path to sustainable prosperity

Bill S-285 seeks to ensure that, in addition to being profitable, businesses benefit wider society and the environment.

What’s the bill about?

The 21st Century Business Act (21BA) proposes to enshrine the central place of stakeholders in the modern economy. Modeled after the UK Better Business Act, the bill (Bill S-285) defines the purpose of the corporation as the pursuit of its best interests, while also benefiting wider society and the environment in a manner proportionate to the size and nature of the corporation. The 21BA would align the power and creativity of business with the requirements of a sustainable world.

Our champions

“Corporations must do their part, because governments cannot be left alone to deal with the major social and environmental challenges of the 21st century. Many businesses have already begun their transformation, but we must ensure that others join the movement and remain competitive in a world where sustainability is quickly – and correctly – emerging as a global norm, especially for younger generations.”

Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne

“By aligning capital with purpose, the 21st Century Business Act will formally embed purpose into corporate decision-making and fiduciary responsibility. Importantly, this will benefit growth and the long-term survival of Canadian businesses. The 21BA reinforces that profit and purpose can, and must, co-exist and is essential for the thriving future of humanity.”

Hari Balasubramanian,
Founding Managing Partner, EcoAdvisors

“We at Riverside Natural Foods Ltd. support the 21st century Business Act (21BA). At Riverside, our purpose is “To Inspire a Healthier and More Compassionate World, Where Access to Good Food Becomes a Reality for All”. Therefore, we believe in expanding the fiduciary duties of business leaders beyond profit-seeking objectives to include both social and environmental impacts.”

Nima, Sahba & Salma Fotovat
Riverside Natural Foods

“Canada has the opportunity to lead by example in prioritizing ethical business practices and sustainability with the introduction of the 21st Century Business Act. It’s time for companies to embrace their role as stewards of society and the environment, fostering a brighter, more accountable future for all. In Fairtrade, we see how companies can thrive when they find the right equilibrium between people, planet and profit.”

Julie Francoeur
CEO, Fairtrade Canada

“I believe the business world not only has the power, but the duty to use entrepreneurship as a vehicle for social and environmental change. We cannot continue with business as usual, we must change the paradigm and make the old model obsolete.”

Marie-Josée Richer
Co-Founder, Prana

“We are thrilled by the introduction of the 21st Century Business Act and believe it is an important step in realigning the private sector toward creating a positive impact for workers, communities, employees, and the environment. Business as usual isn’t working. The 21BA will help transform the Canadian economy so that it works for all people and the planet.”

Holly Ensign-Barstow
Senior Director of Programs and Policy, B Lab U.S. & Canada

“The time has come for concrete action. The well-being of our communities, our planet and future generations can no longer depend solely on the goodwill of companies. We must legislate to ensure that all stakeholders are at the heart of business decisions in the country.”

Alex Brisson
CEO, Norda Stelo

“Purpose drives governance; governance drives everything. The 21BA will require Canadian corporations to be repurposed to protect and improve stakeholder wellbeing, including society and the environment as stakeholders. That is, the 21BA will position Canadian corporations to capture their sustainability advantage for the benefit of all. This is huge!”

Bob Willard
Founder, Sustainability Advantage

“It’s time to adopt bold legislation to face up to social and environmental challenges. Our actions today will determine whether we are seen as the generation that chose complacency or the one that chose courage and innovation. We must act now to preserve a resilient and sustainable future for generations to come.”

Louis Roy
CEO, Optel Group

“Businesses cannot succeed in a society that fails. The 21st Century Business Act recognizes their role in preventing such a failure. By requiring a high standard for corporate governance, it ensures that Canadian corporations are held responsible not only for profitability, but also on their impact on society and the environment. GRI applauds this effort and stands ready to support the Canadian regulators in developing a pragmatic reporting regime.”

Peter Paul van de Wijs
Chief Policy Officer, GRI

“It’s time for change and the proposed changes in the 21st Century Better Business Act are not only welcome and overdue, but completely necessary. This Act will positively impact our economy, society, and environment and will drive business to adopt a purpose beyond one of pure profit. Let’s stand together for a better world for all.”

Bernie and Christie Geiss
Cove Continuity Advisors

Why support the 21BA?

There are two broad reasons for supporting the 21st Century Business Act:

The first is the most simple and fundamental: because it’s the right thing to do. The challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, inequality and polarization are too great for governments to tackle alone. In the 21st century, business must also play a leading role in social and ecological progress.

The second reason is strategic: sooner or later, companies will be required to demonstrate their positive social and ecological impacts to retain their license to operate. It’s certainly in the best interest of Canadian businesses, and Canadian society in general, to be ahead of the curve.

Who should join the coalition?

Are you a business leader committed to real sustainability?

Are you an expert on modern corporate governance?

Are you part of a civil society group working to align business with social and environmental progress?

Are you an ordinary Canadian interested in the future of our economy and the role our businesses play here and abroad?

Then please sign up to stay informed, spread the word and mobilize for the passage of the 21BA!

Join the coalition

I want to join the coalition to help support the Better Business Act 

Thanks for your support