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HarleyEarl

GM

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FOR RELEASE: 2005-09-05 GM Calls for Collaboration, Balance in Sustainable Development GM Public Policy chief Thomas Gottschalk addresses China 21st Century Forum BEIJING – GM Executive Vice President for Law & Public Policy Thomas Gottschalk called on “every element of society to play a part in making economic development sustainable,” and he advocated a balanced approach to ensure social and environmental progress keep pace with economic growth. “Real progress is possible only through the collective actions of governments and their citizens, organized as corporations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or contributing as individuals,” Gottschalk said at the China 21st Century Forum in Beijing today. Gottschalk participated in a panel discussion entitled, “Constant Drive for Sustainable Development.” Underscoring the importance of collaboration, Gottschalk announced that GM China will join the China Business Council for Sustainable Development (CBCSD), an affiliate of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). GM is a member of the WBCSD. In his remarks, Gottschalk noted that the goals of economic prosperity, environmental quality and social equity often appear to conflict. However, he said, “these three elements must be kept in a dynamic balance; the pursuit of one at the sacrifice of another is not sustainable. Those businesses that are truly committed to corporate responsibility recognize they must contribute not only to economic prosperity, but also to the quality of the environment and the lives of the people they touch.” Gottschalk cited examples from GM’s global operations, highlighting the company’s approach to putting its commitment to corporate responsibility into action. “We start with the values and principles that guide GM’s strategies and behavior as a company. From this foundation, we establish corporate responsibility priorities that achieve a balance between social, economic and environmental needs. We then take action on those priorities, evaluate our results and report them openly and publicly in the annual GM Corporate Responsibility Report.” (www.gmability.com) In the area of energy conservation, guided by its core values and the GM Environmental Principles, GM set an objective to reduce total energy usage in its facilities worldwide by 10% between 2000 and 2005, Gottschalk said. Through sharing of best practices among plant managers and other global leaders and stringent monitoring of progress, GM met its goal two years ahead of schedule. Gottschalk also pointed to employee safety, an area where GM has “another great track record to share.” Again drawing on its core values and principles, he said, GM made employee safety an overriding priority and implemented a formal strategy to improve safety in all production facilities. Through consistent, leadership-driven reinforcement of behaviors, by 2004, GM had reduced injuries in its facilities by nearly 90 percent to fewer than three recordable injuries per 100 employees annually worldwide, the automotive industry benchmark. Gottschalk acknowledged the leadership shown by the Chinese government in valuing sustainable development in China’s economic growth. “Sustainable development is both the vision of a better world and the path to achieve it. It is in the interest of us all to continue to drive toward sustainable development with a greater sense of purpose and urgency than ever before.” The China 21st Century Forum brings together domestic and global leaders, experts and scholars for discussion and deliberation on global development trends and major issues affecting China. Held once every 5 years, the Forum this year is being held September 5-7 in Beijing. General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world’s largest automaker, has been the global industry sales leader since 1931. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 321,000 people around the world. It has manufacturing operations in 32 countries and its vehicles are sold in 200 countries. In 2004, GM sold nearly 9 million cars and trucks globally, up 4 percent and the second-highest total in the company’s history. GM’s global headquarters are at the GM Renaissance Center in Detroit.
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This is the stuff that doesn't get out about GM enough. People love to blast GM, but they fail to realize how much GM does do for the environment, and for people.
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