According to the Model Legislation, a third party standard must be comprehensive, independent, credible, and transparent as defined below:
1) The standard is comprehensive in that it assesses the effect of the business and its operations upon
a. The employees and workforce of the benefit corporation, its subsidiaries, and suppliers;
b. The interests of customers to the extent they are beneficiaries of the general or specific benefit purposes of the benefit corporation;
c. The local community and society, including the interest of each community in which offices or faciliites of the benefit coporation, its subsidiaries, or suppliers are located;
d. The local and global environment.
2) The standard is developed by an entity that is independent of the benefit corporation and satisfies the following:
a. Not more than 1/3 of the members of the governing body of the entity are representatives of any of the following:
- An association of businesses operating in a specific industry the performance of whose members is assessed against the standard;
- Businesses from a specific industry or an association of businesses in that industry:
- Business whose performance is assessed against the standard.
b. The organization is not materially financed by an association or business defined [above]
3) The standard is credible in that it has been developed by a person that both:
- Has access to necessary expertise to assess overall corporate social and environmental performance;
- Uses a balanced multistakeholder approach including a public comment period of at least 30 days to develop the standard.
4) The standard is transparent in that the following information is made publicly available:
a. About the standard:
i. The criteria considered when measuring the overall social and environmental performance of a business;
ii. The relative weightings of those criteria.
b. About the development and revision of the standard:
i. The identity of the directors, officers, material owners and the governing body of the organization that developed and controls revisions to the standard;
ii. The process by which revisions to the standard and changes to the membership of the governing body are made;
iii. An accounting of the sources of financial support for the organization, with sufficient detail to disclose any relationships that could reasonably be considered to present a potential conflict of interest.