GM’s sustainability strategy is led at the enterprise level to ensure a holistic approach across the company.
Sustainability is overseen by the Board. GM’s sustainability strategy is led by senior leaders throughout the organization. Our chief sustainability officer is the enterprisewide leader of sustainability and directs initiatives through the Office of Sustainability. The Office of Sustainability has been strategically designed to ensure accountability for key sustainability targets and initiatives at the highest levels of the company; nurture a culture of sustainability across the organization; track and measure progress through transparent disclosure; and engage with both internal and external stakeholders on relevant matters. The Office of Sustainability leaders are charged with innovating and advocating as well as supporting social responsibility and transparent corporate practices.
Our Sustainability Office uses a “team of teams” approach to help ensure that functional areas across the enterprise have accountability for their respective functions’ role in accelerating the company’s vision. Within each functional area, a single leader represents sustainability objectives and priorities, and owns sustainability goals and metrics. The teams focus on environmental and social aspects of sustainability. For example, a representative from engineering who sources cobalt for battery development works with the representative from supply chain to help ensure cobalt is sourced through strategic partnerships in an ethical manner that respects human rights.
Sustainability Priority Assessment
We prioritize sustainability topics by engaging with our stakeholders to understand those topics most relevant to them and our business, and those that offer the greatest opportunity to create meaningful shared value. This process is formally conducted through an assessment, and we performed our most recent assessment in 2021. We plan to conduct similar assessments every two to three years so that it takes into account emerging sustainability issues, macro events and current dynamics in the world around us.
We performed our assessment in collaboration with a third party who guided us through a four-part process aligned with the GRI materiality principle for sustainability reporting.
The placement of priorities within three categories reflects a number of different stakeholder perspectives. The assessment identified six topics as highest priority and therefore urgent for the company to manage. Some topics were not deemed as urgent because stakeholders and management view them as a GM strength today. As an example, we have been working on operational waste, water and energy since 2010 and have robust management systems with a track record of performance in these areas. Still other priorities, such as autonomous technology and the associated ethics around it, are seen more as emerging issues that are likely to grow in importance over time.
Through both the qualitative and quantitative inputs, several stakeholder themes emerged:
- The safety of employees and vehicles remains a top priority and strength for GM as our business model shifts.
- A changing and inclusive employee landscape calls for GM to focus on an equitable transition to an all-electric future that brings along all employees and customers around the world.
- There is high ambition at GM. Both internal and external stakeholders are very supportive of the company’s vision of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.
- There is an imperative for standardizing the EV ecosystem, underscoring the intersection of such priorities as Product GHG Emissions and EV Infrastructure.
- Responsible innovation should occur across the value chain as new advanced technologies create new business opportunities.