Branson’s Plan B for business – prioritising ‘people and planet alongside profit’

At the G8 Innovation Conference, Richard Branson launched a ‘Plan B’ for business known as the ‘B Team’ which will work to help businesses realise they can be a force for good whilst remaining profitable.

The ‘B Team’ is a non-profit organisation founded by the entrepreneur to further the work he is doing in sustainability with his own businesses.
Branson said. “Businesses can be a force for good and shouldn’t think of themselves as just worrying about the bottom line profit. If we get every business leader in the world to adopt a problem or two, with help from the government we can get on top of most problems in the world.”

The organisation already has 14 signatories who have pledged to help move the global economy towards a sustainable model through leading by example. These include representatives from a diverse range of sectors including Editor of the Huffington Post, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, President of the United Nations, and the CEO of Unilever.

The group aims to eliminate ‘short-termism’ and encourage businesses to think about the sustainability of their current practices which is referred to in the manifesto as ‘the future bottom line’. Branson said that business models must be driven by environmental and social incentives, as well as economic ones to remain profitable in the long term.

“We need leadership that is more committed to sustainable business success,” said Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief at the Huffington Post.

Jochen Zeitz, former Director at Puma said: “The B Team will help to catalyse a shift away from the existing short-term, unsustainable mindset, towards the long-term interest of people, the planet and the wider economy”.

Sir Richard said the group will also be looking at specific issues, such as quarterly reporting and subsidies for fossil fuels, as well as social issues such as unemployment and inequality.

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