The B Team is a group of business leaders calling for an end to business as usual. They share the belief that Plan A – where companies are driven by profit alone – is no longer acceptable.

The B Team was formed and incubated in 2013 by Virgin Unite  and a group of partner organisations with a collective mission to catalyse a movement of business leaders driving better ways of doing business for the wellbeing of people and our planet. Richard Branson is a co-chair and serves alongside a global group of leaders working together to accelerate Plan B.

Late last year David Crane, Senior Operating Executive at The B Team, contributed to National Geographic’s Years of Living Dangerously series with his piece: The untold story about the end of coal. In it David explains that the impending end of the coal age is both a victory and a necessity for humanity – and that, as we stare down the barrel of a drastically altered climate, the end of the coal era has come not a moment too soon.

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David writes about the sun-setting on coal and how we must acknowledge the human cost to the workers who have spent generations in this industry, and support them to find new opportunities to thrive. “If we succeed in doing this we will be on our way to ensuring a transition to a net-zero green-house-gas emissions economy which leaves no one behind,” said David. 

David and The B Team are looking forward to the next era of clean energy and to the evolving landscape of clean energy jobs – already having grown significantly in the US the last 12 months.

Read David Crane's blog: The untold story about the end of coal

Throughout 2017 The B Team will continue to work on the advancements made last year in the clean energy space – accelerating the transition to a thriving and just net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy by 2015. Below are some of the ways that The B Team is leading by example.

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Climate neutral and striving for net positive

Natura – a B Team organisation – implemented its Natura Carbon Neural Program to significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within its full value chain. After just six years of the program it achieved a 33 per cent reduction in relative GHG emissions. Those that the company has not been able to avoid were then offset through the purchase of carbon credit projects, ranging from forestry restoration and prevention of deforestation.

Challenging conventional building

BROAD set itself an ambitious goal to reduce 70 per cent of its global energy consumption on building heating, ventilation and air conditioning and 15 per cent of its global greenhouse gases, through sales of energy-efficient products, building insulation technologies and energy saving codes and regulations. BROAD invented unique sustainability buildings in 2009 – in total 20+ energy-conservation technologies in every sustainable building realise five times more energy saving, 100 times better air purification and only one per cent construction waste. 

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Taking a value chain approach

Under the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, Unilever is meeting its ambition of decoupling environmental footprint while increasing its positive impact. Its sustainable living brands are growing 30 per cent faster than the rest of the business and delivered nearly half its total growth in 2015. Eco-efficiencies in its own operations have reduced C02 emissions from energy by 39 per cent; water by 37 per cent; and waste sent to disposal by 97 per cent. It has also made progress on sustainable sourcing, with 60 per cent of its agricultural raw materials now sourced from sustainable suppliers.

The business case for responding to the climate crisis is clear and addressing climate change presents the greatest economic and social development opportunity of our time.

Follow The B Team on Twitter and Facebook in 2017 as they work to accelerate the transition to a thriving and just net-zero greenhouse gas emission economy.