B4IG held its Annual Board Meeting on November 17th, co-chaired by Emmanuel Faber, and then Ilham Kadri, CEO of Solvay and Yoshiki Takeuchi, OECD-OCDE Deputy Secretary-General.
Board Members elected Ilham Kadri, CEO and President of the Executive Committee of Solvay as the new Co-Chair of B4IG. She succeeds Emmanuel Faber, who has been co-chairing the coalition since its launch during the G7 Summit in August 2019.
Ilham Kadri’s new leadership will direct B4IG into the next phase of business action on inequality. As part of this, B4IG Board Members have also approved the concept of combining B4IG with the WBCSD – World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Tackling Inequality work to form a joint platform for business action to drive enhanced impact at scale. Efforts to realise this endeavour will be advanced in the coming weeks with the objective of formally launching a joint action platform in early 2023.
Three critical topics were then addressed: living wage, forced labour, and funding the just transition.
Following introductory remarks by Romina Boarini, Director of the OECD WISE Centre on the impact of inflation on inequality, and by Alexandra Palt, Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer and CEO of the Fondation L’Oréal on the challenges related to living wage implementation, Board Members discussed the barriers companies face when implementing living wage commitments in their own operations and in their supply chains. The coalition will continue to support companies on their journey by addressing the barriers that they face and push forward the topic collectively.
The conversation then focused on the topic of forced labour. Sophie Bellon, Chairwoman of Sodexo’s Board of Directors and CEO presented the B4IG achievements on Forced Labour, notably the B4IG Toolbox on Agency Workers and Service Providers that was published earlier this year. Following remarks by Steve Moody, the Director of the US State Department’s Office of International Labour Affairs, Board members then engaged in discussions on the coordination between governments and businesses to tackle Forced Labour, in the context of recent efforts at the European Union and United States level.
Then, the project of a Just Transition Fund was presented by Lionel Paquin, Deputy Head of Real Assets, member of Amundi Executive Committee and Laurence Laplane-Rigal, Head of Impact Investing at Amundi. The Fund will support SMEs and SMIs to increase their economic performance and scale up their social impact. A “consortium” will be set up around the fund to involve key stakeholders especially B4IG companies.
Board Members were then presented the results of the B4IG Incubator’s 2022 cohort in the form of a video.
You can read more about the Board Meeting here.