It is time for the private sector to recognize that the most critical asset a company can own is Trust."
In 2017, The B Team brought together the heads of tax from nine multinationals to address a critical opportunity for business and society: responsible tax practice. Facing an alarming decline in public trust, these companies knew they had to take a bold step to restore corporate integrity while building a fairer, greener and more human world. Working with investors, international institutions and civil society, they developed a new framework for approaching tax with a set of Responsible Tax Principles.
In February 2018, at the Tax & SDG Conference at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, The B Team launched these Responsible Tax Principles. The Principles raise the bar on how business approaches tax and transparency and help forge a new consensus around what responsible practice looks like. They articulate best practice in seven key areas from corporate governance to relationships with authorities to transparency.
Raising standards and leadership across any industry takes time, but the Responsible Tax Principles provide a necessary starting point for companies to endorse and lead by example and participate in constructive and inclusive dialogue. The Principles provide a foundation for a constantly evolving conversation and commitment to responsible tax. They also create the conditions for responsible business to grow and thrive.
“Responsible tax helps make responsible business possible. It reinvigorates trust in business,” said Bob Collymore (1958-2019), Former CEO of Safaricom and B Team Leader, “We must move towards a future where corporate leaders and businesses are measured by the contribution they make in building communities.”
While this work is complex, we must courageously face its difficulties and challenges. Doing so will ensure that the future of business is one of trust, progress and sustainability.
The B Team is inviting all companies to endorse The B Team Responsible Tax Principles and pledge their commitment to help grow a new trust, collectively address common challenges and be part of accelerating a global shift to more responsible, principled and transparent corporate practice.
Endorsing The B Team Responsible Tax Principles means:
- Your company publicly endorses The B Team Responsible Tax Principles and works towards reflecting these Principles in practice across your business over time, including where possible in entities over which you have 50% ownership or control.
- Your company will also set out your approach to tax and public reporting to stakeholders in your own words.
- Your company is eligible to apply to join the Responsible Tax Company Working Group and engage in multi-stakeholder dialogue to continue to work towards the implementation, adoption and continuous development of the Principles.
The B Team acknowledges that not every company will be able to practice every aspect of The B Team Responsible Tax Principles straight away and some areas may be challenging for companies to implement. For that reason, companies will also set out their approach to tax and public reporting to stakeholders in their own words, while working toward this common approach.
For more information, please contact Ewan Livingston-Docwra, Cause Strategist, Governance, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to welcoming you to this growing movement.