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23 August 2019
United Arab Emirates
Sustainability

BASF joins coalition for inclusive growth:
34 leading global firms commit to tackling inequality by joining G7 Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG) coalition powered by the OECD

August 23, 2019

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

  • B4IG business coalition to be launched in connection with the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Biarritz, France 
  • Initiative sponsored by French President Emmanuel Macron, spearheaded by Danone and coordinated by OECD
  • Call to action for other companies to join first-of-a-kind B4IG coalition 

In recognition of record-high levels of inequality, 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 mechanism 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 will be presented to President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysée Palace on Friday, September 23, ahead of the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Biarritz. 

At BASF we are convinced that successful business is only possible within inclusive societies on a healthy planet. We have joined B4IG to work hand in hand with public and private partners for economic growth reaching all levels of society.

Dr. Martin Brudermüller
Martin Brudermüller

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 social justice. It’s not a matter of ideology, it is 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.”

BASF's "Waste-2-Chemicals" project in Nigeria

BASF participates in B4IG because social cohesion is the backbone of open and innovative societies. Innovation is needed to reach the Sustainable Development Goals, including climate protection, and to support the competitiveness of the G7.

The incubator project in this context is the Waste-2-Chemicals project in Nigeria. With this project, BASF aims to reduce the environmental impact caused by plastics waste entering drains and the Atlantic Ocean, leveraging on strong collaboration of public, private and civil society partners.

The project will deploy 3 micro recycling hubs for plastic waste by Q1 2021. These hubs will recycle about 5-10 tons of plastic waste per day [each hub]. This will pave the way for the establishment of 50-60 micro hubs then set up by local governments, NGOs, social entrepreneurs, able to recycle up to 100,000 metric tons out of the 750,000 metric tons per annum of plastics waste generated in Lagos per annum. The initiative can contribute to create 12,500 to 15,000 jobs by 2025, of which 60% will go to women.

Due to the global relevance of the plastic waste problem, there is huge potential for this project to be scaled up globally and to be economically viable. 

Birgit Hellmann
Global Sustainability Communications

Last Update 28 August 2019