MUMBAI: Ratan Tata, former chairman of the Tata group, has signed up to a new global experiment christened Plan B, which seeks to infuse businesses with a new DNA that puts people and planet alongside profits. The B Team, a clutch of 14 global business leaders, cobbled together by the swashbuckling Richard Branson of the Virgin Group and Jochen Zeitz, former CEO of Puma last week, hopes to change the very manner in which businesses are conducted and governed.
The prevalent Plan A in which companies relentlessly pursue profits to the detriment of the other two - according to its members - is no longer acceptable.
Along with Tata, the leaders providing heft to the grouping include Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, an untiring proponent of social business, and Paul Polman of UnileverBSE -0.39 % who is beginning to transform his co., and his stakeholders - suppliers and customers et al - into sustainability cohorts. Zeitz had computed a path- breaking, first- ever environmental profit & loss (EP&L) account for Puma.
The B Team kicked off its work with a confession. The Team's declaration on its inaugural states: "the overwhelming conclusion that we have reached is that businesses have been a major contributor to the problems, and we as business leaders have the responsibility of creating sustainable solutions." All the members wish to 'start at home,' setting their houses in order before they preach to the others. "We have to create a new approach to business,' Branson said at the kick-off event, "the current way of doing business is broken." The members agree that "the private sector can and must redefine both its responsibilities and its own terms of success..."
The crack team that has emerged is seen as a significant step in pulling the corporate sustainability movement from out of the side-lines and putting it centre-stage of the corporate world.
Source: The Economics Times