A New Business Platform for Inclusive Growth
By Aron Cramer, President and CEO, BSR
BSR is pleased to join the OECD and Danone in launching the Business Platform for Inclusive Growth (B4IG) and inviting leading companies to join the initiative.
Rising social and economic inequalities have consistently been ranked among the top systemic global risks in the annual WEF Global Risk Index. In fact, growing inequalities have been linked to social issues from higher rates of cancer to higher rates of joining terrorist groups.
Inclusive growth is growth that reduces, rather than exacerbates, these inequalities. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) defines it as, “economic growth that creates opportunity for all segments of the population and distributes the dividends of increased prosperity, both in monetary and non-monetary terms, fairly across society.”
Deloitte found in a recent survey that a majority of business leaders are supportive of changing their corporate practices to foster more inclusive growth. They believe this can feed innovation, strengthen resilience, and contribute overall to their competitiveness.
However, businesses are only one side of the coin. Governments can play a critical role in driving inclusive growth, and the two must work in tandem. To date, however, there has been no comprehensive effort to link business practice and government policies on inclusive growth.
B4IG aims to fill this gap and align business and government action on inclusive growth. Specifically, it will:
- Identify complementary business actions and public policies that promote inclusive growth and opportunities for greater synergies.
- Explore how the private sector and governments can work together to tackle the structural issues hindering inclusive growth (for example, gender equality, corporate governance, business dynamism and productivity, digitalization, and the future of work).
- Strengthen the corporate and political “business case” for inclusive growth and identify systemic factors (regulation, enabling environments, incentives) that encourage or discourage inclusive business practices.
- Advocate for companies and governments to adopt best practices and policies, including through case studies and best practice dissemination.
The B4IG platform will also serve as an incubator. Through a web portal, workshops, and high-level events, it will provide a virtual and physical space to discuss and test new ideas and policies on corporate governance models, business metrics and accounting standards, programs and activities, and public-private partnerships.
Ultimately, the platform seeks to:
- Co-create a set of strategic priority areas on inclusive growth where the private sector and governments can act together.
- Strengthen impact and competitive advantage for businesses that implement inclusive growth practices through enabling or supporting public policy environments.
- Lay the foundation for a global agenda on inclusive growth that will enable business and government to take action on mutually agreed priority areas, similar to what has been achieved through the climate movement.
BSR, the OECD, and Danone are looking to partner with pioneering companies and other stakeholders to develop and carry out an ambitious program of activities over the next three years. We very much look forward to working with you on this exciting initiative. For more information, please contact us.
Originally appeared on BSR.