Good citizenship at GE is about enabling positive changes in the world around us. GE businesses depend on the infrastructure, skills and institutions of stable, prosperous societies and healthy environments. To succeed as a global business, we need to be a part of building these societies where we operate.
Every day, we are at work making the world work better. We bring our talent, expertise and resources to help solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges. As the world is becoming increasingly urban, GE is building new infrastructure around the world using the most efficient solutions: from clean energy and water, to smart grids, improved hospitals, electric vehicles and high-speed rail, we are developing infrastructure that will allow rapidly growing cities to become good places to live.
Through our philanthropic and volunteer efforts, we bring our passion for creating innovative solutions to bear on societal challenges in the communities where we live, work and do business. Our reach extends to schools that educate children to compete in the global marketplace, healthcare services for medically underserved populations, and rule of law that enables free trade and free speech, free from corruption.
GE’s commitment to Citizenship is deeply rooted in our culture and strategy. We demonstrate this through the products we make, in how we make them and in the difference we make in communities around the world. We work on things that matter. We are mindful of our limited natural resources and we believe in a better way. We invest in people, technology and communities to ensure a better future for generations to come.
The GE family partners with organizations to help solve some of today’s biggest challenges in health, education and community-building. GE is also proud to encourage and support employee and retiree volunteerism throughout its global population. Our goal is to design volunteer opportunities that improve the communities we serve and help GE employees to become leaders. GE’s focus on volunteerism dates back to 1981, and further evolved in 2005 when the GE Volunteers organization was more strategically positioned to encourage broader participation and to support a more significant contribution to our communities. Since 2005, employees and retirees have given more than 9 million hours of their time on more than 30,000 projects spanning 55 countries. Employees volunteered for a total of 1.3 million hours in 2012. GE’s local Volunteer Councils directed more than $800,000 in grants to community organizations in 20 different countries. These grants helped positively impact the lives of about 1 million people by funding food pantries, shelters, social service organizations and afterschool programs, among other initiatives.
Volunteerism at GE includes “paint-and-fix” projects, educational tutoring and mentoring, as well as skills-based activities. GE’s scale uniquely positions it to mobilize large groups of employees for the greater good, and it does this each year with Global Community Days—days when all employees in one region or area volunteer in their communities. Last year, GE employees donated almost 110,000 hours in 15 countries through these events. In the U.S., 2,800 employees donated 29,000 hours to support more than 20 schools in the Milwaukee school district on GE Healthcare’s Global Community Day. Similarly, GE Australia and GE New Zealand hosted 94 employee volunteer projects on one day, donating over 3,600 hours. Each of our 242 local GE Volunteer Councils is a driving force that keeps the spirit of volunteerism alive around the globe.
The impact of our volunteer efforts has increased by partnering with the GE Foundation and asking employees to draw on their GE skills and expertise to help make an even greater difference. A significant portion of skills-based volunteerism happens in our Developing Health programs. Developing Health, a $50 million grants program created by the GE Foundation and GE’s Corporate Diversity Council, recognizes the need to increase access to healthcare in underserved communities. Developing Health provides grants and employee-volunteer capacity to more than 100 nonprofit community health centers in 32 cities to improve access to primary care. Our volunteers may not have the know-how to treat patients, but they bring their GE experience with “LEAN” and “Six Sigma” processes to reduce patient wait times and increase efficiencies at community health centers. Since Developing Health was launched, more than 200 GE leaders coordinated more than 93,000 volunteer hours at community health centers across the country. This video features Developing Health Houston and includes a GE employee talking about her experience. Developing Health U.S. and Developing Health Globally have positively affected the health of more than 14 million people around the world.
GE works on things that matter, and our corporate citizenship volunteer work outlined here would not be possible without the commitment of our more than 300,000 global employees who come to work each day with a shared belief that things can be made better—it’s a way of thinking about the work we do and the technology we make for our customers and partners, and for the communities in which we all work and live. Together, we are working to make the world work better.
As GE continues to embrace growth in many parts of the world, we believe we have a role to play in supporting the education of the international workforce of the future. Giving students access to quality education gives them powerful tools and enables them to fulfill their potential.
High-value service industries, high-tech manufacturing and new green industries require key skills, particularly in math, engineering and science. In many countries, not all children complete primary schooling and in others, including the U.S., lack of achievement in math and science poses serious risks to future competitiveness.
Through a combination of grant funding, skills-based volunteerism and employee contributions, GE takes different approaches to support educational needs around the world. This includes primary- and secondary-school enrichment for students in sub-Saharan Africa; English-language learning in the Middle East; vocational training and merit-based scholarship support in Eastern Europe and Asia; and tutoring and mentoring in 27 countries through Junior Achievement. Whatever the initiative, our goal is to create a sustainable foundation upon which further education efforts can be built.
In the U.S., Developing Futures™ in Education, a GE Foundation signature program, is addressing the urgent need to raise student achievement and college and career readiness in the K–12 public education system. Since its launch in seven targeted school districts across the country in 2005, the Developing Futures program has led to significant improvements in student achievement and district management capabilities. The program has prepared each participating district for the successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), a state-led initiative that sets common, rigorous expectations for all students in literacy and mathematics.
The GE Foundation now provides the Developing Futures program to other public school districts and states across the nation, supporting the tools, resources and teacher-development assistance needed to successfully implement the CCSS. In 2012, the GE Foundation announced an $18 million grant to Student Achievement Partners (SAP) to achieve this end. Since the grant’s inception, SAP has partnered with 20 states to develop and disseminate sample exemplar lessons and tools aligned with the CCSS. It has also hosted four CCSS professional-development Immersion Institutes for more than 900 teachers and principals, and one for state-level education policy makers. Leaders from 40 states attended. The GE Foundation’s approach to education has also included building support for CCSS adoption and implementation among key stakeholder groups. Through local and state-level business summits, webcasts and conference calls, the GE Foundation has reached more than 1,200 business and community leaders, 900 GE employees, and elected officials from five states with the CCSS message.
Learn more about education programs.
Access to quality healthcare for all people is a challenge that spans the globe. GE seeks to make a positive contribution to the healthcare landscape both commercially and philanthropically. We do this through healthymagination, the GE Healthcare business, and GE Foundation’s capacity-building initiatives in communities around the world.
The GE Foundation’s signature programs Developing Health Globally™ (DHG) and Developing Health™ (DH) draw on GE’s people, processes and technology to increase access to quality healthcare in underserved communities around the world. These programs are funded and managed by the GE Foundation, in collaboration with national ministries of health, public and private health facilities, NGOs, and academia.
DHG was launched in 2004 to improve access to quality healthcare for underserved communities in Ghana. The program has since expanded to 13 additional countries across sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia: Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Senegal, Mali, Ethiopia and Nigeria; Honduras and Haiti; and Cambodia and Indonesia.
GE’s approach with DHG is to partner with national ministries of health to identify the district-level hospitals and health centers most in need, and then to provide tools, technology and training to upgrade the capacity of those facilities. GE employee ambassadors nurture hospital relationships and help build accountability into the system.
Ultimately, DHG strives to effect sustained improvements in global public health by partnering with relevant stakeholders and focusing on capacity-building solutions in areas such as maternal-child health, trauma management, surgical care and biomedical repair. At the same time, we are demonstrating a new model of partnership and accountability that others can leverage to drive positive, sustainable change.
Through 2012, GE’s commitment of $80 million to the DHG program has improved care for 15 million people through partnership with 222 hospitals and health centers in 14 countries.
Recognizing the urgent issues related to healthcare cost, quality and access for underserved populations in the United States, GE launched Developing Health™ (DH) in 2009. The approach in the U.S. is to partner with nonprofit community health centers to bring operational improvements and improved clinical care to underserved communities through GE Foundation grants and the business expertise of local GE employee teams. These health centers are often the only means of access to primary and preventive care for millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans across the country.
In 2012, we expanded DH’s footprint to reach a total of 100 health centers across 32 U.S. cities. Through a total commitment of $37.4M in funding and more than 93,000 employee volunteer hours, improvements to clinical care and practice management have been achieved across the U.S., and access to primary care services has been enabled for more than 1 million people.
Learn more about health programs.
Learn more about healthymagination.