Engagement & Decision-Making
Successful corporate citizenship results from active engagement with employees, customers, regulators, NGOs and other stakeholders. These interactions take place within industry associations and at high-level summits; at investor meetings; and in everyday conversations between our sales teams and customers.
Internally, the integration of Citizenship priorities with business strategy starts at the top. In its oversight of GE Citizenship, the Board of Directors is responsible for overseeing how management serves the interests of shareowners and other stakeholders. The Board and its committees consider such issues as risk management; environmental, social and regulatory challenges; and global trends. GE also considers employees’ views, through town halls, official surveys and day-to-day interactions with our vast volunteer network.
Our natural operating rhythm of global review sessions plays an important role in shaping Citizenship efforts. For example, Session E, which focuses on our global environmental, health and safety (EHS) efforts, helps to guide us in our continued performance in this area. Our Session T, a technology-planning process, draws on feedback from customers and business, as well as technology leaders, to develop ideas that lead to new or better products for society.
GE continually strives to connect with external parties, such as policy leaders and NGOs, in order to gain insight and perspective on corporate citizenship. We have created several external advisory panels whose participants—academics, industry leaders and technical experts—possess a wide variety of expertise. Our advisory panels for ecomagination and healthymagination challenge and sharpen our focus on innovation, driving the performance improvements of these programs. In addition, our Citizenship Advisory Panel plays a key role in providing external advice and challenging us as we evolve our approach to corporate citizenship and work through particular areas of concern. Perspectives from these advisory panels can be found on this website as well as on our ecomagination and healthymagination websites.
As the global community faces significant sustainability challenges, we believe it is incumbent upon industry leaders such as GE to contribute to local and international policy debates on shaping sustainable healthcare and low-carbon economies. Our leaders continually reach out in these areas to ensure that GE has a voice and is aware of new ideas and initiatives. Through our founding role in the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) and involvement with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we are engaged in ongoing, solutions-oriented dialogues regarding the United States, China, India and Brazil, in an effort to help shape markets that reward responsibility.
GE periodically convenes summits that bring together industry leaders, NGOs and academics to openly discuss and debate a particular challenge. This year, for example, GE convened a group on technology to discuss its impact on sustainability, water scarcity and energy. Among the issues explored were the challenges facing the industry in driving technology to the “base of the pyramid” in an effective, low-cost manner.
Engagement for GE is a key component of being a good corporate citizen. Whether through day-to-day activities or formal and informal mechanisms, such as our operating rhythm, summits or open blogs, we believe it is incumbent upon us to ensure transparency in our Citizenship efforts.