American Sustainable Business Council Applauds Agreement Framework of Provisions of the Build Back Better Agenda

Media Release

Washington, DC – The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) and Social Venture Circle (SVC) announced support of progress to advance President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda into law as the framework for an agreement of about $1.85 trillion takes shape.  

As organizations representing the interests of American business, ASBC, SVC and their members are deeply committed to many of the agreed-to provisions included in today’s announced deal, especially the historic investment to combat the climate crisis. 

However, we are deeply disappointed that a national paid family and medical leave program is not included in this framework.  Still, we hope this framework can advance important priorities along with the bipartisan $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that is awaiting House approval as well. 

Some of the announced provisions of the framework would:  

  • Cut greenhouse gas pollution by well over one gigaton in 2030, reduce consumer energy costs, give our kids cleaner air and water, create hundreds of thousands of high-quality jobs, and advance environmental justice by investing in a 21st century clean energy economy – from buildings, transportation, industry, electricity, and agriculture to climate smart practices across our lands and waters; 
  • Deliver two years of free preschool for every 3- and 4-year-old in America, give more than 35 million families a major tax cut by extending the expanded Child Tax Credit, and expand access to high-quality home care for older Americans and people with disabilities; 
  • Ensure that the vast majority of working American families of four earning less than $300,000 per year will pay no more than 7 percent of their income on child care for children under 6; 
  • Reduce premiums for more than 9 million Americans by extending the expanded Premium Tax Credit, deliver health care coverage to up to 4 million uninsured people in states that have locked them out of Medicaid, and help older Americans access affordable hearing care by expanding Medicare; and, 
  • Make the single largest and most comprehensive investment in affordable housing in history, expand access to affordable, high-quality education beyond high school, cut taxes for 17 million low-wage workers by extending the expanded Earned Income Tax Credit, and advance equity through investments in maternal health, community violence interventions, and nutrition, in addition to better preparing the nation for future pandemics and supply chain disruptions. 

Business leaders are suffering from and painfully aware of the risks of underfunding these essential services and infrastructure needs of the country. And for those provisions that are for now excluded from this deal, ASBC and SVC are hopeful that the Administration will use its executive authority to the fullest extent possible to continue to support the broader agenda. 

According to a White House statement, “The Build Back Better framework is the largest effort to combat the climate crisis in American history. The framework will start cutting climate pollution now, and deliver well over one gigaton, or a billion metric tons, of greenhouse gas emissions reductions in 2030 – at least ten times larger than any legislation Congress has ever passed. The framework’s $555 billion investment represents the largest single investment in our clean energy economy in history, across buildings, transportation, industry, electricity, agriculture, and climate-smart practices across lands and waters.  The framework will set the United States on course to meet its climate targets, achieving a 50-52% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 2005 levels in 2030 in a way that grows domestic industries and good, union jobs — and advances environmental justice. 

“Companies are seriously concerned about the frayed social fabric of our country, climate change, decaying infrastructure, unaffordable health care, lack of education support, and their collective impact on American businesses which underscores the urgent need for this bill.  With it will come the investments needed to build back better, and it includes [adequate and appropriate] means to fund it as proposed,” said Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder and CEO of the American Sustainable Business Council.  

Quotes from select companies and organizations which are among ASBC’s membership: 

“What members of Congress should be asking about is the cost of not Building Back Better. If a $3 trillion investment generates $5 or $10 trillion in cost savings, increased business revenues and better community health outcomes, it’s a good investment,” said David Jaber, author of Climate Positive Business and founder, Climate Positive Consulting

“Put simply, there is no other future and the cost of inaction is truly unaffordable. As a B Corp and a CarbonNeutral Certified Company, Grove exists to provide sustainable alternatives to conventional home essentials. We believe that business must be a positive force for human and environmental health, and we urgently need leadership and decisive action through legislation, specifically the Build Back Better Act. This is the opportunity of a generation to make meaningful progress on climate legislation, and a moment that will define our generation in shaping our future on this planet. Decisive, science-based legislation is needed to align businesses on a path towards a sustainable future,” said Stuart Landesberg, Co-Founder and CEO of Grove Collaborative

“The new Build Back Better framework offers significant progress toward getting our communities off fossil fuels, investing in our future through the Civilian Climate Corps and protecting nature — including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,” said Ryan Gellert, CEO of Patagonia. “But we are disappointed that this proposal fails to provide workers with paid leave. At Patagonia, we’ve seen how supporting our employees with paid leave and onsite childcare is essential to maintaining a robust and engaged workforce. Companies should be held accountable for their climate plans and corporate promises. And our elected leaders must demonstrate the courage and leadership needed for the systemic change required to reach our environmental and social justice ambitions.”

“Given the enormity and urgency of the climate crisis, the Build Back Better Agreement is the critical foundation for progress on multiple fronts and must serve as a floor, not a ceiling, for transformational investments in US clean energy, jobs and justice,” said Rebecca R. Rubin, President and CEO, Preserving Nature

“A big reason for today’s labor shortage crisis is that women with children either can’t find quality or affordable childcare.  The Build Back Better package will effectively address this issue by both helping low- and moderate-income families with childcare costs and creating free, universal pre-kindergarten programs for 3 and 4 year olds,” said Frank Knapp, President and CEO, South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce

“This agreement helps us move forward on building back a better Wisconsin and a more resilient economy that works for all,” said John Imes, President & CEO of Wisconsin Environmental Initiative. “From strengthening the middle class, addressing climate change, updating our infrastructure, ensuring income equality, and supporting clean water, and regenerative agriculture — all provisions that will help broaden Wisconsin’s prosperity and make an economic recovery for all possible.” 

The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) partners with business organizations and companies to advocate for solutions and policies that support an equitable, sustainable, stakeholder economy. We are a multi-issue, business organization advocating on behalf of all sectors, sizes, and geographies of industry. ASBC and our association members collectively represent over 250,000 businesses across our networks. We are coalition-focused in our approach to solving the pervasive and systemic issues of climate and energy, infrastructure, circular economy, and creating an inclusive stakeholder economy, all seen through the lens of racial equity and justice. We are changing the rules by which business is done so it is better for all people and the environment. 

The mission of Social Venture Circle (SVC) is to pull together money, expertise, and connections for the people creating a better economy—for our society and the environment—in a powerful, diverse, and inclusive network. SVC’s purpose is to lead the way for impact investors, entrepreneurs, and capacity-builders and catalyze the NEXT economy; a global economy that is regenerative, just, and prosperous for everyone. SVC believes justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion must be at the foundation for how we conduct ourselves, our businesses, and our investments, as we cultivate and grow our community.