Corporate Responsibility at CARS

Corporate responsibility at CARS is driven by our desire to build a culture and business that cares about our people, our customers, our community and our planet. Upholding the highest standards of integrity, inclusion and responsible business operating practices is in our DNA. As Chief Executive Officer, I am proud that teammates across all levels of our organization – from our Board of Directors to our newest employees – play a part in upholding our commitments to Environmental, Social and Governance practices.

- Alex Vetter – Director, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Nurturing a Talented and Diverse Workforce

Our people are our biggest asset.

We match our employees’ passions with opportunities to push the boundaries in the automotive and tech industries together. Our people are our major differentiator – they’re collaborative, fast-paced and exciting.

Part of this means fostering an environment that encourages constant learning and training to help our people develop and deliver their best. All employees are entitled to our program that supports pursuing individual trainings and certifications that may interest them. Over 40% of our population engages in some form of learning, including leadership or development training, annually at CARS. We also have multiple different leadership development programs to provide in-depth training courses to help managers and leaders build successful teams. These courses are designed build skills of influence, time management, coaching, feedback, conflict management, empathy and overall leadership.  

We also incentivize our teammates through competitive compensation and other benefits. Some of these benefits include:

  • a leading Employee Stock Purchase Plan, which all team members – including part-time and temporary employees – are eligible to participate in
  • alternative work arrangements for eligible employees such as our Work From Home program, which we believe improves work-life balance, productivity and overall employee satisfaction
  • other perks such as family benefits, fitness programs and subsidies, tuition reimbursements, phone discounts, and volunteer opportunities

We closely monitor employee satisfaction and engagement, conducting biannual company-wide surveys that are shared with our executive team and Board of Directors.

We believe that a diverse workforce is a strong workforce. We undertake many initiatives to ensure that CARS is an inclusive place to work for people of all backgrounds, genders, nationalities, ethnicities, sexual orientations and beliefs. We incorporate diversity considerations into all aspects of our employment journey, from targeted recruitment to fostering diversity affinity groups. All new managers receive quarterly Unconscious Bias training in an effort encourage and uncover opportunities to create a more inclusive workplace.

Our diversity initiatives are managed directly by our executive management team, underscoring our commitment to this important principle across all levels of our organization.  

We currently have five Employee Resource Groups active at CARS, which are all focused on serving as champions for diversity, equity and inclusion across our business – helping us to identify areas in which we can become even more inclusive. These groups also allow for the open sharing of ideas, knowledge, and cultural awareness while providing civic engagement, leadership development and improving our overall cultural competence.

Data Security and Privacy

At CARS, we believe that safeguarding our users’ data and respecting their privacy rights are of the highest importance.  We have robust Information Security and Privacy policies that govern all aspects of our business.  We make our Privacy Statement available to all those who visit our site, and we frequently update it to reflect ongoing legal and societal obligations and expectations regarding privacy.

Any personally identifiable information is treated with the upmost security, and we take steps to keep it physically and electronically secure in our data centers or in the cloud, accessible only to authorized personnel. In instances where our services require credit card information, we use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption, the industry standard for protecting privacy in web transactions, and comply with all applicable PCI (Payment Card Institute) standards.

Information security is not only essential for protecting user data but, as an online company, it is also crucial for the preservation of our very business. Ongoing awareness, education and training around our IT security measures are critical for ensuring compliance with our data privacy and security framework. All our employees are required to participate in an annual IT security training, and we conduct frequent phishing campaigns to educate and sensitize our employees to this omnipresent threat.  We also engage in active and frequent independent monitoring of our data and IT systems.

Our Chief Legal Officer (“CLO”) oversees all data privacy and security issues. Additionally, our CLO chairs our Information Security Steering Committee, which comprises executives across our organization including our CFO, CTO and other senior finance and technology leaders and which reports regularly to the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors.

Protecting our Planet

Protecting our planet starts at home. As an online marketplace, our business model is more environmentally friendly than traditional newspaper classifieds: our very existence was designed to help our industry transition from environmentally destructive print products to digital form. This history signals our founding ethos of sustainability. In addition, we have implemented operating practices at our corporate headquarters and all offices that encourage responsible and efficient use of our planet’s resources.

We are committed to creating environmental awareness across our business and operating in a way that encourages and incentivizes our teammates to support our mission. These programs and policies include:

  • Pre-tax benefits to encourage public transportation and bike commuting
  • Removal of disposable coffee and water cups, providing each employee with a re-usable cup and using smart beverage dispensers to avoid the use of plastic water bottles and soda cans
  • Lighting in our headquarters building that automatically goes off when conference rooms are not in use, and in the entire suite at night
  • Hot air hand driers in the washrooms

On our consumer product side, we also help match environmentally-conscious car shoppers to their perfect car. We have a number of tools to help car shoppers filter and find the most fuel-efficient options, including hybrids and electric vehicles.

Caring for our Community

At CARS, we are deeply committed to the local communities in which we live and work, and helping those in need.

That’s why we give all employees one day off per year to participate in a volunteer activity of their choosing. Through this program, our employees recorded more than 1,000 and 1,500 total hours of volunteer time in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

Caring for our community is a principle that we employ across our whole CARS family. For example, for the past three years our Dealer Inspire business has sponsored a community day in its home community of Naperville, IL to bring the community together to unplug, gain new perspectives, get healthier, and be inspired by celebrity speakers. The event, called REFUEL, raises money for Loaves and Fishes – an organization that helps end hunger and transforms the lives of families in the local community.

In 2019, we launched a new partnership to raise awareness for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) and the support it provides for families grieving military loss. The fund helps alleviate some of the financial burdens these families in need face related to life’s critical needs including vehicle upkeep and having reliable transportation. Through our partnership, we have committed up to $1,000,000 of media on our website to TAPS with the help of our dealer and automaker partners.

Governance Excellence

We pride ourselves on our strong leadership team and responsible corporate governance practices.

Please visit our Corporate Governance page for more information.