September 25, 2018, New York: The B Team, in partnership with Baker McKenzie (Toronto), launched Eradicating Modern Slavery: A Guide for CEOs, a tactical guidance to help CEOs end modern slavery. Today, at least 40.3 million people are living in slavery—these victims are found in every country and every industry. And it’s estimated that 16 million of them are trapped in corporate supply chains. These numbers are higher than at any other time in recorded history, but they don’t have to grow.
Collaboration and collective courage to take urgent action, especially within the private sector, can help end modern slavery.
“Modern slavery is unacceptable and it is incumbent upon us, as business leaders, to use our leverage both individually and collectively to do everything we can to eradicate this scourge,” said Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever and Chair, The B Team, “Business has a responsibility to put in place strong policies and promote best practice to ensure safe and fair supply chains and to accelerate efforts to tackle root causes that drive poverty and it makes good business sense.”
In this spirit, The B Team’s Guide details why CEOs are uniquely placed to make an impact on this issue along with a matrix for CEO-specific action to end modern slavery. This guide wasn’t just made with CEOs in mind, but in consultation with CEOs as well as experts in the field. Through that process three central categories of action emerged:
- Strategic: Establishing the eradication of modern slavery as a goal and embedding it in company culture.
- Operational: Pursuing this goal throughout your company’s practices and operations and asking suppliers and subcontractors to do the same.
- Persuasive: Sharing the risks and prevalence of modern slavery and the benefits of tackling it to investors, national governments, legislative bodies and the media while supporting strong and binding anti-slavery legislation.
In addition to these three areas, the Guide emphasises the need for CEOs to work collaboratively with peers across industries, civil society leaders and governments to develop and enforce effective policies to help put an end to this crime. This collective action is key for business to look past short-term solutions and toward impactful and systemic change both within their companies and communities.
While there’s been increasing concern and interest from business around tackling modern slavery, to date corporate leaders have been unsuccessful in meaningfully moving the needle to end this horrific practice. The B Team’s Guide seeks to help the private sector understand its responsibility and power in making a real impact on this issue and bringing freedom to those who need it most.
For more information on The B Team and Eradicating Modern Slavery: A Guide for CEOs, please visit www.bteam.org or reach out via the contact information below.
To arrange an interview, please contact Tyler Zang via firstname.lastname@example.org. (New York)
About The B Team
The B Team is a catalyst for bold dialogue inspiring collective courage and brave business action toward a fairer, greener and more human economy. The B Team’s global collective of business and civil society leaders are working together to build a principled and purpose-driven private sector and demonstrate that, with courageous leadership, business becomes a force for good.
The B Team was co-founded by Sir Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz, and includes Leaders Oliver Bäte, Marc Benioff, Sharan Burrow, Kathy Calvin, Bob Collymore, David Crane, Christiana Figueres, Mats Granryd, Arianna Huffington, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Dr. Mo Ibrahim, Yolanda Kakabadse, Isabelle Kocher, Guilherme Leal, Andrew Liveris, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, François-Henri Pinault, Paul Polman, Mary Robinson, Ratan Tata, Hamdi Ulukaya, Zhang Yue and Professor Muhammad Yunus.