GE commits $15 billion for environmental R&D

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By Besta Shankar | June 28, 2010 11:02 PM EST

Towards offering environment friendly solutions, GE’s investment crossed $5 billion in 'ecomagination' research and development in 2009, a year before the stipulated schedule, said a report released on Friday by the company.

Ecomagination is a major initiative of GE aimed at achieving the twin objectives of offering solutions to prominent environmental challenges globally and recording profitable growth. GE had started this initiative in 2005.

GE’s revenues in 2009 were up by 6 percent to $18 billion from a range of energy-efficient and environmentally advantageous products and services.

"Ecomagination is one of our most successful cross-company business initiatives. If counted separately, 2009 ecomagination revenues would equal that of a Fortune 130 company and ecomagination revenue growth equals almost two times the company average," said Jeff Immelt, chairman and CEO, GE.

"We have made bold investments in ecomagination research and development and it has resulted in strong returns for shareholders," he added.

In 2010, GE wants to double its investments in clean research and development as against the $1.5 billion investment in 2009. Further, it intends to invest $10 billion over a period of next five years.

GE is now committing that ecomagination revenue will grow at twice the rate of total company revenue in the next five years, making ecomagination an even larger proportion of total company sales, the report said.

Greenhouse gases (GHG) intensity was reduced by 39 percent in 2009 compared to 2004 levels. And GHG emissions from its operations were reduced by 22 percent compared with 2004.

The report outlined that by 2015, company targets to improve its energy intensity by 50 percent and reduce GHG emissions by 25 percent compared with 2004 levels.

GE reduced water consumption by 30 percent compared with 2006 levels, exceeding much before, the target of 20 percent reduction by 2012.

With respect to improving the public involvement in its environmental commitment, the company said “GE is continuing ongoing discussions, dialogues and communications to engage with the public on our ecomagination efforts. Coming soon in 2010, the company will launch an updated website at where the public can learn more and engage in a dialogue about GE, ecomagination, our customers and our diverse stakeholders.”

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