#Valuable Takes to the United Nations Stage for the First Time as 150 Further Businesses Get Set to Join the Inclusion Revolution

As WestRock continues to build an increasingly diverse and inclusive organization, we believe that to be truly inclusive, we must attract and address the needs of those with differing abilities. The company has joined The Valuable 500, a global movement ensuring these voices are heard.


11th June, 2019: #valuable today took to the stage of the United Nations #INFOCUS conference in Geneva, to encourage global business leaders to recognise the importance of disability inclusion and value the 1.3 billion disabled people around the world. 

Marianne Waite, Director of The Valuable 500 campaign – which is seeking 500 global businesses to place disability inclusion on their board agenda – spoke at the first of three session across the two day event, kicking off with a panel discussion to address inclusion in programmes of corporate social responsibility. 

The session included a screening of DIVERSISH, a campaign film launched by the organisation earlier this year which takes a satirical look at businesses that call themselves diverse, but overlook, ignore or postpone anything to do with disability. 

The event coincides with the announcement of 19 further businesses to join The Valuable 500.

Brambles, WestRock Company, Alexander Mann Solutions, Exal, Inside Ideas Group and Oliver, MullenLowe Group, Pinsent Masons LLP, Williams Lea Tag, Zwanenberg Foods, Gett - global ride hailing app, Porter Novelli, Allegis Group India, Cinema City- cinema network, Super-Pharm – Drugstore Chain, CLAL Insurance Enterprises Holdings, Meitav Dash Investment Houses, Menora Mivtachim -  insurance & finance group Israel and Pery Car rental car hire and Amot Investments real estate sector are the latest companies to sign up and pledge to place disability inclusion on their board agendas, taking the total number of global businesses to join The Valuable 500 to 44. 

The latest sign-ups follow a series of events across the globe drumming up support for The Valuable 500 campaign. Caroline Casey, founder of the campaign, took to the stage at St James’ Palace alongside the Countess of Wessex and former Unilever CEO Paul Polman, and just days after, took to the stage of Access Israel’s annual conference in Tel Aviv, marking the campaign’s international footprint – and driving further members to sign up to the movement.

Marianne Waite, Director of The Valuable 500 campaign, commented:

“It is fantastic to be here today addressing global businesses and leaders alike,and calling on them to recognise the value of the 1.3 billion people globally who have a disability. 

“The World Economic Forum provided us with our initial launch platform, so we are so grateful to be here at the United Nations today, with another opportunity to stand up on the world stage and call on global businesses to place disability inclusion front and centre of their business strategy.

“With the likes of MullenLowe Group, Gett, Alexander Mann Solutions, Pinsent Masons LLP and Porter Novelli amongst the latest cohort of businesses to pledge their support, we are delighted with the momentum The Valuable 500 is gaining. But we urge other global business to follow suit, and put an end to diversish behaviour, because without the support of global businesses and brands, change in society will not happen”.

Waite is also set to participate in ‘Inclusion: everyone’s responsibility’ tomorrow at #INFOCUS to discuss the uncomfortable truth of business culture and the trend of businesses claiming to be diverse, whilst excluding disability from their definition of diversity – diversish behaviour, as branded by Waite.

Michael Pooley, President, CHEP Europe (Brambles Group), commented:

“The Valuable 500 message aligns with our values at Brambles. We believe in creating an inclusive and diverse working environment which allows each individual to thrive, grow and succeed. A more balanced workforce will provide us with the diversity of thought, skills and experience that we need. Put simply, an inclusive workforce, which recognises the contribution of every individual, is better for our employees, better for our customers and better for our business".

Steve Voorhees, CEO, WestRock Company, commented: 

“At WestRock, we pursue, value and wholeheartedly embrace diversity and inclusion,” said Steve Voorhees, WestRock chief executive officer. “We want everyone who works at WestRock or does business with us to feel welcome – not despite their diversity but because of it. To be truly inclusive, we must attract and engage the needs of those members of the workforce who have disabilities because we know that employing people with different abilities is good for everyone. The Valuable 500 is making sure these voices are heard.”

According to research, 90% of companies claim to prioritise diversity, but only 4% regularly discuss disability at board level. Without addressing disability on their board agenda, a business cannot truly claim to be inclusive, Waite argued.

The Valuable 500, which was launched at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Summit in January, urges global business leaders to become accountable for disability inclusion in their businesses. It recognises that when businesses take the lead and take action, society will follow, so is seeking 500 global businesses to place disability on their board agendas.

In 2017, Caroline launched #valuable at One Young World, the global summit for young leaders, providing a platform to activate a new generation of future leaders who care passionately about disability inclusion and aren’t afraid to be vocal about it.
To apply to be a Valuable 500 business, please visit thevaluable500.com.
#valuable – it’s everyone’s business.
- Ends -

Media contacts:
For interviews and further information, please contact:
Sophie Currah, Seven Hills
Telephone: +44 207 199 2000
Email: sophie.currah@wearesevenhills.com
Marianne Waite 
The Valuable 500 Campaign Director
Email: marianne@thevaluable500.com
Applying for Membership of The Valuable 500
To apply to be a Valuable 500 business, please visit thevaluable500.com.
Membership of The Valuable 500 includes:
Unlimited access to our executive disability performance resource hub
Membership to a community of like-minded business peer leaders, committed to raising their game on disability
The platform and opportunity to raise your profile as an early adopter helping to shape this vital emerging economic and societal agenda.
By becoming a member of The Valuable 500, you agree to:
COMMIT: Table disability on your board agenda from 2019
ACT: Make ONE firm commitment to action in 2019
AMPLIFY: Share your commitment to The Valuable 500 internally and externally
About #valuable

Launched by Binc, #valuable is a campaign working to ensure businesses globally recognise the value of the one billion people around the world living with a disability. We believe that building a global society that recognises the value of the 1 billion people living with a disability starts with business. We’re on a mission to make sure businesses across the world recognise the value of the one billion people living with a disability. 

Binc was founded by social entrepreneur and activist Caroline Casey in 2015, with a mission to ignite a historic global movement for a new age of business inclusion. Binc is capitalising on Caroline Casey’s 18-year track record of success engaging over 450 organisations and working with 500,000 business leaders. Binc fundamentally believes that inclusive business creates inclusive societies and is initiating a new approach to business that genuinely includes the 1 billion people living in the world with a disability. Binc is the founding team behind valuable, an ambitious global campaign to put inclusivity on top of the business agenda around the world in 2019. Binc is using a tried and tested formula that has worked in the past for gender, race and LGBT to leverage the exponential rise of The Diversity and Inclusion Agenda. 

Definition of disability:
#valuable uses the definition provided by the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with disabilities, which defines a person living with a disability as ‘those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.’
1 http://www.who.int/disabilities/world_report/2011/chapter8.pdf
3 http://www.who.int/disabilities/world_report/2011/chapter8.pdf
4 Return on Disability, 2016
5 Scope and Landman, Enabling Work – https://www.scope.org.uk/Scope/media/Images/Publication%20Directory/Landman_Report.PDF?ext=.pdf
Disability and the Sustainable Development Goals
The need to advance disability inclusion around the globe is essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Disability or ‘persons with disabilities’ are specifically referenced 11 times in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with a further six references to ‘persons in vulnerable situations’. Principally with reference to: promoting inclusive economic growth that allows disabled people to fully access the job market and guaranteeing equal and accessible education through the creation of inclusive environments.

About Williams Lea Tag

Williams Lea Tag (WLT) is the global provider of marketing production and skilled business-critical support services worldwide.   WLT comprises two strategic business units, Williams Lea and Tag, with combined revenues of $1.2billion and 10,000 employees worldwide, operating in over 195 cities across 40 countries. 
Today we share one purpose:  to create value for our clients by working smarter with fewer resources, enhancing efficiencies, improving their customers’ experience and strengthening their brand reputation. 
Our clients and their customers have always been at the heart of everything we do. Our long-term partnerships, great relationships, exceptional employees and leading technology have been the driving force behind our success. 
The WLT Group is backed by Advent International, one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors.

Brambles Boilerplate.

Brambles helps move more goods to more people, in more places than any other organisation on earth. Its pallets, crates and containers form the invisible backbone of the global supply chain and the world’s biggest brands trust us to help them transport their goods more efficiently, sustainably and safely. As pioneers of the sharing economy, Brambles created one of the world's most sustainable logistics businesses through the share and reuse of its platforms under a model known as ‘pooling’. Brambles primarily serves the fast-moving consumer goods (e.g. dry food, grocery, and health and personal care), fresh produce, beverage, retail and general manufacturing industries. The Group employs approximately 10,000 people and own approximately 330 million pallets, crates and containers through a network of more than 775 service centres. Brambles operates in more than 60 countries with its largest operations in North America and Western Europe. For further information, please visit www.brambles.com