Posted in: press

24th September 2015

The B Team Calls for Business Plan to Meet Global Goals

New York, September 24, 2015—On the eve of the largest gathering of world leaders in recent history, where governments will adopt 17 Global Goals to end poverty, reduce inequality and protect the planet, The B Team is urgently calling for a ‘Business Plan’ for these newly adopted goals to hasten the transition toward a thriving and just net-zero emissions economy.

“The Global Goals, to be adopted at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit this week, provide us with a once in a generation opportunity to fight poverty, preserve our ecosystems and alleviate human suffering,” said Paul Polman a member of The B Team and CEO of Unilever, “These issues are inextricably linked. While the moral case for action is clear—so, too, is the business case. We need more business leaders to champion the Global Goals, and the hard work must begin now.”

The Goals, which have a target completion date of 2030, will require large-scale economic transformation, investment and early action. Their adoption comes ahead of global climate negotiations in Paris this December, where governments have the opportunity to demonstrate commitments to meet the Goals, by forging a universal agreement to prevent catastrophic climate change.

As momentum builds around the world, with hundreds of vigils and rallies taking place to ‘Light The Way’ for the Global Goals ahead of Pope Francis historic address to the United States Congress, The B Team is coming together in New York to issue a global call to action.

As part of a Business Plan to meet the Global Goals, we are calling for:

  1. Business leaders and entrepreneurs to work together and collaborate with governments and civil society, to champion the business case for sustainable development and forge action-oriented partnerships to advance specific Goals.
  2. Companies to set and report on corporate objectives that support sustainable development and create innovative business models and technology solutions to accelerate achievement of the Global Goals.
  3. Governments to enact national implementation plans, a robust financing and investment architecture and ambitious policies that will support businesses to advance the Global Goals, including:
    1. Increasing investment—including official development assistance and innovative sources of financing, to foster sustainable development, particularly for people living in the most vulnerable situations.
    2. Strengthening national tax systems—to combat inequality and resource services that support sustainable and inclusive growth, including education, healthcare and other forms of social protection.
    3. Strengthening policies and incentive structures—including institutions that promote good governance and tackle corruption, including illicit financial flows that deprive poor countries from the investment needed to achieve sustainable development.

ADDITIONAL QUOTES AND NOTES TO EDITORS

“If businesses work in partnership with governments and people to deliver the Global Goals, they can play their part in unleashing a wave of innovation: creating millions of new jobs and lifting billions of people out of poverty while kick-starting the transition to a zero carbon world. Policies that place people at the center can help to ensure that the benefits of sustainable development flow fairly, so that no one is left behind. The new development agenda belongs to us all and business has an important role to play,” said Mary Robinson, a member of The B Team, President of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice and former President of Ireland.

A growing number of business leaders and companies are taking action:

B Team Leaders Bob Collymore, Sharan Burrow, Dr. Mo Ibrahim and Paul Polman have joined a new Global Commission on Business and Sustainable Development, working closely with governments, civil society and other business leaders to accelerate progress. The Commission will also strengthen the economic case for the Global Goals and foster greater collaboration to help meet them.

Over 280 of the world’s largest companies and investors, including many companies associated with The B Team, have committed to bold climate action as part of the We Mean Business coalition, supporting The B Team’s overall call for an agreement in Paris this December, that places the world on a safe trajectory to achieve a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.

A number of companies in The B Team are already taking action to help meet the Global Goals:

  • Natura has become the world’s largest publicly traded ‘B Corporation,’ and is developing a regenerative business model that aims to be ‘net positive’ by 2050, and help restore Brazil’s precious ecosystems while supporting indigenous communities in the Amazon.
  • Kering Group has published results of its first ever group-wide Environmental Profit & Loss account (EP&L), open sourcing the methodology and measuring the companies full environmental footprint across core operations and the entire supply chain.
  • Unilever is working with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) to meet growing demand for food, while improving the lives of 2.5 million people living in rural communities, including all of Unilever’s 800,000 smallholder farmers and their families.
  • Safaricom is developing innovative and commercially viable solutions to help build a resilient society, from M-Health to M-Agriculture to M-Pesa, an innovative money transfer service that seeks to foster financial inclusion, and support some of the worlds hardest to reach communities.

Additional examples of corporate leadership include:

  • MasterCard has made it a corporate priority to connect 500 million people to an inclusive economy by 2020, building a world free of extreme poverty.
  • Aetna, one of the largest insurance companies in the United States, has increased the wages of its lowest paid workers by 30% to help combat inequality.
  • Phillips is helping to deliver ‘sustainable energy for all’, by developing off-grid solar- LED lighting solutions, including in some of the world’s poorest communities.
  • Ericsson’s Technology For Good platform has positively impacted over 4 million people in areas like financial inclusion, education, and humanitarian response through leveraging the company’s employees and information and communications technology (ICT) platform.

To ensure success in the corporate world lines up with the metrics being set for the natural world, The B Team is also encouraging companies to use the “SDG Compass,” a new guide being launched by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the UN Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative, to support companies in selecting KPIs to understand their impacts and set clear targets that can contribute to achievement of the Global Goals.

“The Global Goals were created in the most inclusive process in UN history that allowed for input from not only governments, but from business, civil society and citizens from across the globe,” said Kathy Calvin, a member of The B Team and United Nations Foundation President & CEO, “The importance of this agenda is demonstrated by the unprecedented number of heads of state, and other leaders, that will be in attendance at the summit this week. The UN is the only place where 193 countries have an equal voice to set the global agenda, but now the torch gets passed to the businesses, governments and communities around the world to bring these Goals to life.”

“The Global Goals require redefining the role of business in the world to take on the biggest challenges. That’s why we’ve formed The B Team, to spark a new era of entrepreneurship and innovation, led by those willing to put people and planet alongside profit,” said Jochen Zeitz, Co-Chair of The B Team.

“This is an historic opportunity,” said Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder, and Co-Chair of The B Team, “The Global Goals require action by all countries, all companies and all citizens. It’s great to see world leaders stand up for the transformation we urgently need. Now it’s time for business leaders across the world to play their part, scale up action, and make the goals a reality."


About The B Team

The B Team is a not-for-profit initiative formed by a global group of business leaders to catalyze a better way of doing business for the wellbeing of people and the planet.

The team includes Marc Benioff, Sir Richard Branson, Sharan Burrow, Kathy Calvin, Bob Collymore, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Arianna Huffington, Dr. Mo Ibrahim, Guilherme Leal, Strive Masiyiwa, Blake Mycoskie, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, François-Henri Pinault, Paul Polman, Mary Robinson, Ratan Tata, Zhang Yue, Professor Muhammad Yunus, Jochen Zeitz.

For more information, visit www.bteam.org, email media@bteam.org and follow @thebteamhq.