Announcing Support for The Valuable 500Network of 500 leading global companies promoting employment of persons with disabilities
The Valuable 500 is a global network launched in January 2019 at the annual gathering of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, created as a call to the CEOs of 500 global companies to promote reforms that will enable persons with disabilities to demonstrate their potential social, business, and economic value. The Nippon Foundation has agreed to cooperate with The Valuable 500 as a Global Impact Partner and to provide support totaling US$5 million (approximately 520 million yen) over the three years from 2021 to 2023 to promote inclusion in business for persons with disabilities – specifically, access to hiring, products, and services without disadvantage.
The full announcement is available on the following websites:
About The Valuable 500
The Valuable 500’s drive to support persons with disabilities is the first of its kind among major global companies, and emphasizes the economic benefits, rather than a social welfare aspect, of hiring persons with disabilities. Comprising more than 400 companies (including more than 30 from Japan) from 33 countries around the world, The Valuable 500 is chaired by former Unilever CEO Paul Polman and is being supported by global business leaders including Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and Accenture CEO Julie Sweet.
Although the World Economic Forum primarily deals with political and economic issues, The Valuable 500 initiated the Forum’s first session to address the issue of disability. The number of persons with disabilities around the world is estimated to be approximately 1 billion,※1 and the purchasing power of these persons, their families, and friends is said to total $8 trillion.※2 This is a very large market, but the percentage of companies offering disability inclusive products and services is extremely low, at only 4%,※3 and this market is therefore expected to grow. Member companies from Japan include ANA, Japan Airlines, NEC Corporation, Sega Sammy Holdings, Inc., Softbank Corp., and Sony.
- 1. Source: WHO and World Bank (2011) World Report on Disability
- 2. Source: Return on Disability (2016) Annual Report: The Global Economics of Disability
- 3. Source: Return on Disability (2016) Annual Report: The Global Economics of Disability
Regarding the agreement, Caroline Casey, founder of The Valuable 500, commented, “We are thrilled The Nippon Foundation have joined as a key investor, and can ensure our work for global disability inclusion can continue going forwards.” The Nippon Foundation Chairman Yohei Sasakawa remarked, “I am very happy that we, The Nippon Foundation can cooperate with The Valuable 500 as its Global Impact Partner. I sincerely hope that we will be able to be a ‘game-changer’ in order to realize a better world, an inclusive society, together by using this new initiative of The Valuable 500 to its full capacity.”
Going forward, The Valuable 500 plans to hold conferences for member companies and international organizations at venues including the World Economic Forum’s Special Annual Meeting 2021 scheduled to be held in Singapore in May, and at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, and to develop benchmarks and services to promote corporate inclusion of persons with disabilities.
Public Relations Team
The Nippon Foundation
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