Contributor Vivek Kemp is GE’s Reporter at Large
Last week, GE convened its annual citizenship stakeholder advisory panel in New York City. I had a chance to speak with a few of the experts, who represented five non-GE businesses and organizations that have an interest in the company’s social responsibility policies and actions. They provided their take on the day’s events, the role of transparency in global business and the process of reporting on a report.
The idea behind the panel is that since GE is part of a community seeking to address the world’s most challenging problems, GE should listen and learn from other insights. Last week’s panel included the head of climate change initiatives at HSBC in London, an acclaimed international journalist and the vice president of advisory services at the IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group.
“It is an incredible opportunity to see how a complex company like GE, a global company, is coherently dealing with very complex social issues,” said one of the stakeholders, Valdemar de Oliveira Neto. “And how it’s applying its values and principles in different regions of the world.”
Neto is the regional representative for the Fundacion AVINA for Brazil, an organization that works towards sustainable development in Latin America.
As Frank Mantero, GE’s Director of Corporate Citizenship Programs, said, “It was an opportunity to discuss not only GE’s citizenship performance and reporting, but also to hear from global thought leaders on key issues in the area of corporate social responsibility, including human rights, environment, economic development and healthcare. It was truly an interactive session and the company is proud to have ongoing engagement with such experts.”