Three Questions on Sustainability with GM Employees

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Three Questions on Sustainability with GM Employees

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.@GM FastLane #EarthWeek Guest Post: Three Questions on Sustainability with GM Employees

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 12:45pm

CAMPAIGN: GM Energy Efficiency


Our employees are the lifeblood of our organization.

Without them, we wouldn’t be able to design, build and sell the world’s best vehicles.

With more than 219,000 spread across the globe, they are helping the company move the needle when it comes to a variety of topics.

Including sustainability.

The more we talk about sustainability with them, the more we realize just how many are interested in the work we are doing to protect the environment.

In some cases, they’ve taken it upon themselves to spread their enthusiasm for the environment to their community.

In advance of Earth Day, we reached out to a handful of employees to get their take on why they get so charged up from working for a sustainable company.

Q: How important is it to work for a company with a solid sustainable reputation?

Shaima Al Sayed, GM Middle East: It is quite important. With a solid sustainable reputation, GM shows that it has a commitment toward the environment we live in, thus it is a commitment to the customer and the products that it delivers. There is a high belief that it is capable of having a positive impact in its surroundings, specifically being in an industry that generally can cause harm if one is not responsible.

Alisyn Malek, GM Ventures: For me it is very important to know that my efforts are benefiting a corporation that aligns with things which I view as important, such as sustainability.

Laura Jones, GM North America: We work in an industry that isn’t seen as being “green” and efficient, especially in the U.S. with the stigma of us producing gas-guzzling cars. Therefore, to be able to talk proudly about what GM does within the sustainability field is something that just enhances my engagement with the company. Honestly, I just wish there was more information out there for employees- short sharp bursts of information to keep us educated. I only really recently learned about this space from David Tulauskas, our director of sustainability, and really have found it fascinating.

Reggie Taylor, GM North America: To be quite honest it’s important to me personally because it’s in line with my faith. I believe we are here to be stewards of the resources given to us by God. Our role is that of caretaker for future generations. I believe we must be more than consumers of resources, we also have to be producers within our society.

Q: Why are you interested in the effects of sustainability?

Shaima: With all the advancement we face in our current age, there are more side effects to everything we do, and there is a strong need to ensure that we preserve nature and its resources for generations to come in its natural, beautiful form for their well-being and growth. It is our responsibility and their right. We need to know that our actions have minimum side effects, and if not how it can be reduced, to ensure preserving the planet for generations ahead.

Alisyn: I am interested in the effects of sustainability because our approach to sustainability will set the stage for our future resources.

Laura: For a number of reasons. First, as science proves it, we are making the world deteriorate at a faster pace. Second, the area of sustainability is truly one that is continuously looking for new and innovative ways to improve and work…which I think many of us could learn from.

Reggie: I want to work for a company where the corporate values align with my personal values. We have a civic and moral responsibility to support the communities we occupy. Whether it’s reaching into the communities to support education or building a shelter for the homeless, or not contributing to landfills, those with the ability shoulder the obligation to make this a better world.

Q: Which GM sustainable milestones do you consider most significant?

Shaima: First automaker to sign the Climate Declaration, and hosting two of the largest rooftop solar arrays in the world.

It is amazing that GM is taking the lead and setting an example amongst other automakers by signing the Climate Declaration, it shows that the organization is not on to follow a trend just because everybody else is doing it, but is seeking ways of being sustainable because it cares.

As for the solar arrays, it shows that GM not only preaches about sustainability but practices it, too; and actions definitely speak louder than words!

Alisyn: Being the first automaker to sign the Climate Declaration is an action I see as being the most broadly representative and influential in the industry.

Laura: I would have to go with having more than 100 landfill-free facilities across the globe.

Reggie: I would say 26 certified habitat programs.

Keywords: Environment & Climate Change | Earth Week | Employee Engagement | Environmentalism | Fast Lane | GM | community action | sustainability

CAMPAIGN: GM Energy Efficiency