Inclusive growth and the B4IG initiative

Inclusive growth and the B4IG initiative: Camille Putois, CEO of the Business For Inclusive Growth (B4IG) initiative and Professor Adrian Zicari, ESSEC Business School, give an insight into why business with a wider mission is required and how B4IG and the CoBS work together to achieve it.

Camille Putois, CEO of the Business For Inclusive Growth (B4IG) initiative and Professor Adrian Zicari, ESSEC Business School and Council on Business & Society, give an insight into why business with a wider mission is required and how B4IG and the CoBS work together to achieve it.  

Inclusive growth and the B4IG initiative by Camille Putois, CEO B4IG and Prof. Adrian Zicari, ESSEC Business School, Academic Director, CoBS.

In the past, most people used to think that the solution for many of the world’s problems was economic growth. The more, the better. Simplifying a bit, growth would equal to shared prosperity, anywhere, anytime. It seemed as obvious as the law of gravity. Thus, in poor countries, the consensus was that faster economic growth would almost automatically imply higher living standards for the masses. And in rich countries, it also seemed obvious that economic growth would improve the lives of all, including those who are relatively poorer.

While these expectations could have been proven right at some point, the fact nowadays is that economic growth, either in rich or developing countries, does not necessarily lead all people to be better off. Social unrest in many parts of the world is a testimony to the challenge of achieving both economic growth and a balanced distribution of income. The sad truth is that we can too frequently have a kind of economic growth that mostly benefits a small part of the population, leaving most of the rest behind.

An unprecedented international coalition for inclusive growth

B4IG initiative - Business For Inclusive Growth. Inclusive growth and the B4IG initiative: Camille Putois, CEO of the Business For Inclusive Growth (B4IG) initiative and Professor Adrian Zicari, ESSEC Business School, give an insight into why business with a wider mission is required and how B4IG and the CoBS work together to achieve it.

Facing this global challenge, the coalition Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG) was launched during the G7 Biarritz summit (2019) by some of the largest global companies and the OECD as well as several international organisations, foundations and trade union organisations to address inequalities of income and opportunity throughout the world. B4IG represents an unprecedented collective effort towards inclusive growth driven by the ambition to scale up business action on inequality, human rights in direct operations and in supply chains, diversity, equity and inclusion, the future of work, and the green transition, among others.

A central feature of the B4IG coalition is the willingness to share best practices, innovate, deploy pilot programs and explore adapted metrics to evaluate concrete efforts for inclusive growth. Otherwise said, the coalition intends to use the best available professional practices to track, monitor and improve its inclusive business actions. B4IG also intends to work in close partnership with policymakers and public officials to advocate for systemic change and inclusive business practices.

Science, education, business

The CoBS - the Council on Business & Society: An alliance with a purpose

As such, the ongoing partnership with the Council on Business & Society (CoBS) makes a lot of sense. The CoBS, as an international alliance of business schools working in Sustainability and CSR, is an obvious academic partner for such an initiative that is well aligned with its mission. The CoBS intends to contribute to B4IG in two ways. First, by the involvement of professors of its member schools in B4IG working groups. These working groups address many pressing issues, some of them much in line with the expertise of those professors. Second, by preparing research briefings, based on the latest research carried out in the CoBS member schools. These research briefings correspond to the B4IG pledge areas and reflect B4IG’s willingness to put in practise the latest scientific expertise to advance inclusive growth.   

Achieving growth, particularly in emerging countries, remains a necessity. At the same time, it is essential for this growth to be inclusive, thus benefitting all members of society and not only a happy few. Thus, the B4IG coalition intends to be a step in this promising direction. And the CoBS is honoured to be a part of it.

Camille Putois and Adrian Zicari: Business with a Wider Mission: Inclusive growth and the B4IG initiative
Camille Putois and Adrian Zicari

Useful links:

Learn more about the Council on Business & Society

The Council on Business & Society (The CoBS), visionary in its conception and purpose, was created in 2011, and is dedicated to promoting responsible leadership and tackling issues at the crossroads of business and society including sustainability, diversity, ethical leadership and the place responsible business has to play in contributing to the common good.  

Member schools are all “Triple Crown” accredited AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA and leaders in their respective countries.

The Council on Business & Society member schools:
- Asia-Pacific: Keio Business School, Japan; School of Management Fudan University; China; ESSEC Business School Asia-Pacific, Singapore.
- Europe: ESSEC Business School, France; IE Business School, Spain; Trinity Business School, Ireland; Warwick Business School, United Kingdom.
- Africa: Stellenbosch Business School, South Africa; ESSEC Africa, Morocco. 
- South America: FGV-EAESP, Brazil.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.