At GE, sustainability means aligning our business strategy to meet societal needs while minimizing environmental impact and advancing social development. This commitment is embedded in our company at every level—from high-visibility initiatives such as Ecomagination and healthymagination to day-to-day safety and compliance management around the world.
GE’s approach to sustainability is coordinated by our Sustainability Steering Committee, chaired by the vice president of Environment, Health and Safety (EHS), and composed of leaders from across the company with deep subject matter expertise. The Committee meets to review stakeholder feedback and emerging trends and to assess our sustainability performance and reporting. Its findings inform our ongoing work programs and are discussed with GE’s executive management as needed.
Our sustainability efforts are one element of our industry-leading strategies for assessing and mitigating risks and evolving our environmental, social and governance practices. Both the GE Board and senior management have responsibility for risk oversight. The Policy Compliance Review Board, a management-level committee that is chaired by the Company’s general counsel and includes the chief financial officer and other senior-level functional leaders, also assists in assessing and mitigating compliance risk. For more information on GE’s approach to risk management, please visit our Risk Oversight and Management section.
Members of the Sustainability Steering Committee and other executives brief GE Board committees on sustainability-related issues as part of GE’s overall risk management processes:
- The Audit Committee oversees the policies, processes and risks relating to the financial statements, financial reporting processes, regulatory, compliance and litigation risks and auditing. The Audit Committee discusses with management the Company’s risk assessment and risk management practices and, when reviewing and approving the annual audit plan for the Company’s internal audit function, prioritizes audit focus areas based on their potential risk. The Audit Committee also oversees the Company’s financial risk exposures related to GE Capital.
- The Governance and Public Affairs Committee oversees risk related to the Company’s governance structure and processes and risks arising from related-person transactions. It also reviews and discusses with management risks related to GE‘s public policy initiatives and activities and positions on corporate social responsibilities, and it oversees the Company’s environmental, health and safety compliance and related risks.
- The Management Development and Compensation Committee oversees risk associated with management resources and structure, succession planning and management development and selection processes, and it reviews executive compensation practices at GE to confirm that pay arrangements incentivize leaders to improve the Company’s competitive position without encouraging excessive risk taking. The Management Development and Compensation Committee reviews and discusses, at least annually, the relationship between risk management policies and practices, corporate strategy and senior executive compensation.
- The Technology and Industrial Risk Committee oversees the Company’s overall strategic direction and investment in research and development and technological and scientific initiatives. It also reviews and identifies specific technology, science and innovation matters and risks, including industrial, product, market and cybersecurity risk, that could have a significant impact on Company operations.
For more information on GE’s management practices, please see our Annual Report.