Paris La Défense joins the global Cities Can B Movement to Accelerate the Area Transformation
Paris La Défense has become the inaugural French region to join Cities Can B, a global initiative that brings together both public and private stakeholders to conceive and implement an ecological and social transition on a regional scale.
With the introduction of “Paris La Défense Can B,” Europe’s premier business district aligns itself with the existing network, including Asunción (Paraguay), Barcelona (Spain), Mendoza (Argentina), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Santiago (Chile), and most recently São Paulo (Brazil).
A Comprehensive Regional Transformation Program
Paris La Défense aims to engage all stakeholders in the region in its mission to reduce CO² emissions, with the goal of uniting them around a strategic plan to halve the area’s carbon emissions by 2030. Although participants in the Paris La Défense Can B program are not seeking certification, this initiative aims to foster a community of entities committed to the district’s transition.
Through this program, Paris La Défense intends to assist companies, both public and private, in evaluating their environmental, social, and societal impacts. The objective is not only to outline a path for improvement but also to encourage collective reflection to expedite the transformation of the area. Paris La Défense Can B will cultivate cooperation between local entities, the sharing of best practices, and collective inspiration to collaboratively develop new projects and accelerate the area’s transformation.
The Paris La Défense Can B program will be conducted in two classes: the first from September to December 2023 and the second from February to May 2024. Each class, comprising approximately 10 local entities (such as Afflelou, Allianz France, Aquarys, JLL, Mama Shelter, Pandora, Pôle Léonard de Vinci, Covivio, Spaces, and Paris La Défense for the first class), will engage in six working sessions led by UTOPIES and B Lab France.
These sessions will revolve around the five impact areas defined by B Corp: governance, employees, community, environment, and customers. Participants will also receive expert guidance, and an individual self-assessment questionnaire, specifically designed for the program, will be provided for each class member. This tool will enable participants to evaluate their strengths and identify areas for improvement, with a particular emphasis on climate-related aspects that are pertinent to the region.
Looking ahead, concrete actions proposed by the collective to achieve the goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions at Paris La Défense will be unveiled in a year.
B Corp as a Reference Framework for Companies
Paris La Défense currently boasts 12 B Corp-certified companies that prioritize positive impact as a core element of their business-strategy: Cojean, Dynamo, Engie Rassembleurs d’Energie, Holson, Laboratoires Expanscience, Médiaperformances, Naturalia, Nature & Découvertes, Nespresso, Osiris, Redman, and Rituals.
The B Corp movement actively works towards transforming the global economy to benefit all humans and living things. Operating as an engaged and inclusive community, it encourages willing companies to undergo a transformative process, fostering a more inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy. Presently spanning 88 countries and comprising over 6,400 companies globally, including 300 in France, B Corp provides steering and impact-measurement tools, promotes corporate best practices, facilitates business model evolution through an internationally recognized label, and offers collective mobilization programs. One such program is the Cities Can B international network, which mobilizes and unites local players—public, private, associations, citizens, etc. — toward progress aligned with the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals.