In a global recession, the need to be a responsible corporate citizen takes on even greater importance. It’s why GE’s fifth annual Citizenship Report, which was issued today, includes an in-depth discussion on the relationship between business and society during the current downturn — and more than 20 essays from global thought leaders on critical issues such as water, human rights, climate change, labor practices, education and healthcare.
At its core, the report provides a type of annual scorecard that evaluates GE’s work vs. its commitments on a wide range of business issues, corporate responsibility initiatives, and stakeholder engagement. Charting that progress is vitally important as it ensures that the company measures its responsibility commitments with the same rigor that it uses in its business units. However, it’s the dialogue with subject matter experts in fields both within and outside of GE’s business world that provides objective feedback — and helps to strengthen GE’s own understanding of the topics that are relevant to its citizenship efforts.
As part of the rollout of this year’s report, entitled Resetting Responsibilities, this week we’ll be highlighting some of these external perspectives — which are published on GE’s website unedited. The first one is by Sean Ansett, who’s managing partner of At Stake Advisors, a specialist in corporate social responsibility issues.