Hanson Bridgett LLP - Sustainable Business News, an E-zine for Sustainable Practices

Winter 2011

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Benefit Corporation Legislation Becomes effective January 1, 2012

Hanson Bridgett is assisting companies wishing to incorporate or convert into this new triple bottom line corporate form. A caravan of companies that wish to be among the first to file will travel to the California Secretary of State’s office in Sacramento on January 3, 2012! Please join us.

The legislation, signed into law by Governor Brown, creates a new class of for-profit corporation in California called benefit corporations that are legally required to pursue the creation of a material positive impact on society and the environment, while meeting higher standards of accountability and transparency.

Benefit corporations are identical to existing California corporations except that a benefit corporation is required to: 1) have a corporate purpose to create a material positive impact on society and the environment; 2) redefine fiduciary duty to require consideration of the interests of employees, community and the environment when making decision; and 3) publicly report annually on its overall social and environmental performance using a comprehensive, credible, independent, and transparent third party standard.

The bill was sponsored by the American Sustainable Business Council, New Voice of Business, and B Lab; and the effort to pass the benefit corporation legislation was led by a legal working group co-chaired by Jonathan Storper from Hanson Bridgett LLP.


Criterion Ventures Structure Lab

New corporate forms are blurring the boundaries between for profits and nonprofits.  Old silos of financing and funding streams are giving way to hybrid structures like social capital firms, public/private collaborations and venture philanthropy.  Entrepreneurs and established organizations alike are bending the marketplace to meet multiple bottom lines including a return on social capital.  While some nimbly explore the space between for profit and nonprofit, many more are struggling to make sense of the new landscape of social change.

Criterion Ventures is a leading voice in the structuring of social ventures.  Criterion's dual identity in launching social ventures, both for clients and by taking an equity position with internally developed ideas, has resulted in a nuanced understanding of what it takes to launch a ventures.  It is itself a unique structure in the world of social ventures. As the world of social enterprise matures, Criterion is helping to create the methodology that can make it more accessible. Criterion has spent the past year creating an easy to engage process to understand how new forms are structured and how they might work to support the efforts of social change agents.

The Structure Lab provides participants with a roadmap of possibilities to navigate this new territory.  Participants will have a clear understanding of the range of possible legal structures that can be employed for their newly forming venture, pros and cons of each of those structures as it applies to their prospective venture, and will be prepared to work with legal counsel to take the next steps in understanding and establishing the optimal legal structure.

Thursday January 26th
9:30am - 4:00pm

Hanson Bridgett LLP
425 Market Street, 26th Floor
San Francisco, CA
Directions »

Register Online »


Green Lease Fundamentals for Tenants
By David C. Longinotti, LEED® AP

Landlords are adopting green provisions in standard leases to advance business and sustainability goals. Tenants and their brokers now need to understand green leasing issues for the same reasons, or risk losing in these green lease negotiations. The prepared tenant will have a working command of fundamental green leasing issues, including common area maintenance charges, utility cost-sharing arrangements and green building law compliance to assure its legal and economic interests are protected and its own sustainability goals are realized. This article examines from a tenant's perspective fundamental green leasing issues that arise in the context of lease and tenant improvement work letter negotiations and premises build-out.

Read the full article »


Jonathan Storper and Hanson Bridgett mentioned in recent GreenBiz article covering the passage of AB 361 which allows California companies to incorporate as a Benefit Corporation. Read more »

On December 7th the San Francisco Bay Area Green Chamber of Commerce co-hosted “How To Become a Benefit Corporation” with Assemblymember Jared Huffman, the author of California’s Benefit Corporation legislation, and the three attorneys who led the effort to develop it – Jonathan Storper of Hanson Bridgett, Donald Simon of Wendel Rosen, and John Montgomery of Montgomery Hanson.

Hanson Bridgett Donates $100,000 to the America’s Cup Healthy Ocean Project. Read more »

On January 12th Teresa Pahl and Jonathan Storper will present on "Legal Implications of coming to Silicon Valley" at the Plug and Play University quarterly workshop.

On January 26th Leslie Keil will be receiving the James T. Calehsu Award​ which recognizes an attorney who has made an extraordinary pro bono contribution to the Lawyers' Committee's Legal Services for Entrepreneurs Program.

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Presidio Executive Program Accepting Applications for Spring

The Executive Certificate Program in Sustainable Leadership at Presidio Graduate School is accepting applications for the spring 2012 session. Join us for an information session or for one of our upcoming webinars to learn how graduates of the program have transformed their careers and their companies.

For more information, email certificate@presidioedu.org or call Carl Schneebeck at (415) 655-895

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Social Venture Network (SVN) is pleased to share its 2011 Sustainable Products & Services Directory. All enterprises listed are SVN members or affiliates and have been vetted as organizations that  contribute to social and environmental sustainability. We encourage you to consider these enterprises for your business and personal needs, keeping sustainability in mind as you make 2012 vendor selections, and as you shop with your values this holiday season. This sustainable shopping guide contains resources for business services and consumer goods across over 30 categories.

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January 2012

Clean Energy Conference – Sustainability, Palo Alto, CA

GreenBiz Forum 2012, San Francisco, CA

February 2012

8th Annual Clean Tech Investor Summit,  Indian Wells, CA

Solar POWER-GEN Conference & Exhibition, Long Beach, CA

Renewable Energy World Conference & Expo North America, Long Beach, CA

March 2012

22nd Annual International Conference on Soil, Water, Energy, and Air, San Diego, CA

Cleantech Forum San Francisco, 2012, San Francisco, CA

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Hanson Bridgett is a leading provider of legal services to organizations engaged in sustainable business.
Our clients, who range from large corporations to cutting edge start-ups and socially responsible investors, have selected us because we help them succeed and foster the growth of the sustainable business movement. Our attorneys provide legal advisory services and offer in-depth expertise in the areas of:

  • Clean Technologies
  • Energy
  • Water
  • Green Building, Transportation and Smart Development
  • Sustainable Products and Services
  • Responsible Finance
  • Corporate Responsibility and Governance
  • Responsible Branding and Promotion

Teresa V. Pahl, Partner   Teresa V. Pahl
(415) 995-5079
email »
Jonathan S. Storper, Partner   Jonathan S. Storper
(415) 995-5040
email »
Scott C. Smith, Partner   Scott C. Smith
(415) 995-5892
email »
Yolanda C. Manzone, Associate   Leslie A. Keil
Senior Counsel
(415) 995-5125
email »

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Copyright © 2011 Hanson Bridgett LLP

The above has been sent as a service by the law firm of Hanson Bridgett and may be considered an advertisement or solicitation. The content enclosed is not intended to provide legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship.

Hanson Bridgett LLP, 425 Market Street, 26th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105