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American Express Corporate Responsibility Report Updates

September 10, 2012

We have recently published updates to our biennial Corporate Responsibility Report. The complete updates can be found in the left-hand column of this page.

Some highlights include:

  • In 2011, we were recognized by Ethisphere Institute for the fifth year in a row as one of the world's most ethical companies. Ethisphere reviewed thousands of nominations from 100 countries and more than 30 industries, evaluating them on codes of ethics, litigation and regulatory infraction histories, investment in innovation, sustainable business practices and corporate citizenship, and nominations from senior executives, industry peers, suppliers and customers.

  • In 2011, American Express received its fifth consecutive J.D. Power and Associates Award for highest customer satisfaction among credit card companies (we received this award for the sixth consecutive year in 2012). Benefits and services, as well as overall customer care, were cited as key contributors to this ranking.

  • To help increase demand for small businesses' products and services, and in response to small business owners' most pressing need – more customers – American Express led an effort to declare the Saturday after Thanksgiving, 2010 and beyond, as Small Business Saturday, kick-starting a national movement that encouraged consumers to shop at small, independently-owned stores. In 2011, an estimated 103 million Americans shopped at small businesses and dozens of locally-organized initiatives helped merchants leverage this wave of consumer support.

  • To better leverage our female employee base and continue to develop a pipeline of female talent for senior roles, women at top levels of the company convened for the first Global Women's Conference in 2010. Leaders took part in a series of workshops and programs designed to create greater networking opportunities among the leadership team, discuss research related to gender intelligence and the importance of leveraging key relationships necessary for advancement as well as to explore the characteristics of the expanding female consumer base globally.

  • Helping employees integrate work and life is a key concern at American Express, and we offer a variety of flexible work arrangements, including: working virtually from home, job sharing, flexible hours and part-time work, available based on a job and its requirements. A recent employee survey revealed that 87 percent felt their leaders were flexible when the employee had a personal or family-related issue to handle.

  • As a three-time winner of the National Business Group on Health's Best Employer for Healthy Lifestyles (2009-2011), American Express remains committed to employees' physical health with many premier services offered through on-site medical clinics and Healthy Living employee wellness initiatives.

  • We are making progress toward our voluntary goal to reduce our global carbon footprint 10 percent by 2012 compared with the 2006 baseline – achieving a 34 percent reduction (17 percent actual reduction and 17 percent from renewable energy) in 2010 -- and we have been publically disclosing progress through the Carbon Disclosure Project since 2007. (We will announce completion of our carbon reduction goal through 2011 – and set a new goal -- in the coming months.)

  • By year-end 2010, 94.4 percent of the paper used in our U.S. direct-marketing area was certified – 79.5 percent by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

  • Since 2004, we have provided the ability for customers to turn off paper billing statements. Online account servicing for U.S. corporate, consumer and small business customers saved 8.2 million pounds of paper in 2010 alone.

  • In 2010-2011, American Express supported efforts resulting in over 25,000 new trees planted in collaboration with the New York Restoration Project and Greensboro Beautiful.

  • In 2010, contributions to nonprofit organizations totaled $25.9 million globally and in 2011, contributions totaled $27.8 million. American Express makes grants in three major program areas: Leadership, Historic Preservation and Community Service.

  • In 2010, American Express renewed its commitment to the National Trust for Historic Preservation for the Partners in Preservation program by pledging $10 million toward the program over the next five years. In 2011, American Express renewed is commitment to the World Monuments Fund with a five-year, $5 million pledge to support the Watch List and select sites to be named to the list.

  • In 2010-2011, over $18 million was contributed to over 5,000 nonprofit organizations through the annual Give2Gether employee giving campaigns -- about half of that amount coming directly from employees and the other half through the company's matching funds. Employee participation reached a high of 75 percent of our U.S. employees and over 50 percent of our Canadian employees while similarly high participation rates were achieved in India and the U.K.

  • American Express employees participated in hundreds of company-sponsored volunteer projects through our Serve2Gether program each year. In 2010-2011, over 200,000 hours of community service were donated through this program alone.

These Updates, which are posted under the headings of Shareholders, Customers, Employees, Community and Environment, also contain several short case studies and information about other aspects of our corporate social responsibility, including our values, governance structure, ethics and compliance, supplier diversity, public policy, data security and fraud protection, privacy, diversity and inclusion, philanthropy, disaster relief, volunteerism, and environmental impact.

If you have a comment or question, please share it here.

P.S. Did you know that over 3,000 of the world's largest companies participate in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), which has become the gold standard for carbon disclosure methodology and process? The CDP website is the largest repository of corporate greenhouse gas emissions data in the world.


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