GE reports $12B in environmental revenues

Toronto, Canada (GLOBE-Net) - GE has demonstrated that “going green” is good for the bottom line. The company reports that global revenue from the its “ecomagination” portfolio of energy efficient and environmentally advantageous products and services reached $12 billion in 2006, a 20 per cent increase over 2005, with back orders exceeding $50 billion.

Launched in May 2005, ecomagination is GE’s company-wide commitment to address global environmental challenges such as the need for cleaner, more efficient sources of energy, reduced emissions and abundant sources of clean water.

The company has also taken actions to reduce its own energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, so far achieving 250,000 tons of greenhouse (GHG) emission reductions while cutting energy costs by roughly $70 million to date.

With ecomagination, GE hopes to double its revenues from products related to renewable energy, energy efficiency, and water management from $10 billion in 2004 to at least $20 billion in 2010. To do so, it will invest $1.5 billion in annual research on ‘clean technology’ by 2010, up from $700 million in 2004.

In 2006, the company increased the number of ecomagination-certified products by more than 50 per cent over the last year - from 30 to 45 products. GE has also set a goal to reduce its GHG emissions one per cent by 2012, reduce the intensity of its GHG emissions 30 per cent by 2008, and improve energy efficiency 30 per cent by the end of 2012.

GE’s 2nd annual ecomagination report is now available at

Recent Canadian ecomagination projects include:

  • GE Energy Financial Services will make its first equity investment in Canada and diversify its renewable energy portfolio by investing $112 million in the construction of a run-of-river hydroelectric project in British Columbia developed by Plutonic Power Corporation.

  • GE Water & Process Technologies will provide a membrane system to treat wastewater to be recycled for re-use applications as part of the Olympic broadcast building in Vancouver. A Zenon membrane system will be used at the Nordic water and waste-water treatment plant.

  • High performance traction motors are made by GE Motors in Peterborough, Ontario for GE Evolution series locomotives. Compared to locomotives built 20 years ago these engines produce 83 per cent fewer particulates and 60 per cent fewer nitrogen oxide emissions while delivering as much as 10 per cent lower lifecycle costs to customers and higher fuel efficiency. CN and CP Rail are using GE’s environmentally advanced and fuel-efficient locomotives.

  • Halton Region (Ontario) Landfill Gas Project is using 2 GE Jenbacher engines with a combined power output of 2.1 MW to produce approximately 17,000 MWh/year from methane gas and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Part of a trend

GE’s actions mirror those taken by a number of large and small corporations. DuPont, for example, expects to realize additional revenues of US $6 billion or more by 2015 from products that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, cut water consumption, or provide other environmental benefits.

Global oil and energy firm BP has re-branded itself as ‘Beyond Petroleum’, and has been increasing its investments in alternative energy. The company has led the way for corporate energy efficiency and emissions reduction, hitting a target of 10% below 1990 levels nine years ahead of schedule in 2001, netting US $600 million in savings.

What GE, BP, DuPont and other firms have realized is that environmental protection is not a profit-killer, but an important contributor to any corporation’s bottom line. The previously widely held belief that environmental sustainability is bad for business has been proven wrong and progressive firms are capitalizing on the growth of ‘green’ markets. Companies large and small are able to reduce costs by cutting energy and resource consumption, and can boost revenues by offering products that can help others do the same.

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