Advancing Research on Sustainable & Inclusive Business

By Graham Macmillan and Hui Wen Chan, Citi Foundation

Citi Foundation, Tufts University and Business Fights Poverty Launch New Report: Growth for Good or Good for Growth? Study Explores How Sustainable and Inclusive Business Activities are Changing Business

The Citi Foundation is excited to announce our partnership with the Institute for Business in the Global Context at Tufts University’s Fletcher School, and Business Fights Poverty, the world’s largest network of business and development professionals. Our collaboration will enable us to accelerate our shared goal of growing sustainable and inclusive business activities (SIBA) through research and knowledge sharing.

Tufts and Business Fights Poverty, with support from the Citi Foundation, will work jointly to conduct new research, generate multimedia content related to inclusive business, and convene leaders in the field to share best practices and learnings. These efforts will be presented through Business Fights Poverty’s Inclusive Business Zone expanding the reach and deepening the dialogue between practitioners on the topic.

Why the focus on SIBA? There is widespread recognition that development targets will best be met with private sector support, expertise and resources. In addition, notable changes in the global context are aligning social and environmental goals with business interests. Emerging economies are becoming increasingly important consumer markets as wealth in those markets rise and they are also a source of inputs, talent and innovations for companies.

All around us, changes are occurring that incentivize companies to experiment with ways to integrate social and environmental impact into their everyday business. As a result, more companies are partnering with the public sector, non-profit organizations, and foundations to develop sustainable and inclusive business models that can offer positive developmental impacts. These partnerships are critical not only to help businesses advance SIBA, but also to advance the development agenda. In fact, the development community is actively engaging businesses in the process to establish the new United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which will soon replace the Millennium Development Goals post-2015.

The first report resulting from our partnership is entitled “Growth for Good or Good for Growth?: How Sustainable and Inclusive Business Activities are Changing Business and Why Companies Aren’t Changing Enough”. The report analyzes what motivates companies to engage in SIBA, what challenges they face, and provides a set of recommendations for the field to help advance and scale SIBA. The full report is available here.

Throughout 2014-2015, we will be conducting additional research and adding new content to the Inclusive Business Zone to help advance our understanding of SIBA. We invite you to join the dialogue and share best practices and learnings, as we collectively work to accelerate sustainable and inclusive business activities.

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