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Sodexo reinforces its commitment to tackle 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.

In recognition of record-high levels of inequality, Sodexo, among 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.

“The Business for Inclusive Growth Initiative is closely aligned with Sodexo’s permanent efforts to fight social and economic inequalities since 1966. Sodexo takes pride in being a beacon for inclusion in the 35,000 communities and 72 countries in which we operate by providing respectable jobs with training and a career path for people who might otherwise feel left behind. We also actively seek to bring diverse and small, local businesses into our network of suppliers, with a special focus on minority-owned, female-owned, disabled-owned or LGBT-owned companies,” said Denis Machuel, Chief Executive Officer of Sodexo.

“Given the scale of the inequality challenge, we need to join forces to come up with new ways of doing business for inclusive growth. We are developing many initiatives to drive social innovation and inclusive value chains, many of which are in pilot phase. The B4IG project incubator for public-private innovation is the right way to bring such projects to scale to make sure transformation happens on the ground.”

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 mechanisms 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, August 23, ahead of the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Biarritz.

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.”

Promoting inclusive growth is part of Sodexo’s Positive Impact.

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