Our success depends on our relationships inside and outside the company and our engagement is driven by this core value. We embrace diverse thinking and collaboration in our global sustainability efforts to create great customer experiences.
We have identified our primary stakeholders as:
We engage these stakeholders in a variety of ways, all with the goal of effectively facilitating a meaningful dialogue. Brand marketing, investor relations, global purchasing, human resources, labor relations and government relations are some of the GM functions that engage stakeholders on a regular basis to understand and address concerns, as well as to advance social and environmental goals. Forms of engagement include, but are not limited to, quantitative consumer research studies, employee focus groups, congressional testimony, blog posts and community meetings.
As an automotive company, “ride and drive” events are a popular forum for engaging with stakeholders. For instance, recently we hosted more than 100 stakeholders, representing over 30 organizations, in Washington, D.C., to ride and drive in the new 2016 Chevrolet Volt, and to receive a detailed technical review of the next addition to our electric vehicle portfolio, the Chevrolet Bolt EV. Also during 2015, we observed a growing trend of increased interest in environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance among investors and were pleased to meet with several of GM’s largest shareholders on ESG issues.
Since the formation of our global sustainability function six years ago, we have partnered with Ceres, a nonprofit organization advocating for corporate sustainability leadership, to help us regularly engage with an external sustainability stakeholder advisory group. This group consists of NGOs, socially conscious investors, a peer company and a supplier, to help guide our strategy and focus, as well as to provide informed feedback about opportunities and challenges.
A key outcome of our work with Ceres was becoming the only automaker signatory to date of the Climate Declaration, which asserts that there is economic opportunity in addressing climate change. The declaration is an initiative of Ceres’ Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP) and calls for policymakers to address climate change by promoting clean energy, boosting efficiency and limiting carbon emissions.
In 2015, GM was one of the initial 13 companies to sign the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, a White House initiative calling for a strong outcome in advance of the Paris climate conference, COP21. Companies who signed the act also pledged to reduce emissions, increase low-carbon investments, deploy more clean energy and build more sustainable businesses.
Our engagement with Ceres demonstrates the effectiveness of our strategy to work with the most impactful organizations and pursue more meaningful partnerships around sustainability issues that are critical to our business. In addition to Ceres, we work closely with organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the World Resources Institute (WRI) to provide guidance on a range of issues, such as renewable energy, climate change, water risk management, environmental education and sustainable transportation. We partnered, for example, in 2015 with WRI, the Global Environmental & Technology Foundation and Dow to conduct a water risk workshop for internal and external stakeholders.
One outcome of our work with these two organizations has been as an initial signatory of the Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles, which were developed by WRI and WWF. The Principles provide a clear set of guidelines to help utilities and renewable energy providers understand how they can help make renewable energy investments easier for companies and meet rising demand. GM is also a founding member of the Business Renewables Center, a collaborative platform launched in January 2015 by the Rocky Mountain Institute. The center aims to accelerate corporate renewable energy procurement with a goal of nearly doubling U.S. capacity of wind and solar energy by 2025. The Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles helped set the framework for this partnership and guides the Business Renewables Center.
We also continue to participate in key stakeholder dialogues around The 3% Solution: Driving Profits Through Carbon Reduction, an effort led by CDP and WWF to mobilize U.S. industry to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in line with scientific targets while capturing significant savings and driving business value. In collaboration with McKinsey & Company and Point380, WWF and CDP use The 3% Solution to illustrate how the private sector could save up to $780 billion over 10 years by reducing emissions by an average of 3 percent annually and increasing energy efficiency investments by a mere 1.6 percentage points. GM supports this initiative and is exploring how it can inform the next generation of goals. More information on The 3% Solution can be found at www.the3percentsolution.org.
Another important forum for stakeholder engagement in recent years has been through the Chevy Carbon Reduction Initiative. This $40 million commitment by Chevrolet reached its culmination in 2015 after investing in 38 carbon-reduction projects that prevented 8 million metric tons of carbon – the equivalent of planting a forest the size of Yellowstone – from entering the atmosphere. Chevrolet retired all the carbon credits to benefit the climate instead of using them to offset emissions of its vehicles or operations. Chevrolet collaborated with hundreds of climate stakeholders and supported carbon-reducing projects that have a positive impact on people in 29 states, from helping a landfill heat a hospital with methane gas to helping truckers avoid idling their engines at rest stops.
In the U.S., we are members of several advisory boards where we can share our experience and help promote corporate environmental leadership. One of these is the Corporate Advisory Council for the BlueGreen Alliance, which is comprised of 14 of the largest unions and environmental organizations in the U.S. that focus on building a cleaner and more competitive economy. And, we serve on the Business Environmental Leadership Council with the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, the largest U.S.-based group of corporations focused on addressing the challenges of climate change.
Stakeholder engagement is not only important in the U.S., but also is a key component of our global commitment to sustainability.
Please click on the pins below to view some of our stakeholder engagement activities.
UNICEF has been a key stakeholder partner since 2003. Annually, Chevrolet donates vehicles to the “Un Sol para los Chicos” (A Sun for the Kids) Program, and the “Running for Education” Program.
Since 2002, GM Holden has partnered with the Leukemia Foundation, donating a fleet of 17 vehicles used to transport patients to and from treatment.
The commitment to sponsor the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/ Parapan Am Games was a natural extension of GM Canada and Chevrolet’s long history of supporting Canadian amateur sports and involved providing the event with a fleet of over 1,000 vehicles.
In 2015, GM Ecuador launched a public-private partnership with the Ministry of Tourism for a taxi-driver training program – a crucial piece to increasing tourism in Ecuador – that provided 250 drivers with approximately 40 hours of training.
GM Korea & Safe Kids Korea together founded the traffic safety campaign, “Sa-gak Sa-gak Campaign,” which aims to prevent children from getting injured in accidents caused by blind spots while driving. The program provides traffic safety education using Chevrolet vehicles and education kits that help explain how dangerous blind spots can really be during driving.
Since 2011, GM Mexico has partnered with the Cimab Foundation to raise breast cancer awareness with informative talks and training to underprivileged women to aid in its early detection. Funds are raised by donating Chevrolet Sparks to be raffled at the annual “Huellas” race.
GM Middle East has been working with governments in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait to prevent the importation and sale of counterfeit automotive parts, including training for government customs officials to identify counterfeit parts at the border.
GM Spain has partnered with the regional employment office to manage the employment selection processes for GM, which, in turn, prepares young candidates for work in the industrial sector.
Vauxhall presented vehicles, engines and gearboxes to the new Academy of Central Bedfordshire in Houghton Regis, an alternative provision free school. The school has two sites that have been significantly remodeled to create state-of-the-art bespoke vocational courses, one of which is motor vehicle engineering.