Reporting Practices

A Strong Commitment to Transparency

GM is committed to publicly reporting our progress on an annual basis, discussing the opportunities and challenges that we encounter as we work to enhance our performance and conduct our business in the most responsible manner possible. The reporting process not only helps us to manage and measure our progress, but also helps us to engage with both internal and external stakeholders around the world.

Sustainability Reporting

Our previous report covered calendar year 2016 and was published in May 2017. The editorial content of this report, the 2017 Sustainability Report, generally covers subject matter for calendar year 2017 and some of 2018 and is limited to operations owned and/or operated by GM. In some instances, data has been included for operations in which GM’s interest is through a joint venture. Such data is noted in this report. All metrics related to GM manufacturing and product commitments, as well as workforce and financial data, refer to the calendar year ended Dec. 31, 2017. On July 31, 2017 we closed the sale of the Opel and Vauxhall businesses and certain other assets in Europe to Peugeot, S.A. (PSA Group). On Oct. 31, 2017 we closed the sale of the European financing subsidiaries and branches to Banque PSA Finance S.A. and BNP Paribas Personal Finance S.A. The European Business was previously reported as our GM Europe (GME) segment and part of GM Financial. The European Business is presented as discontinued operations in our consolidated financial statements for all periods presented. The assets and liabilities of the European Business are presented as held for sale in our consolidated financial statements as of Dec. 31, 2016. Upon our divestiture of Opel and Vauxhall, GM used the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard, published by WBCSD and WRI as a basis for our methodology for publicly reporting GHG. Unless otherwise indicated, information in this report relates to our continuing operations.

This report has been prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: Comprehensive Option.


For 2017, Stantec conducted an independent review for limited assurance on waste, water, carbon and energy data for global facilities. Click here for Stantec’s full statement of assurance. Due to limited assurance on most material data streams within the report, this review only involves operational management. Neither the GM Board of Directors nor senior management is involved in seeking assurance for the report.

Materiality Survey

Our sustainability strategy and the content of this report are based on the results of a 2016 global materiality assessment, a process we undertake every two years. The use of “material” or “materiality” in this report is not related to or intended to convey matters or facts that could be deemed “material” to a reasonable investor as referred to under U.S. securities laws or similar requirements of other jurisdictions.

A third party, Sustainalytics, conducted the assessment based on a process outlined in the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) Technical Protocol:

Identify: Relevant sustainability topics covered in previous materiality assessments, as well as key industry reports, were reviewed to finalize a list of 16 environmental, social and governance topics and subtopics.

Prioritize: Two online surveys were deployed to GM employees and external stakeholders globally. Respondents were asked to prioritize the importance of sustainability topics and subtopics. The survey was completed by 1,052 GM employees, who were asked to what degree the management of an issue impacted GM’s long-term success, and 367 external stakeholders, who ranked the importance of GM’s management of a given issue.

Validate: Based on the survey results, all 16 topics were plotted on a preliminary materiality matrix, which was reviewed by a Sustainalytics automotive sector analyst in order to validate the relative importance of each topic. Based on this review, the relative importance of six topics was increased or decreased and a final matrix was determined.

Among the key learnings from this most recent materiality assessment: Our top three most material topics—customer satisfaction, vehicle safety and vehicle efficiency and emissions—remained consistent between 2014 and 2016 and are closely linked. Five of the top 10 most material topics rose in importance over the past three materiality analysis cycles: customer satisfaction, vehicle safety, employee relations, employee equal opportunity and diversity, and water management.

In addition, Sustainalytics identified collaboration with suppliers on social and environmental supply chain challenges, vehicle efficiency and emissions, and operational energy and emissions as leadership opportunities relative to other automotive OEMs.

Materiality Matrix

Customer satisfaction, vehicle safety, vehicle efficiency and emissions, and employee relations are among our most material issues.

Additional Disclosure

In addition to publishing our annual Sustainability Report, GM aligns its reporting with several other leading frameworks and disclosure organizations.

CDP Reporting

GM has worked with CDP since 2010, when we began tracking carbon emissions and reduction activities through the CDP Climate Change Program. Since 2013, we have reported all 15 categories of Scope 3 emissions. In 2017, GM was named to the CDP Water and CDP Supply Chain A lists. Though GM has been named to the CDP Climate A List as recently as 2016, we did not make the 2017 A list due to reputational risks related to charges of alleged misreporting diesel emissions for certain models in the U.S., which GM strongly disputes. These claims are baseless and we will vigorously defend ourselves.

In addition to the climate change program, we have voluntarily participated in the CDP Water program since 2011. In 2017, we sponsored CDP’s World Water Day report, offering solutions to wastewater reuse, and were a gold sponsor of CDP’s Water & Forests Workshop.

We also participate in the CDP Supply Chain program, engaging our supply chain for the past four years in actions to reduce their emissions, mitigate their effects on climate change and strengthen their overall businesses. We asked about 200 of our suppliers to disclose their energy use and carbon emission data to CDP and offered resources to help. The 70 percent of invited companies that responded reduced carbon emissions in total by 90 million metric tons, saving a cumulative billion of which 8 million metric tons and .2 billion was attributed to their business with GM. These efforts earned GM a spot on CDP’s Supplier Climate A List. Only 3 percent of the thousands of companies who report to CDP achieved the ranking.

Read more about the results of our CDP supplier survey here. We continue to use the information gained from this program to more accurately measure our indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and water impact and prioritize our climate change risk management within the GM supply chain.

United Nations Global Compact and UN Sustainable Development Goals

GM supports both of these initiatives and includes indexes for them in this report. During 2018, we are refreshing our materiality assessment and intend to use this exercise to focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals that align most closely with our greatest impacts.

Sustainability Accounting Standards Board

Our 2017 report marks the first time that GM has reported to the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board framework. Currently, we do not track all metrics included in the Transportation Standards but look forward to including more data in the future.

Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure

The Financial Stability Board Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) has developed a voluntary, consistent climate-related financial risk disclosure for use by companies in providing information to investors, lenders, insurers and other stakeholders. The TCFD framework rests on four main tenets. The table here provides sections of this report that address those tenets.

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