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Companies joining forces are investing a combined total of over 1 billion USD in more than 50 current and future initiatives, benefiting 100 million people to date
In recognition of record-high levels of inequality Groupe Renault among a coalition of 34 leading international companies has committed to step up business action to advance human rights throughout their value chains, build inclusive workplaces and strengthen inclusion in their internal and external business ecosystems. In doing so, they will advance G7 government-led efforts to strengthen equality of opportunity, tackle regional disadvantages and fight gender discrimination.
B4IG members have a global footprint, cover a broad range of sectors, employ more than 3.5 million people around the world and have combined annual revenues of over 1 trillion USD. The B4IG coalition is the first business-led initiative of its kind, thanks to its 360° approach to tackling inequality, international dimension, and multi-stakeholder approach focused on building synergies between companies, governments and philanthropic organizations. The coalition’s strategy rests on three pillars:
- A Business Pledge Against Inequalities to advance human rights, workplace inclusion & diversity and value chain inclusiveness;
- An incubator to design or expand new inclusive business models, piloting social innovation and private-public collaboration at the micro-economic level; and
- An inclusive growth financing forum to promote innovative financing mechanisms between business, governments and philanthropic actors.
The G7 B4IG coalition will be coordinated by the OECD, whose work has shown that inequalities hamper growth and social mobility. The coalition will benefit from OECD economic and social evaluation expertise as it advances on this agenda over the next three years. Progress and lessons learned will be shared during an annual board meeting, with CEOs and key figures from public and civil society sectors, including the International Labour Organisation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. B4IG results will be shared with the Business 7 and Labour 7 to help inform their preparation and contributions to G7, with a view to foster more inclusive macro-economic growth policies.
B4IG is presented to President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysée Palace on Friday, August 23, ahead of the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Biarritz.
Groupe Renault has brought “Mobilize” program in the B4IG incubator. Mobility is crucial to socio-professional insertion, particularly for non-urban populations, but is undermined by the expense of purchasing and maintaining a vehicle. In France, to address some of these issues, Groupe Renault together with Caisse d’Epargne, Entreprise et Pauvrete, and Pole Emploi, created the programme LOA Mobilize which provides micro-finance facilities to low-income individuals for renting and ultimately buying a new car. The initiative builds on an economic model whereby renting a new car is cheaper than buying a second-hand one, often the only affordable option to low-income individuals but ultimately more expensive in the long-term given the higher maintenance cost. Besides the economic impact, the programme has additional measureable targets: lower number of unemployed, reduced stress and insecurity and reduced CO2 emissions. Currently LOA Mobilize finances the leasing of 1000 cars. This could be typically scaled up in the future thanks to the B4IG Incubator that could provide operational and financial support.
Thierry Bolloré, Chief Executive Officer of Groupe Renault, comments: For many years Groupe Renault has been committed to an inclusive and sustainable mobility approach through its "Mobilize" program. Today it joins other companies within the B4IG platform to ensure that, at the international level, the reduction of inequalities and the promotion of diversity become a reality. This public-private collaboration is key to developing more inclusive and sustainable global growth.
Danone Chairman and CEO Emmanuel Faber said: The 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 help inform macroeconomic policies.
Gabriela Ramos, OECD Chief of Staff and G7 Sherpa, said: Growing inequality is one of the biggest social challenges in the world today. It is perpetuating poverty, undermining social cohesion and trust. 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. The OECD welcomes this initiative by France to involve some of the world’s most important companies to work hand-in-hand with governments and the OECD to tackle inequalities. For our part, we will continue to lead the way in its policy analysis, research and expertise.
APPENDIX – G7 Business for Inclusive Growth pillars
1/ Pledge ensuring benefits of economic growth are shared more widely
The Business Pledge Against Inequalities commits Groupe Renault to advance human rights throughout their production chains, fight child and forced labour and respect freedom of association. Signatories agree to build equitable and inclusive working environments, including by providing decent wages, promoting gender equality and helping prepare employees for the future of work through training and upskilling programs. The companies also pledge to tackling inequalities of opportunity such as those caused by regional disadvantages by supporting community development programs, strengthening inclusive sourcing and expanding access and affordability of basic services.
Among the B4IG coalition, Groupe Renault will commit specifically to a three-year programme aimed at advancing the ambitions laid out in the Business Pledge. Underpinning the Pledge is the view that such engagement is not just good corporate citizenship but rather the future of successful business. Business benefits from more inclusive growth models 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.
2/ Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG) Incubator: a platform where companies can incubate, share, scale-up and replicate new inclusive business approaches.
The B4IG incubator will act as a laboratory to test, scale and replicate social innovation projects. It aims to ensure micro-economic action can inform macro-economic policies at the G7 level and beyond.
B4IG members have already earmarked over 50 projects to the platform, mobilizing more than one billion USD in private finance and benefiting 100 million people to date. Through B4IG, they will look to build on these projects to strengthen their collective social impact worldwide.
Certain projects will be accelerated, scaled or replicated through the B4IG incubator, leveraging collaboration with other coalition members, philanthropic organisations and the public sector. In addition, companies will share learnings from projects that are already underway and that can serve as inclusive business models to be emulated or replicated. Among the projects earmarked are schemes to tackle homelessness, help the unemployed back into work and improve access to basic services such as finance, insurance and transport in deprived and remote regions in G7 countries.
3/ An Inclusive Growth Financing Forum to bring synergies between financing streams
B4IG members will also establish an Inclusive Growth Financing Forum to catalyse innovative, hybrid financing for social impact, and to assess how to build greater synergies between private, public and philanthropic funding streams. The Forum will look at how to leverage promising financing mechanisms such as results-based financing, including through the B4IG incubator.