Bridging the Inequality Gap: Global Executives, UN Agencies & NGOs unite through a two year Extension of the Business Commission to Tackle Inequality

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23 April, 2024




80+ Commissioners from leading organizations pledge to raise Ambition, take Action, and deepen corporate Accountability for inclusive, equitable markets and a just transition

Geneva, 23 April 2024: The Business Commission to Tackle Inequality (BCTI) announced today that three UN agencies (UN Global Compact, UNICEF, and UNHCR) and 80+ Chief Executives from leading companies and civil society organizations, have joined the effort to put people at the heart of the just transition and make social accountability a market reality.  

Extending the Business Commission to Tackle Inequality for two more years provides us with the opportunity to keep working together to take action to build more equitable societies and realize the rallying cry of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to leave no one behind. The United Nations Global Compact works with companies to tackle inequalities by ensuring all workers receive a living wage, advance gender equality and work towards a just transition. I look forward to continued collaboration with my fellow Commissioners to help achieve the SDGs vision of fair, equitable and sustainable development.

Sanda Ojiambo, Assistant Secretary-General United Nations Global Compact

World leaders agree on the need for an equitable and just transition. The high level and structural nature of inequality in the world presents a systemic risk that poses an existential threat to society and the economy. The private sector has an important role to play in the success of this effort and there are bottom-line business benefits to doing so. 

The pace of technological development coupled with the global prioritization of climate action is rapidly accelerating the transformation of jobs and skills,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO. “We are pleased to support WBCSD and the BCTI in ensuring a just transition that puts people first. We all have an obligation and an opportunity to be a driving force for positive change, and the BCTI’s Tackling Inequality Action Agenda will continue to provide a roadmap to ensure no one gets left behind in the greening and increasingly digital world of work.

Building on its Tackling Inequality Action Agenda published in May 2023, the Commission will focus over the next two years on catalyzing business action across priority agendas such as human rights, just transition, diversity and inclusion, as well as living wages and incomes. 

As we extend the Business Commission to Tackle Inequality for another two impactful years, we’re doubling down on urgent and transformative efforts. Addressing inequality is our responsibility, but it also provides an opportunity for positive change. With a shared focus on action, accountability and ambition, businesses can drive a more just and equitable world. Together, we’re committed to leveraging the Tackling Inequality Action Agenda and breaking down silos.

Peter Bakker, President & CEO, WBCSD

A collaborative approach is essential for building more inclusive and equitable societies and markets where all can thrive and where nobody is left behind. The BCTI has a critical role to play in elevating the social agenda into the Board room and to put people at the heart of our business. We could not be more thrilled to be joining forces with the United Nations, civil society leaders, and fellow corporate leaders in sustainability to convert the BCTI’s action agenda into actual on-the-ground impact success.

Ilham Kadri, CEO of Syensqo and Chair of WBCSD

Leading up to COP30 in Brazil and using the United Nations General Assembly week in 2024 and 2025 as essential stock-taking moments, BCTI is designed to serve as an accelerator of the 2030 Agenda. Over this period, members of the Business Commission – which currently includes 55 corporate and 28 non-private sector leaders – will bundle efforts to transform their own organizations and value chains, and to address market-level roadblocks. Success will be measured as tangible outcomes against the BCTI’s Action Agenda, including urgent priorities such as human rights; diversity and inclusion; living wages and incomes; and a just transition. 

We need business leaders in all sectors to make commitments not only on climate and nature, but who also put respect for people’s rights, dignity and opportunities at the heart of their work. We cannot achieve a sustained energy transition or nature positive goals if we do not address inequality and poverty. The work of the Business Commission to Tackle Inequality offers a unique platform to expand the number and impact of leading companies that are integrating climate, nature and equity risks and opportunities into their corporate governance as well as their business strategies, operations and value chains.

Jane Nelson, Founding Director, Corporate Responsibility Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School