OECD, BSR and Danone launch 3-year initiative to strengthen inclusive growth through public-private collaboration

Yogurt 2018

Address Food Hall, Tehran, Iran (Unsplash, 2018)

This article is brought to you in association with OECD.

Business and government should work more closely together to reduce inequality and foster inclusive growth. To help achieve this, at the Paris Peace Forum, Gabriela Ramos, OECD Chief of Staff, G7/G20 Sherpa and leader of the OECD’s Inclusive Growth Initiative, and Emmanuel Faber, Chairman & CEO of Danone, launched the Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG) Platform, the first global initiative bringing together companies and governments to accelerate action on reducing inequalities and promoting inclusion, with the support of Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

In many OECD countries, inequalities are at their highest levels in 30 years and are widening, threatening the long-term health of societies and economies, and the capacity for business to operate effectively. To date, despite a growing consensus among business and policymakers of the need for a new growth model, there has been no comprehensive effort to link business practices and government policies on inclusive growth.

“Inequalities of income and opportunities have reached record levels in many OECD and G20 countries and are not only damaging social cohesion but also hampering the growth prospects of our economies as many people can’t invest in the skills and education they need to thrive,” said Gabriela Ramos. “To remedy this and recover public trust in our institutions, governments and businesses need to work together to build a growth model that delivers for all, not just the lucky few. The B4IG Platform will help drive this partnership and develop business models that place social and environmental returns at the same level as financial returns. Ultimately this is good for business and crucial for ensuring the long-term success of our economies and health of our societies.”

“Business has a pivotal role to play in shaping a new model of economic growth that fosters social justice – a model that is more inclusive and therefore more resilient”, said Emmanuel Faber. “This initiative will help empower business to play this role, and strengthen its impact through close collaboration with policymakers. Together, we can design a new social contract between government, business and society that creates and shares value for all.”

The Platform, developed by the OECD in partnership with Danone and Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), aims to create a global coalition of companies and governments aimed at generating more inclusive economic outcomes and transforming businesses’ primary role beyond maximising shareholder value to one that delivers returns for a broader array of societal stakeholders. The Platform will help to enhance the corporate impact on inclusive growth by exploring and promoting business levers for inclusive growth (living wage policies, profit-sharing models, impact sourcing programmes and impact investment funds), identifying complimentary public policies, developing new impact metrics and sharing best practices.

This research, data, indicators and analysis will shape the policy environment so that it encourages business action on inequality reduction, by providing competitive advantage for businesses that implement inclusive growth practices and by strengthening their impact.

The Platform will also serve as an “incubator” for business and government to test new policies, public-private partnerships and ideas for inclusive growth.

B4IG has already brought together a broad range of figures on its Advisory Board, from academia (Magali Delmas of UCLA, Marie-Laure Salles Djelic of Sciences-Po); business (Advisory Board Chair Emmanuel Faber of Danone, Ana Longoria of Novartis Mexico, Gerard Mestrallet of Suez, Nicole Notat of Vigeo, Russell Mills of Business at OECD); and civil society (Aaron Cramer of BSR, Teresa Fogelberg of GRI, Caroline Kende-Robb of Care, Pierre Habbard of TUAC, and Chiara Corazza of the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society).

“BSR is excited to be launching the Business for Inclusive Growth platform in collaboration with the OECD,” said Aron Cramer, CEO of BSR. “Achieving inclusive growth is of fundamental importance to people, communities, business, and national economies. At a time of profound change, it is essential that we design and advance inclusive growth models to maintain economic vitality, social cohesion, and support for an open trading system and open societies. At BSR, we believe that this platform will generate learning, opportunities for collaboration on business responses, and a means of exploring public policy solutions.”

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