By Halla Tómasdóttir
It’s hard to believe we’re approaching the final days of 2018. Looking back, this year has been a pivotal one—for both the world The B Team is striving toward and for our organisation itself. We’ve seen more and more leaders acting toward a principled and purpose-driven approach to business. And this movement shows no sign of slowing down.
I could not have been more excited to step into my role as CEO this year and to join a group of passionate and driven colleagues and inspiring and humble Leaders to help build this momentum. Our team continues to grow as we welcomed four new Leaders: Emmanuel Faber, Isabelle Kocher, Indra Nooyi and Hamdi Ulukaya, this year alone. With them on board, and Paul Polman and Sharan Burrow stepping into the roles of Chair and Vice-Chair, we strengthened our collective courage to act for a private sector that operates with sustainability, accountability and equality at its core.
In true B Team tradition, our Leaders’ voices shone through during key moments fundamental to this mission throughout the year. They championed an international standard to end violence and harassment in the workplace, stood together to make transparent company ownership the new norm and called on both business and governments to step up ambition on climate.
But, importantly, our Leaders also knew that taking action within their own companies remained just as pressing. This year, we saw our Net-Zero by 2050 companies reporting on their successes, setbacks and learnings on their net-zero journeys with two of these companies committing to a just transition in these efforts. Our Leaders also joined together to launch our Responsible Tax Principles, helping raise the bar on tax in their companies and restore private sector integrity. As our B Team Leader Bob Collymore boldly stated upon their release, “It is time for the private sector to recognise that the most critical asset a company can own is Trust.”
We worked to heed Bob’s call and disseminate the long-term solutions needed to rebuild trust throughout 2018. We pioneered research that demonstrated the clear link between limits on civic freedoms and negative economic outcomes, developed a CEO-specific guide to eradicating modern slavery and distributed two tools on building a just transition and a climate competent board—essential elements of the ambitious and inclusive climate action our world needs.
While we can celebrate our accomplishments over the past year, we know there is more to be done. There’s no denying the challenges that lie ahead, but I’m looking to 2019 feeling as hopeful and inspired as ever. This year, our Leaders came together to create our vision of the leadership needed for a fairer, greener and more human world. Through spirited and debate-filled conversation, we agreed to a new model of B Leadership and a set of B Principles—which I cannot wait to share more on and carry forth in the new year.
However, we know we can’t do it alone. None of our 2018, or future, achievements would be possible without the ongoing support and partnership of our community. Thank you for your continued dedication to changing business for the better.
Only together, will we catalyse the brave action and bold leadership this mission calls for. We look forward to working with all of you in 2019 and beyond.