The B Team

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The B Team
BTeam logo.png
Formation October 2012
Type Non-profit
Sir Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz[1]

The B Team is a global nonprofit initiative co-founded by Sir Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz that brings together a group of global leaders from business, civil society and government to catalyse a better way of doing business, that prioritises the wellbeing of people and the planet[2]

In 2013, a group of leaders came together following a series of workshops were held that included civil society leaders, systems experts, sustainability pioneers, economists and entrepreneurs. Inspired by the work of Lester Brown and the B Corporation movement, they labeled their vision for a better way of doing business 'Plan B,' and 'The B Team' emerged. The B Team intends to achieve this vision by starting at home, working to advance Challenges in their own companies that get right to the heart of the issues that cause companies to remain rooted in 'Plan A' - business as usual, and to empower business leaders around the world to join them.[3][4][5]

The B Team was incubated by Virgin Unite, the charitable arm of the Virgin Group,[3] which had previously incubated such organizations the Elders and the Carbon War Room. In October, 2012, Branson and Zeitz announced the formation of The B Team and it has since grown to include 23 leaders.

The founding B Team leaders include: Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group and Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the B Team, Kathy Calvin, President and CEO of the United Nations Foundation, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Deputy Chair of The Elders, Arianna Huffington, Chair, President, and Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, Mo Ibrahim, Founder of Celtel, Guilherme Leal, Founder and Co-Chairman of Natura, Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Chairman of Econet Wireless, Blake Mycoskie, Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of Toms Shoes, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance of Nigeria, François-Henri Pinault, CEO and Chairman of Kering, Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, Mary Robinson, Secretary of The Elders and President of the Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice, Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of the Tata Group, Zhang Yue, Chairman and Founder of Broad Group China, Professor Muhammad Yunus, Chairman of Yunus Centre, Jochen Zeitz, Founder of The Zeitz Foundation, Co-Founder and Co-Chair of The B Team.[6]

In 2015, Marc Benioff, Founder, Chairman and CEO of, Sharan Burrow, General Sectretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom [7] and David Crane, ex-CEO of NRG [8] joined as B Team Leaders.

In July, 2016 Oliver Bäte, CEO of Allianz Group, Andrew Liveris, Chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical Company and Arif Naqvi, Founder and Group CEO of Abraaj Group also joined the team.[9]

Work and Collective Action[edit]

In 2015 The B Team leaders advocated for an ambitious climate agreement at the COP21 meeting. They supported a long-term goal to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, to preserve oceans and save low-lying island nations from rising sea levels.[10] Ten companies associated with The B Team set aspirations for their own organisations to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, including the French apparel and accessories group Kering; the US electricity company NRG Energy; the Kenyan mobile network operator Safaricom; the global enterprise cloud computing company; the internationally renowned jeweler Tiffany & Co; the Chinese construction company BROAD Group, the African telecommunications group Econet, the Brazilian cosmetics manufacturer Natura, the consumer goods company Unilever, and the international investment group Virgin Management.[11] The B Team leaders called on governments around the world to adopt Net-Zero by 2050 as a long-term goal in the COP21 agreement.[12] The B Team worked as part of the We Mean Business coalition, alongside partners like Ceres and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, to drive bold climate action by business in 2015.[13]

In 2014 The B Team, along with Unilever, Natura, Transparency International, Global Witness, Global Financial Integrity and OpenCorporates formed a working group to support and increase the number of companies implementing beneficial ownership transparency and worked to articulate a business case for doing so.[14] B Team leader's advocated to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative board in favour of adopting a beneficial ownership transparency standard for its 51 members, which they did in March 2016.[15] Following the release of the Panama Papers in April 2016 The B Team announced, along with its partners Global Witness, ONE, Open Contracting Partnership, OpenCorporates, The Web Foundation, and Transparency International, the creation of a Global Beneficial Ownership Register for businesses to share their company structures, and eliminate the use of shell companies like those used to obfuscate the owners of assets in the Panama Papers.[16]

In 2015 The B Team launched the 100% Human at Work initiative and network as they believed it was "time for businesses to stop looking at people as resources and to start seeing them as human beings".[17] The B Team have built the People Innovation Network, to bring companies together to share and learn from one another about how to help their employees thrive at work.[18]

Working as part of the Natural Capital Coalition The B Team supported the development of the first global, standard Natural Capital Protocol - a set of tools for companies to measure their impacts and dependencies on nature. The protocol was launched July 2016, following pilots by more than 40 companies, including Kering and Dow Chemical.[19] Kering Group also published its pioneering group-wide environmental profit and loss accounts in 2015.[20]

In 2016, as part of their work for The B Team Sir Richard Branson and Marc Benioff launched a movement of entrepreneurs and business leaders building their companies with people and planet alongside profit as part of their DNA from the outset, called "Born B'".[21]