GE has had a presence in Canada since 1892, when General Electric’s founder, Thomas Edison, built a plant in the city of Peterborough, Ontario, which is still in use today. GE Canada’s head office is located in Mississauga, Ontario. GE, which employs approximately 7,000 people in Canada, has manufacturing sites and numerous sales/service centers across the country.
At GE, being a good corporate citizen is a full-time commitment. Everyone at GE is both an employee and a global ambassador for the Company, as each employee is expected to represent GE with the same level of integrity and conduct as articulated by The Spirit & The Letter. GE approaches Citizenship with the same set of goals, strategies and accountability that drives the other parts of our business. The Company believes corporate citizenship is the inextricable link between integrity and performance, to the degree that they eventually become one and the same, making responsible citizenship a natural part of the way GE works. By engaging thoughtfully with our stakeholders, GE continues to build a better company and a stronger Canada.
GE operates with integrity, compliance and governance. How we deliver results is as important as the results themselves. GE seeks to lead in workplace and marketplace integrity by ensuring that our businesses operate within both the spirit and the letter of the law.
Philanthropy and Volunteerism
GE Volunteers are passionate, energetic employees who are active in many programs across the country. In 2011, GE Volunteers participated in 500-plus projects, donating more than 15,000 hours to the communities where they live and work. GE Canada’s national volunteer partners are Junior Achievement, Food Banks Canada and Actua. Local GE volunteer projects supported abused women, new immigrants, homeless centers, shelters and children’s programs.
Investing in Skills Development and Education
For the past six years, GE Canada has partnered with Actua, a nonprofit group developing and delivering science, engineering and technology programs that reach more than 230,000 Canadian youth nationally through hands-on summer camps, workshops and community-outreach initiatives. Actua is committed to making science fun and accessible for all youth, through specialized programs for girls, Aboriginal communities and underprivileged youth. GE employees are engaged as mentors, helping to develop program content, participating in skills-training sessions and providing ongoing expertise.
GE supports the work of Junior Achievement, the world’s largest not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating young people about business. GE employees bring real-world experience into the classroom, helping support the next generation of business and community leaders.
Each year the GE Foundation awards scholarships to eligible first-year Aboriginal students who are studying engineering or business at a Canadian university. Scholarships are renewable for up to three years, and recipients participate in GE-sponsored activities.
Healthy planet, healthy people
Healthymagination is a shared commitment to creating better health for more people.
GE supports Campaign to Cure Cancer (C2CC), an organization dedicated to cutting cancer down to size through knowledge, change and action. GE is engaged with C2CC’s national screening-awareness initiative. In early 2011, GE Healthcare and the government of Ontario established GE’s first global digital pathology center of excellence to improve patient care in Toronto, Ontario. In 2010, GE Healthcare received the Company of the Year Award from the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC), given in recognition of excellence in the healthcare IT industry in Canada. GE Healthcare has approximately 30 research and development projects with academic institutions across the country.
Ecomagination is GE’s commitment to address challenges such as the need for cleaner, more efficient sources of energy; reduced emissions;and abundant sources of clean water. In Canada, ecomagination-certified products are helping our customers reduce their environmental footprint and improve operating costs within their businesses. In Ontario, GE’s eco-certified advanced technology wind turbines are powering the province’s green-energy grid. By 2015, GE wind turbines will be delivering approximately 1,200 megawatts (MW) of wind energy, which is enough to power 320,000 homes. GE’s eco-certified wastewater evaporation technologies are improving wastewater recovery in Alberta’s oil sands projects, and technology used in the SAGD (steam-assisted gravity drainage) process is enabling over 97% wastewater recovery. Canada’s national railways use GE Evolution® ecomagination-certified locomotive engines. GE’s Peterborough Motors facility is producing eco-certified motors that will be used in the development of China’s largest iron-ore mine.
Responsible Project Financing with Alterra
GE Energy Financial Services (EFS) partnered with Alterra to provide financing for a 196 MW, $660 million East Toba Montrose project in British Columbia that became fully operational in 2010, providing renewable energy to approximately 75,000 homes. The partnership also includes financing for the Dokie Wind Farm, the province’s largest wind farm. Alterra and GE are working with First Nations and other stakeholders to ensure that the needs of communities are addressed, as the projects are being built in geographically remote areas. The relationship with First Nations is driven by 10 core principles—ranging from the respect of land and resources to long-term sustainability of the land. With the economic benefits of employment, financial investment and training, each First Nation involved in the project has already begun to see positive results from the partnership.
Shaping Economic Growth in Canada’s Remote Communities
GE partnered with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce on an initiative to help create momentum in the public policy debate about how to ensure that Canada’s remote communities can harness all of the opportunities available in a 21st-century economy.
Canada is rich in natural resources that are in high demand globally. Canada is ranked fifth in the world for many essential resources, including potash, nickel, oil and gas, and uranium. The country’s forestry, food and fish products are also in high demand. Many of Canada’s resources are located in remote communities, and GE engaged businesses, stakeholders and government in a series of roundtables and a national survey to better understand the business challenges, success stories and investment intentions within remote communities.
Workplace Safety and Health
GE Canada is committed to excellence in workplace safety and health. Ten GE sites in Canada have received Global Star designations for Health and Safety Excellence, and the head office building in Mississauga, Ontario, received the first Global Star designation for a multi-tenant building, along with the first LEEDS EB (existing building) designation in the province and the second in the country. GE Canada has six Alberta COR Star sites for Health and Safety Performance plus six ISO 14001–certified sites. GE has received 68 external Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) awards in the past two years (2010–11).