General Motors is a great car and truck manufacturer with a long history of outstanding corporate citizenship. At GM, corporate responsibility is more than words. It is an acknowledgement that our actions shape our reputation.
Doing the right thing remains at the core of ethical business conduct, but it is no longer enough. Global social expectations are changing; trust in all institutions is declining; the benefits of globalization are not evenly distributed. These trends, as well as the activities of media, government and nongovernmental organizations, shape society’s view of business. To ensure a balanced view, business needs to do more than make great products; it needs to engage in a dialogue with its stakeholders on its values and how it lives these values. This dialogue is key to meeting increased calls for transparency and key to building trust. And trust is fundamental to business success.
Actions and Values
At GM, it is our actions -- in the global marketplace, in the local workplace, in the global community -- that define our corporate responsibility commitment.
While our largest and perhaps most direct community economic impact results from decisions about plant locations, employment levels and suppliers, we also address the health and vitality of global communities through financial contributions, in-kind donations and volunteer initiatives. With operations in more than 200 countries on six continents, GM invests in projects dedicated to improving health, safety and education, and to addressing needs for innovation and technology.
Our actions are guided by our values. Our values are not only our road map for corporate responsibility; they are the drivers of all our decisions and activity in all countries. They are, in essence, our code of conduct, our character as a company and what sets General Motors apart. We will be transparent in our implementation of these principles and provide information, which publicly demonstrates our commitment to them.
At GM, corporate responsibility starts with our Core Values, especially the values of Integrity and Individual Respect and Responsibility. All corporate activities are measured against these values. Our values include the Global Sullivan Principles, which we endorsed in 1999. GM had the great privilege of having Reverend Leon Sullivan’s guidance as a member of the GM Board of Directors for more than 20 years, beginning in 1970. His legacy is that with great social benefit comes great responsibility; it is this responsibility we strive to meet globally every day.
We put our values into practice through our “Winning with Integrity” internal guidelines for employee conduct. These summarize important policies and legal obligations in the conduct of our business. “Winning with Integrity” is part of GM’s annual required employee web-based learning curriculum.
In summary, we are working to build innovative solutions to the challenges of community involvement and corporate responsibility every day, because we want to be the kind of company you trust – and the kind of company you do business with repeatedly.