Social Governance

GM Accelerates Human Rights and Global Climate Action, Wants Suppliers to Sign Pledge

Published on: 27 April 2022 10:02 AM

General Motors Company, the manufacturing giant, announced it is advancing its global climate action and human rights activities. It invites suppliers to sign a commitment to developing social responsibility programs, incorporate sustainable practices into supply chain operations, and achieve carbon neutrality.

The pledge entails environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards and asks suppliers to commit to achieving carbon neutrality for scope 1 and 2 emissions. Around 53 per cent of the company's tier-one material annual purchase value has already signed the pledge.

When the suppliers sign the pledge, they commit to:

  • Achieve carbon neutrality for their Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by dates based on their respective industry. These are 2025 or earlier for Professional Services, 2035 or earlier for Manufacturing and 2038 or earlier for Raw Materials and Logistics.

  • Obtain a minimum score of 50 in the EcoVadis Labor & Human Rights and Ethics pillars by 2025, demonstrating a mature sustainability management system covering employee health and safety, social dialogue, diversity and nondiscrimination, child and forced labour.

  • Obtain a minimum score of 50 in the EcoVadis Sustainable Procurement pillar by 2025, examining how GM's suppliers understand and manage their own suppliers' social and environmental behaviours and how they use their purchasing power to advance sustainability.

EcoVadis is a third-party assessor that looks at a company's ability to incorporate sustainability and corporate social responsibility into its business and management system. EcoVadis looks at how well a company does this.

Jeff Morrison, GM vice president of Global Purchasing and Supply Chain, said: "There are economic and social imperatives in lowering emissions and addressing climate change while cultivating a just transition. As we accelerate toward our vision of an all-electric future, our commitment to bringing everybody along includes our global suppliers whose collaboration is critical to promoting a sustainable, safe and better world."

GM says more than 53% of the estimated $76 billion in annual direct material purchase value in 2021 has been signed up by suppliers.

Pierre-Francois Thaler, Co-CEO of EcoVadis, said: "GM's ESG Supplier Pledge is a best practice example of how to work with suppliers and turn their 'Everybody In' vision into action. These specific and actionable targets are exactly the kind of engagement needed to accelerate their value chain towards positive impact, and to make the business a force for creating a more sustainable world."

The supplier pledge builds on GM's goal of bringing "everybody in" to the all-electric future by pledging to create a collaborative supply chain that aims to reduce environmental impact while enhancing long-term sustainability. 

GM will continue to promote the transition to renewable energy by identifying possibilities for significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and energy use, providing instructional webinars and materials, and developing solutions to help eliminate barriers.

GM's aim to lower its overall carbon footprint and hasten toward an all-electric future includes working with suppliers to minimise their greenhouse gas emissions.

GM established goals to become carbon neutral in its global products and operations by 2040, in early 2021. 

By 2035, the business plans to shift to zero tailpipe emissions for new light-duty vehicles.

In addition, GM said that its renewable energy goal in the United States will be accelerated to 2025, 25 years ahead of schedule. 

In June 2021, GM also declared that it would prioritise equitable climate action to guarantee that its all-electric future is inclusive of its existing and future workers, consumers, and communities that may be disproportionately affected by climate change.