GM Wins CSR Award (But Still Selling Hummers)

I just received a press release regarding an award given to General Motors by the U.S. State Department.

The press release starts out:

At a ceremony in Washington, DC, General Motors Corporation today received the Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) from U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. GM was recognized for its extensive corporate social responsibility programs in Colombia, which contribute to the quality of life of people in need, in particular those who have been affected by violent conflict in Colombia.

The press release continues:

GM Colombia has been contributing to the peace building process for six years through its support of a non profit organization dedicated to human development and job training for young people, especially those who have been demobilized from the paramilitary forces or displaced due to Colombian conflict.
GM Colombia employees are also involved in the community through the General Motors Volunteer Plus International Program, which encourages employees to donate time helping non profit organizations.

(There’s more information here.)
So, congratulations to GM for doing some genuinely good stuff.
But on the other hand, just in case y’all are starting to think I’m all about highlighting the good news, I should point out that GM is still building & selling the Hummer — and bragging that the new H3 gets a whole 20 miles per gallon!
And if you want more dirt on GM, you could check out the entry about them at Responsible Shopper’s website (featured in yesterday’s blog entry).

Of course, now I’ve fallen prey to an error that I’ve warned people against in a conference presentation I’ve made a couple of times on corporate moral motivation: I’ve warned that we should be cautious in questioning a company’s dedication to good corporate behaviour, because regardless of what criticisms we might have of the company in general, there’s a good chance that some very well-intentioned folks are behind the company’s ethics/CSR initiatives. Those people don’t deserve our cynicism. So: a hearty & sincere “well done” to the folks who earned GM its new CSR award, and a hearty & sincere “aw, c’mon!” to the folks in their Hummer division.


p.s., I considered giving this blog entry the title, “And the Golden Hummer Goes To…”, but figured that’d be too confusing…


Update: GM’s own blog now has an item about their new award: A Special Honor.

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