GE's "ecomagination" will double R&D, promote clean technologies to meet environmental challenges
"Ecomagination," a new worldwide initiative by GE, will more than double the multinational company's investment in research and development on cleaner technologies, introduce a steadily growing number of environmentally beneficial products and reduce the company's own greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy consumption.
The program was unveiled last week in Mississauga, Ontario by GE Canada president and CEO Elyse Allan, who outlined its Canadian aspects. On hand as well was Nani Beccalli, president and CEO of GE International, who detailed the specifics of GE's global commitment.
"Ecomagination is about the future," Allan said. "We will focus our advanced technologies to support our customers and address Canada's environmental challenges. By using GE's unique energy, technology, manufacturing and infrastructure capabilities we are developing tomorrow's solutions such as solar energy, hybrid locomotives, fuel cells, lower-emission aircraft engines, lighter and stronger materials, efficient lighting and water purification technology," she explained.
GE began rolling out ecomagination in the U.S. in May, underscoring its focus on the pressing need for efficient sources of energy, abundant supplies of clean water, and safe, cost-effective and environmentally friendly technology. Through this initiative, the company will:
* more than double its investment in R&D, from $700 million (U.S.) in 2004 to $1.5 billion (U.S.) annually in research on cleaner technologies by 2010.
* 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 (U.S.) in 2004 to at least $20 billion (U.S.) in 2010. 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 own 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% by 2012 and the intensity of its GHG emissions 30% by 2008 (both compared to 2004). Based on the company's projected growth, GE's GHG emissions would have risen 40% by 2012 without further action.
Supplementing these commitments, GE has pledged to keep the public informed by regularly reporting its progress in meeting these goals.
Glen Murray, chairman of the National Roundtable on the Environment and Economy commended GE's commitment, observing that "their leadership will inspire other companies to innovate technical solutions to our global environmental challenges and to learn that addressing these problems is also good business. As the National Roundtable addresses Canada's challenges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to build a more sustainable economy, it is very encouraging to have GE Canada at the table leading the way with this initiative," he added.
Allan noted that in Canada, ecomagination technologies are already in use or will be coming on-line soon. For example, significant GE wind power is coming on stream in locations all over Canada. The GE Evooution Series locomotive, which uses less fuel and produces 40% fewer emissions than current models, will be used across the country by Canada's major railroads; some of its components are manufactured in Peterborough, Ontario. And the GEnx engine, which will power the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787, has components manufactured at GE's Bromont, Quebec plant.
GE has initially singled out 17 products that meet its ecomagination criteria. These products must significantly and measurably improve customers' environmental and operating performance. Examples include products that are considerably more energy-efficient than existing technologies, renewable resource technology such as wind power and products that meet third-party efficiency or environmental standards. Detailed information about all of these products is available on the ecoimagination Web site, www.ge.com/ecomagination.
GE provides a diverse range of products and services through its six global businesses: GE Commercial Financial Services, GE Infrastructure, GE Industrial, GE Healthcare, NBC Universal and GE Consumer Finance. The company is among the leaders in energy-efficient power generation technologies, renewable energy technologies, water purification, and energy-efficient consumer appliance and lighting products. It also manufactures some of the cleanest, most energy-efficient aircraft engines and locomotives. GE operates in more than 100 countries around the world; it has more than 150 sales and service locations, 15 major manufacturing plants and 9,500 employees in Canada.
More information is available from Paul Jacot at GE Canada, 905/858-5678;