The B4IG international coalition united against the inequalities deepened by the COVID-19 pandemic

Paris, 8 May 2020

The private-public alliance to address inequalities and create opportunities for all is more critical than ever. The OECD is supporting, with its evidence and analysis, all strands of the work. The OECD’s analyses confirm that the global health crisis comes with unprecedented financial, economic and social repercussions in the 21st century. 

For the first time, people are looking almost equally at government (63%) and business (62%) to act, according to the 2020 Edelman Spring Trust Barometer. B4IG members are responding to this call, stepping up collective financial support and facilities totaling more than €38 bn and launched a collective call for an inclusive recovery.

Gabriela Ramos, OECD Chief of Staff and G20 Sherpa says that “B4IG was a good idea before the COVID-19 crisis, and it is even more important after COVID. Given its asymmetric impacts, and the harsh effect on the most vulnerable, COVID is a wake-up call to upgrade our efforts and reduce inequalities of income and opportunities. B4IG is responding to this call. Disadvantaged children, women and low-income workers are carrying the heaviest burden of the crisis. We have a responsibility to support them. It is a moral imperative, but it is also the only way to keep our societies going and to build a more balanced future. The OECD is proud to support these efforts and to join forces with the private sector, bringing our analytical capacity, and our commitment with a growth model that puts people’s well-being and the planet at the centre. We will continue working with B4IG, as part of our Inclusive Growth initiative, as well as with governments, majors and foundations committed to this cause.” 

Emmanuel Faber
, Danone CEO and chairman of B4IG Board says that “At the time we launched this coalition last August, no one could imagine we’ll be facing a situation such as the Covid-19. With this sanitary crisis comes the economic one and if we are not collectively softening its effects, an unprecedented social crisis will follow. The role of the private sector in responding to this crisis and driving an inclusive and green recovery is fundamental. But no company can face global issues alone. Collaboration has never been as critical. The members of B4IG have shown real leadership to date; I am convinced that by working together and with governments, we can go much further. We must capitalize on this moment to build the companies – and societies – of the future.”

Read the business coalition press release:  English, French

Examples of initiatives and CEO commitments: English, French

Business pledging against inequalities at the G7 summit 2019

A group of major international businesses has pledged to tackle inequality and promote diversity in their workplaces and supply chains as part of a G7 initiative led by French President Emmanuel Macron and overseen by the OECD.

Read the OECD press release


Read the business coalition press release (CEO quotes | examples of business initiatives)

Read the pledge

A call for action against inequalities

On 23rd August 2019 in the margins of G7 Leaders’ Summit, B4IG companies committed to play their part in advancing the G7 agenda to strengthen equality of opportunity; reduce territorial inequalities; promote diversity and inclusion; and reduce gender inequality by:

1. Advancing human rights in direct operations and supply chains;
2. Building inclusive workplaces; and
3. Strengthening inclusion in company value chains and business ecosystems.

B4IG companies commit to partnering with G7 governments to better link public policies and business practices for inclusive growth and to accelerating on-the-ground initiatives that bring concrete results for people and places left behind. They will drive on-the-ground transformation by building, piloting and scaling models for inclusive business including through the B4IG incubator, and by developing a measurement framework that can be used to assess impact.

Working together in thematic workstreams, and at CEO level, companies will aim to ensure B4IG is delivering impact engaging with policymakers and other key stakeholders. Drawing on OECD’s expertise and research, companies will use the B4IG platform as a multi-stakeholder forum to progress on policy, practice and innovation for inclusive growth.

Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General
“Growing inequality is one of the biggest social challenges in the world today. Sustainable economic growth means inclusive economic growth. It means giving every individual the opportunity to fulfil her or his potential, the chance not only to contribute to a nation’s growth but to benefit from it, regardless of their background or origins.”

Emmanuel Faber, Danone Chairman and CEO
“Middle-class is shrinking in most G7 countries, whereas it is the foundation of market economy around the world. And we know that beyond a certain threshold, inequalities are economically damaging. Smartphones used by gen Z make inequalities more visible than ever, and shift social consensus. The result is that market economy will not last without more inclusiveness. It’s not a matter of ideology, it is a hard realism that calls us to a collective and inclusive action, for both governments and companies. With B4IG, our aim is to build a constructive dialogue to advance social inclusion, pilot and scale innovative, inclusive micro-economic business models, and thereby contribute to inform macroeconomic policies.”

Why a business coalition for inclusive growth?

Economic growth should be inclusive, creating opportunities for all. Every individual should have a chance to contribute to growth, independent of background or origins. And each person should be entitled to receive their fair share of the benefits from growth.

Tackling inequalities has become everyone’s business. The private sector in particular has a key role to play, leveraging its ability to create value, jobs and purpose.

The Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG) Platform, a global initiative managed by the OECD, aims to pool and strengthen efforts by private companies to reduce inequalities linked to opportunity, gender and territory, and to build greater synergies with government-led and philanthropic efforts. In doing so, it will work to bring about a step change in the way growth is pursued and measured.

This is not just good corporate citizenship; it is the future of successful business. Companies benefit from inclusive growth through a more educated and engaged workforce; a larger middle class of consumers with greater purchasing power; more stable operating environments; and a high level of trust from employees, customers and stakeholders.

The G7 Biarritz Summit gives impetus to this effort, catalysing robust action in the private sector, and underlining the importance of strong public-private collaboration to address major economic and societal challenges in G7 economies and beyond.

How to make it work ?

The B4IG Platform efforts will advance along 3 pillars through a three-year work programme to realise the ambitions on:

1) A pledge to fight inequalities.

2) A project incubator, which will promote on-the-ground collaboration between businesses and with governments and philanthropic actors, serving as a micro-economic lab that can help inform the macro-economic policies of G7 states and beyond.

3) An inclusive growth financing forum, to survey existing private, philanthropic and public financing mechanisms for inclusive growth, assess how to build greater synergies, deploy new financing models such as output-based financing and generate additional funding streams.

Who joined the coalition?

40 leading multinationals have signed a pledge to take concrete actions to ensure that the benefits of economic growth are shared far more widely. They will seek to tackle persistent inequalities of opportunity, reduce regional disadvantages and fight gender discrimination. Collectively, current B4IG members have a large social and economic footprint, with over 3 million employees and USD 1 trillion in annual turnover.

Make a difference with us

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Romina Boarini | Senior Advisor to the Secretary-General, OECD:

Ziga Zarnic | Manager of Business for Inclusive Growth, OECD:

* The Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG) platform is chaired by Emmanuel Faber, CEO and Chairman of Danone, and led by the OECD Chief of Staff and Sherpa, Gabriela Ramos ( who represents the OECD in the platform and leads the OECD Inclusive Growth Initiative.