Is this Plan A for the B Team? Or Plan B


If, Plan A is business as usual, what is "Plan B for business?"

Businesses have till date worked by taking the environment as a giver and its degradation as a given. This as we know is fast changing.

With consumers demanding sustainability and governments declaring social responsibility guidelines, in the short to mid-term, corporate winners will be those who treat environment as a stake holder.

Sir Richard Branson and Puma Chairman Jochen Zeitz have today launched a major new non-profit group, dubbed The B Team, with the view to promoting a new set of progressive business values that "prioritise people and planet alongside profit".





 The group brings together a host of high profile business and political leaders, including Arianna Huffington, Unilever's Paul Polman, Ratan Tata of the Tata Group, President of the United Nations Foundation Kathy Calvin, and former Irish President Mary Robinson. These so-called "B Leaders" have pledged to work on the development of a "Plan B for business" that seeks to address the growing challenges businesses and societies face, such as high unemployment, global inequality and the unsustainable use of natural resources.

 "Today we want to start a global conversation on a "Plan B" for business," said co-founder Sir Richard Branson in a statement. We are keen to listen, learn and share with others to build businesses that do what's right for people and the planet."

 Zeitz, who was responsible for pioneering the development of the world's first ever corporate environmental profit and loss accounts at Puma, said the goal of the new group was no less than to redefine the way businesses operate. "Business is integral to society, but it has also created most of the negative environmental challenges of this century," he said. "We need a "Plan B" for the way business is managed, starting with leadership more committed to well-being, wisdom and sustainable business success."

The group, which will today host a live online broadcast to over two hundred gatherings in sixty cities around the world, also released a joint declaration setting out its goals and priorities. "The private sector can and must redefine both its responsibilities and its own terms of success; 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." The declaration added that there was now no alternative but for business leaders to develop a new approach, which it many ways would constitute a new form of capitalism.

"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," the declaration states.

The leaders joining The B Team founders 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
• François-Henri Pinault, CEO & Chairman, Kering
• Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever
• Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Group
• Professor Muhammad Yunus, Chairman, Yunus Centre
• Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Deputy Chair, The Elders (Honorary Leader)
• Mary Robinson, Secretary, The Elders and President, Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice (Honorary Leader)

It will be interesting to see if the A- team pivots and Plan B becomes Plan A !!

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