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GE Taps Into Ecomagination

John Stith
Staff Writer
Published: 2005-05-10

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Global corporate giant General Electric (GE) took the environmental initiative on Monday at George Washington University (GWU). GE president Jeff Immelt announced the ecomagination initiative. GE wants to aggressively bring to market new technologies that will help customers meet pressing environmental challenges.

"Ecomagination is GE's commitment to address challenges such as the need for cleaner, more efficient sources of energy, reduced emissions and abundant sources of clean water," Immelt said. "And we plan to make money doing it. Increasingly for business, 'green' is green.

In a presentation at GWU, Immelt discussed a long-term, ongoing strategy to increase R&D, produce products for other companies that are environmentally friendly and will make GE a ton of money, reduce their own greenhouse gases and tell everyone how things are going on this. Under ecomagination, GE will:

-- Double investment in R&D. GE will invest $1.5 billion annually in research in cleaner technologies by 2010, up from $700 million in 2004.

-- Introduce more ecomagination products each year. GE will double its revenues from products and services that provide significant and measurable environmental performance advantages to customers - from $10 billion in 2004 to at least $20 billion in 2010 with more aggressive targets thereafter. These products include renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar, technologies and materials that make energy production and consumption more efficient, cleaner and more efficient transportation technologies, and products and services that conserve or purify water.

-- Reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve its energy efficiency. In addition to helping customers meet their environmental goals, GE has committed to reduce its GHG emissions 1 percent by 2012 and the intensity of its GHG emissions 30 percent by 2008 (both compared to 2004). Based on the company's projected growth, GE's GHG emissions would have risen 40 percent by 2012 without further action.

-- Keep the public informed. GE pledges to publicly report its progress in meeting these goals.

GE's ambitious plan has a set timetable and Immelt went on to challenge governments to bring about legislation and change in the way business is done.

Jonathan Lash, president of the Washington-based World Resources Institute, said, "This is a hugely important step by one of the world's most important companies. It is particularly encouraging that GE is focusing its research on cleaner technologies and making a serious, meaningful and accountable commitment to achieve stabilization of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Innovation and leadership are what is necessary to address climate change, and that is what we are seeing from GE."

A number of other corporate partners have joined GE in this initiative including American Electric Power, Boeing, Canadian Pacific Railway, Cinergy, Delphi and Pardee Homes.

GE is a large company with over 300,000 employees and locations in over 100 countries. Their interests are large and diversified making everything from aircraft and locomotive engines to household appliances to nuclear power and lightbulbs. They also own a number of television networks including NBC. For More Information including the webcast of the event, check out GE's website

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About the Author:
John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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