As our company transforms to bring about a zero-emissions future, it’s more important than ever to understand and apply sustainability principles. Whether looking for ways to reduce waste in a manufacturing or office environment, developing energy efficient processes, participating in recycling programs, or living sustainably at home, there are choices everyone can make to contribute to our shared vision.
To bring this message to life for employees, as well as to recognize World Environment Day, the Sustainable Workplaces team held an inaugural Sustainability Symposium at the GM Global Technical Center (GTC) in Warren. We spread the word through building signage with announcements on the GTC newsletter and GM’s intranet. The response exceeded our expectations. More than 350 employees attended, making for a standing-room-only crowd during the event. The Symposium included lightning talks by GM vice presidents including Steve Kiefer, Ken Kelzer and Dane Parker, a “scavenger hunt” through GM’s 2017 Sustainability Report, and exhibits of sustainable materials and waste reduction achievements across the company.
At the end of the event, participants reflected on actions they would take to be more sustainable at work. These handwritten reflections, combined with responses to a post-event survey, demonstrated that GM employees understood our purpose loud and clear. Most participants said that they learned things at the symposium that they can apply to their daily work, and were more aware of how their job connects to sustainability. We plan to hold more in the future to further embed the value of sustainability into GM’s culture.