The B Team

The B Team

Aug 06

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The B Team

The B Team is a not-for-profit initiative that has been formed by a group of global business leaders to create a future where the purpose of business is to be a driving force for social, environmental and economic benefit. Working with a global community of advisors and partners, The B Team seeks to develop and implement a Plan B for business that puts people and planet alongside profit. The B Leaders will focus on execution and action, catalysing and amplifying others’ efforts by undertaking specific global challenges where their collective voice can make a difference.

• The B Team Declaration (pdf)
• The B Team Website

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The B Team Declaration

We, the undersigned, believe that the world is at a critical crossroads. Global-business leaders need to come together to advance the wellbeing of people and the planet. In fact, we think business has to think this way in order to thrive.

The private sector can and must redefine both its responsibilities and its own terms of success; a Plan B for concerted, positive action that will ensure business becomes a driving force for social, environmental and economic benefit.

Business is now waking up to the reality that:

If we carry on using the natural resources of the world unsustainably, they’ll quite simply run out.

With a burgeoning population, more people are still living in poverty than ever before and inequalities are increasing in many parts of the world.

Unemployment rates are at frightening levels.

Non-Profits alone cannot solve the tasks at hand, while many governments are unwilling or unable to act.

While there are myriad reasons we’ve arrived at this juncture, much of the blame rests with the principles and practices of ‘business as usual’.

These are not the outcomes we envisioned as we grew our companies; this is not the dream that inspired us.

And the overwhelming conclusion we’ve reached is that businesses have been a major contributor to the problems, and we as business leaders have the responsibility of creating sustainable solutions.

Therefore, if we leverage the many positives of business — the spirit of enterprise, innovation and entrepreneurship that has helped realize improvements in quality of life and enabled technological and scientific progress — we can create an unprecedented era of sustainable, inclusive prosperity for all.

The time has come for us to play our part in finding the solutions.

That’s why we are forming The B Team.

Our vision of the future is a world in which the purpose of business is to become a driving force for social, environmental and economic benefit.

Our mission is to help develop a ‘Plan B’ that puts people and planet alongside profit.

Plan A — where companies have been driven by the profit motive alone — is no longer acceptable.

As business leaders, we know that what we’re proposing will be a challenge, or even an affront, to many of our colleagues and competitors.

But we’re confident that those who choose to work with us will see that in the long run what’s better for the planet and its people is also better for business.

The ultimate aim, with support, energy and ideas — and yes, constant, frank criticism — is to get millions of business leaders committed to a better way of doing business.

And before we comment on the practices of others, we ‘Pledge’ that we will ‘Start at Home’.

We will focus on ourselves, our own businesses and industries, and do our utmost to ensure we meet the principles of better business.

As members of The B Team, we will work to overcome large-scale challenges where our collective voices can make a difference.

Below is our starting ‘Agenda’, which comprises some of the areas that we believe Plan B must address:

1. The Right Aspirations.

That the right global incentives are in place to promote, inspire and celebrate business models that integrate people, planet and profit into their DNA.

2. New Structures.

That we accelerate new corporate forms, hybrids, partnerships, social business and the enabling conditions exist to mandate a people, planet, profit agenda.

3. True Accounting.

That business accounts to society and the planet for the true cost — economic, social and environmental — of every business practice.

4. True Returns.

That the conditions exist for finance to flow toward endeavors seeking a multi-boom line of people, planet and profit.

5. Wellbeing.

That business is a primary driver of holistic wellbeing, adding social value through evolving business models, employee welfare, health, citizen engagement and human rights.

6. Level Playing Field.

That there are no subsidies or incentives for practices that are destructive for the wellbeing of people and the planet.

7. Full Transparency.

That we live in a world where there is full transparency about what constitutes a better product, a better company, a better investment and a better leader.

8. Redefined Education.

That the next generation the world over is taught and inspired to believe that the purpose of business is to be a driving force for social and environmental benefit, and not just financial gain.

9. Nature’s Model.

That instead of depleting and polluting natural resources, business works with nature rather than against it and recognizes that economic activity takes place within planetary boundaries.

10. The Long Run.

That the horizon of thinking in business is considerably extended from the short quarterly focus of today to a far more sustainable, holistic and longer term of tomorrow.

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The Leaders joining The B Team founders Sir Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz are:

Shari Arison, Owner, Arison Group

Kathy Calvin, President and CEO, United Nations Foundation

Arianna Huffington, Chair, President & Editor In Chief, The Huffington Post Media Group

Mo Ibrahim, Founder, Celtel

Guilherme Leal, Founder & Co-Chairman, Natura

Strive Masiyiwa, Founder & Chairman, Econet Wireless

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Coordinating Minister of the Economy & Minister of Finance, Nigeria

François-Henri Pinault, CEO & Chairman, Kering

Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever

Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Group

Zhang Yue, Chairman and Founder, Broad Group China

Professor Muhammad Yunus, Chairman, Yunus Center

Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Deputy Chair, The Elders (Honorary Leader)

Mary Robinson, Secretary, The Elders and President, Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice (Honorary Leader)

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