Energy firms join campaign to eliminate disability exclusion

Mark Johnson's picture
by Mark Johnson

Global oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has joined forces with energy sector leaders Enel and Centrica to back efforts to eliminate the exclusion of disabled people worldwide, by joining disability inclusion campaign The Valuable 500. 

The campaign encourages global business leaders to recognise the value of the world’s 1.3 billion disabled people.

Shell, Centrica, Enel, MARUI GROUP and Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. are among a further 15 new companies today to commit to the campaign, bringing the total to 165. 


This follows the announcement in October that the Confederation of British Industry and 17 Indian companies had joined The Valuable 500. Businesses from 20 countries have now signed up.

Launched at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Summit this year, The Valuable 500 seeks 500 global businesses to place disability inclusion on their board agenda as the first step to full inclusion for disabled people in business. 

The campaign recently published an open letter, signed by 30 high-profile business leaders, in four national papers calling for disability inclusion in business. 

This coincided with The Valuable 500 founder Caroline Casey’s call to action at the One Young World summit in London in October. 

Countdown to Davos

The news today also comes with 75 days before the next Annual Summit in Davos, marking one year since the launch of The Valuable 500. 

In all, 165 companies from 20 countries have now signed up, including  from Japan, India, Australia, Bahrain, Denmark, Egypt, the USA and Switzerland. At least another 150 are expected to become members in the coming months. 

The campaign will return to the main stage at Davos next year, where founder Caroline Casey will unveil a report looking at the progress of the initiative and those global businesses signed up to becoming inclusive of disabled people, and to host a press conference.

“We are delighted to welcome Shell, Centrica and Enel as members of the Valuable 500”, Caroline Casey, founder of The Valuable 500, said. 

“This is a significant moment for the energy sector, and it is fantastic to see such a strong response in this area to our call to action. 

“We welcome their commitment to disability inclusion in business and encourage other companies in this sector who have a platform to speak to the business community to follow their lead.

Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said: “Disability inclusion is central to Shell’s approach to finding the best people and getting the most from our employees. 

“We are proud to have prioritised this issue and to join The Valuable 500, which will help us continue to play an important part in truly diversifying the energy sector. 

“We are proud to have prioritised this issue and to help lead the way in truly diversifying the energy sector.

“However, we know there is still much to be done, and as we work towards this ourselves we also strongly encourage other companies to make this issue a priority.”

Supporting change 

Maria Patrizia Grieco, Enel Chairman, commented: “The integration of disability in Board agendas, alongside business actions, is a fundamental prerequisite for companies that want to be truly inclusive. This is one of the key principles of ‘Valuable 500’ and it is perfectly in line with Enel’s global policy on diversity and inclusion. 

Iain Conn, CEO of Centrica said: "We're proud to support The Valuable 500 initiative and champion disability inclusion throughout Centrica. 

“It's important that we can welcome and support colleagues who reflect the full diversity of the societies in which we work and the customers we serve. 

“Employing a diverse range of talent also helps us to think differently and support our customers’ changing needs. 

Hiroshi Aoi, President, Chief Executive Officer & Representative Director of MARUI GROUP, commented: “MARUI GROUP envisions a world in which we have transcended all dichotomies to build a flourishing and inclusive society that offers happiness to all. 

“A society cannot be said to be happy if happiness is only provided to certain groups. Only when happiness is available to all can society truly flourish.

Tsutomu Tannowa, President & Chief Executive Officer of Mitsui Chemicals, Inc., added: “We at Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. have positioned three values, “Diversity,” “Challenge” and “One Team” as our core values. 

“We believe that our participation in the Valuable 500 will help us accelerate our endeavor to “make the most of diversity and create a workplace where each employee has a positive attitude towards the work,” a goal which is included in our core values.”

Global businesses signed up to The Valuable 500 include Sainsbury’s, Unilever, Microsoft, Bank of England, KPMG, EY, O2 (Telefonica UK) and Virgin Media.

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