The Climate Justice Playbook
Introducing The Climate Justice Playbook for Business:
a global call for businesses to centre all climate action in people and justice
On the heels of the United States’ re-entry into the Paris Agreement and in the lead-up to COP26 in Glasgow, a new resource from leading private sector and climate experts has launched today: The Climate Justice Playbook for Business V1.0 provides insights, guidance, and case studies of companies that are seeking to advance climate justice in their operations, supply chains, and in the communities they impact.
As demands for systems change continue to build, this Playbook calls on the global business community to make a fundamental shift in mindset and behavior, to evolve from extractive and exploitative to regenerative and equity-driven. Few practical guides like this exist to help business leaders understand the intersection of climate action and social justice, or to advance a justice-centered approach to sustainability efforts. And yet, centering people and justice is one of the most important keys to addressing the climate emergency.
This Playbook is part of a long-term collective learning journey for all sectors and civil society. This journey will be supported through the upcoming development of the Climate Justice Curriculum for Business Leaders, a module-based experiential course by the Playbook contributors that will focus on raising climate justice and antiracism literacy and cultural competency of business leaders around the world.
Dr. Ellonda Williams, Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) at B Lab: “Putting people and justice at the center of business efforts to address the climate emergency will be no easy feat, but it must be done. Climate activists have been trying to solve the climate crisis for nearly 50 years, but have barely moved the needle because they have not collectively centered the people and lived experiences of those most affected to build solutions together. This next decade—the Decade of Action—is pivotal for climate action, and the pathway to effective climate action is to listen to and incorporate the wisdom of the people and communities most impacted. We have to work collaboratively to create the sustainable and just future we want; not in siloes, and not through the paternalistic, colonialist, and saviorist methodologies that got us here.”
Gonzalo Muñoz, UN High-Level Climate Champion, Co-Founder of Sistema B, and B Lab Board Member: “With less than ten years to halve global emissions to avoid the worst effects of climate change, the next few years will be some of the most important in our history as humans. We are truly in a race to get to a zero carbon economy, and we need every sector of the economy working collaboratively and doing its part to achieve that ambition. It’s also true that climate change is a global crisis that affects all of us but is disproportionately impacting our most vulnerable people and communities. COP26 will be a defining moment for the world when we must not only radically accelerate our individual and collective commitments on the #RacetoZero, but also embrace our responsibility to the people most impacted. That is why COP26 will be a Net Zero COP, as well as one that will also put us on track with the #RaceToResilience.”
Peter Tufano, Dean of Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford: “This year is not one for hesitation. The pursuit of justice must be at the core of decisions made by business leaders when addressing the climate emergency—and at the core of how we teach the next generation of business leaders. We must share these stories widely so the practices can be better understood and replicated as we harness the power of business to tackle the enormous, existential threats we face.”
Ryan Gellert, CEO of Patagonia: For almost 50 years, Patagonia has supported grassroots activists finding solutions to the environmental crisis, and we believe environmental justice is racial justice. We don’t have all the answers and we’re always learning, but we’re convinced whatever we do to save our home planet must be connected to people on the frontlines of climate change. As an activist company, we’re not only setting goals, we’re acting now with nature-based solutions and new ways of doing business.
Raj Aggarwal, President of Provoc (a B Corp), Co-Founder of the B Corp Climate Collective: “For most businesses, navigating the complex intersectionality of climate and justice is new territory. There’s a reason climate action efforts to date have accomplished so little: because they have not put people and justice at the center. This Playbook is likely to raise more questions than it answers, and it does not offer a standard menu of options so that a business can simply “check the box” on Climate Justice. Our hope is that it will open people’s consciousness to a different kind of journey and inspire a deep commitment to learning, rooted in humility and care for the people most impacted by climate change. We’re inviting the global business community on a radical journey of learning, truth, and action, and we earnestly hope you’ll join us.”
The Climate Justice Playbook for Business V1.0 was made possible thanks to the vision and contributions of many organizations and individuals around the world: Raj Aggarwal, President of Provoc, Co-Founder of the B Corp Climate Collective, and Co-Chair of the Climate Justice Task Force of the B Corp Climate Collective; Dr. Ellonda Williams, Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at B Lab; Charmian Love, Co-Founder & Chair at B Lab UK, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, and Co-Chair of the B Global Climate Task Force; Kim Coupounas, Global Ambassador at B Lab US & Canada, Co-Chair of the B Global Climate Task Force, and Co-Founder of the B Corp Climate Collective; Charlotte Sewell, Strategic Advisor to the B Global Climate Task Force; Dr. Zainab Kabba, Associate Director for Programmes at the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford; Jessica Jacobson, Programme Manager for Research Insights at the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford; Sayo Ayodele and the COP 26 Climate Action Champions’ Team; Erin Callahan at the Climate Collaborative; the design team at Saïd Business School, led by Denise Legge; Danone North America who made direct financial contributions to this work; Karen Lickteig, Strategic Advisor to the B Corp Climate Collective and B Lab; Gary Miller, Communications Specialist at Provoc and lastly, the B Corps whole shared their climate justice stories including Allbirds, Danone UK & Ireland, Dr Bronner’s, Gaia Herbs, Guayakí Sustainable Rainforest Products Inc, Happy Family Brands, Northwest Permanente P.C., Patagonia, Pukka Herbs, PUR Projet, and Seventh Generation.
For more information about B Corps and other businesses that are taking collective action on the climate emergency, and to download your copy of the playbook, please visit BCorpClimateCollective.org
About B Lab: B Lab is transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. A leader in economic systems change, our global network creates standards, policies, and tools for business, and we certify companies—known as B Corps—who are leading the way. To date, our community includes nearly 4,000 B Corps in over 70 countries and 150 industries, over 8,000 benefit corporations, and 100,000 companies managing their impact with the B Impact Assessment and the SDG Action Manager.
About Provoc: Provoc is a person of color-led and majority woman, Black, and people of color firm, and a Certified B Corporation, whose vision is a world transformed by equity, beauty and love. We root our work in an ever-deepening equity lens as a communications and strategy firm specializing in outcome-driven design, by the people, for the people, Provoc works with partners who believe in social, economic, and racial justice. Provoc continues to embark on a journey to live out our values of equity internally as well as externally. We humbly acknowledge that this is a constant journey — one we feel urgently called to continue daily.
About Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford: The Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship is a dedicated centre for social entrepreneurship at Saïd Business School, the University of Oxford. The Skoll Centre promotes social innovation by developing talent, supporting actionable insight through research, and catalysing deep exchanges with a global community of innovators.