May 9, 2005

General Electric To Invest More In Green Technology

WASHINGTON (AFP) -- General Electric Co. announced plans to double its investment in "cleaner technologies" for energy, transportation and other areas in a major new environmental initiative.

GE, the world's biggest company in terms of market capitalization, called the announcement an "initiative to aggressively bring to market new technologies that will help customers meet pressing environmental challenges."

The company will invest 1.5 billion dollars annually on the research by 2010, up from the current level of 700 million dollars, aimed at developing new products and technologies. GE said it would also work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of its own operations and that of its customers.

GE chairman Jeff Immelt, in a Washington speech, said the program is called "ecomagination."

"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."

He said the company hopes to take in revenues of 20 billion dollars a year on these products by 2010, double the current level.

Immelt said the initiative will include more environmentally friendly technology for wind and solar energy, hybrid locomotives, fuel cells, lower-emission aircraft engines, lighter and stronger materials, efficient lighting and water purification technology.

The company has operations ranging from aircraft engines to insurance to film and broadcasting, and manufactures products ranging from light bulbs to medical scanners.

"We will establish partnerships with our customers to tackle their most pressing environmental challenges and double our research spending to develop the products and services they need," Immelt said. "And we will use these technologies to improve our own energy efficiency and environmental performance."

Immelt was joined in his appearance at George Washington University by Jonathan Lash, president of the Washington-based World Resources Institute.

"This is a hugely important step by one of the world's most important companies," Lash was quoted as saying in a GE statement.

"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."

Other companies represented at the session were American Electric Power, Boeing, Canadian Pacific Railway, Cinergy, Delphi and Pardee Homes.


On the Net:

General Electric: http://www.ge.com/en/