Sainsbury’s and Omnicom have today demonstrated their commitment to disability inclusion by announcing they have become members of The Valuable 500, a global campaign which strives to place disability at the top of business agendas.

The news was announced today by founder of #valuable and disability activist and social entrepreneur Caroline Casey who took to the stage of Advertising Week Europe alongside former Unilever CEO Paul Polman, to urge global business leaders to recognise the business case for including the world’s 1 billion disabled people.

During a session entitled ‘The Business Revolution for Inclusion’, Casey and Polman took to task businesses that claim to be diverse but exclude disability from their definition of diversity – businesses Casey coins diversish.

The event included a screening of  DIVERSISH, a satirical look at businesses that call themselves diverse, but overlook, ignore or postpone anything to do with disability. The film calls for business leaders to stop being diversish and commit to action on disability inclusion.

Caroline Casey, founder of #valuable commented:

“I am honoured to welcome the latest cohort of leading companies, Sainsbury’s and Omnicom, on board as our movement grows. Without leaders stepping up and facing the challenge of this inclusion revolution, the 1 billion disabled people around the world won’t achieve the equality they deserve.

“Business is a force for good and we must use it to lead society. By ignoring the disposable income of the disabled people worldwide, we are ignoring $8 trillion a year, this is equivalent to the US, Brazil, Indonesia and Pakistan combined – we cannot ignore this”

Casey launched The Valuable 500 at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Summit in Davos in January, and is urging global business leaders to become accountable for disability inclusion in their businesses by signing up to the campaign.

The campaign recognises that when businesses take the lead and take action, society will follow leading to real change being made. Itis seeking 500 global businesses to place disability on their board agendas.

The news that Sainsbury’s and Omnicom are pledging their support to the campaign, comes just weeks after the first ten members were announced, with the campaign hinting at advanced conversations with many other global companies.

Tim Fallowfield, Company Secretary, Corporate Services Director and Board Sponsor for Disability Age and Carers for Sainsbury’s, said:

“We’re extremely proud to be pledging our support to The Valuable 500. As part of our vision to be the most inclusive retailer, we are always looking for ways to improve and adapt to meet our customers’ and colleagues’ needs, as evidenced by our ongoing focus on inclusion and diversity at Board level. We want to continue to demonstrate best practice in this area and would encourage other companies to join us by leading from the top and taking action, to create an accessible environment for all.”  

Janet Riccio, EVP at Omnicom and Dean of Omnicon University added:

“Addressing and improving disability inclusion is a long-term and necessary commitment for any business that hopes to have a truly diverse workforce. At Omnicom, creating a safe and open environment for all employees is a constant priority, and we’re excited to join The Valuable 500 in its efforts to improve business behaviors, break down barriers and create more job opportunities for persons with disabilities.”

Today, over one billion people across the world live with some form of disability – 15% of the global population, or 1 in 7 people – but their value is routinely ignored by business, equivalent to disregarding a potential market the size of US, Brazil, Indonesia and Pakistan combined.

The current global employment rate for disabled people is half that of non-disabled people, a gap that has widened since 2010. According to the World Health Organisation, up to half of businesses in OECD countries choose to pay fines rather than meet quotas on disability.

Along with their friends, families and communities, the one billion disabled people worldwide also hold a disposable annual income of $8 trillion a year, equating to an opportunity that business cannot afford to ignore. Of those one billion, 80% of disabilities are acquired later life, and our ageing global population means the prevalence of disability is on the rise.

#valuable, the organisation behind the launch of The Valuable 500, is supported by a number of high profile businesses and business leaders, including strategic partners Omnicom and Virgin Media, and leaders including Sir Richard Branson, Paul Polman, Janet Riccio and EY Chairman & CEO Mark Weinberger.

Founder of #valuable Caroline Casey launched the Valuable 500 at DAVOS in January, with the support of global business leaders, including former CEO of Unilever Paul Polman, Bloomberg Chairman Peter T Grauer and Procter & Gamble Group President, North America, Caroline Tastad.

This was the first time the World Economic Forum has ever included disability on the main stage at DAVOS.

#valuable is a catalyst for an inclusion revolution that exists to position disability equally on the global business leadership agenda. It is spearheaded by award-winning activist, social entrepreneur and Binc founder Caroline Casey, who is registered blind.

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.

Caroline set off on a boundary-pushing, month-long 1,000-kilometre horse adventure through Colombia to the opening ceremony of One Young World to engage next generation leaders with the power to make change.

Caroline took to the One Young World stage once more in 2018, speaking about the Inclusion Revolution.

To apply to be a Valuable 500 business, please visit thevaluable500.com.

#valuable – it’s everyone’s business.

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. 

About J Sainsbury plc

Sainsbury’s commitment to helping customers live well for less has been at the heart of what we do since 1869. Today that means making our customers’ lives better and easier every day by offering great quality and service at fair prices – across food, clothing, general merchandise and financial services – whenever and wherever they want to shop.

As our customers’ lives change, so will our business. Sainsbury’s acquired Home Retail Group, the owner of Argos and Habitat, on 2 September 2016, creating one of the UK’s leading food, general merchandise and clothing retailers – a multi-product, multi-channel business with fast delivery networks. J Sainsbury plc operates over 600 Sainsbury’s supermarkets and more than 800 Sainsbury’s Local convenience stores, as well as over 800 Argos locations – more than 2,200 locations in total.  In addition, we have major online channels for food, clothing, general merchandise and financial services. We sell over 90,000 products and employ over 185,000 colleagues across the UK and Ireland. The iconic Habitat furniture and home furnishings brand operates out of four stand-alone stores in London, Leeds and Edinburgh as well as 11 Mini Habitats in Sainsbury’s supermarkets.

Sainsbury’s Bank offers accessible financial services products such as credit cards, insurance, travel money and personal loans that reward customers. Our vision is to be the most trusted retailer where people love to work and shop. Our colleagues, strong culture and values are integral to achieving this vision and driving our success – now and in the future.

About Omnicom Group Inc.

Omnicom Group (www.omnicomgroup.com) is a leading global marketing and corporate communications company.  Omnicom’s branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, digital and interactive marketing, direct and promotional marketing, public relations and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries. Follow us on Twitter for the latest news.