GE's Green Business Rakes in $17B for 2008 -- a 21 Percent Jump in Revenue

GE's Green Business Rakes in $17B for 2008 -- a 21 Percent Jump in Revenue

General Electric's revenue for its portfolio of environmentally sensitive products and services grew 21 percent last year and rose to $17 billion, according to the firm's annual ecomagination report.

The 34-page report released today
also announced that the GE surpassed a key corporate commitment to environmental responsibility by slashing its operational greenhouse gas intensity -- the ratio of GHG emissions to company revenue -- by 41 percent by the close of 2008.

The GHG intensity reduction target, which had been 30 percent, is the first of three increasingly ambitious environmental goals that were set in 2005 and call for achieving specific performance thresholds in 2008, 2010 and 2012.

GE said it reduced its absolute GHG emissions by 13 percent and energy intensity by 37 percent as of the end of 2008 compared to the baseline year of 2004, which places the firm on course for reaching its 2012 goals.

The report detailed the company's efforts toward the goals in addition to the growth of the ecomagination product and service line and its revenue.

Ecomagination offerings, which range from refrigerators and smart meters for the home to turbines and engines for industries, now include 80 products and services. The number represents a 30 percent increase compared to the portfolio in 2007, the report said.

In addition, the company's 2008 investments in cleantech research and development increased by 27 percent, rising to $1.4 billion, according to the report. By comparison, the GE's cleantech R&D investment was $750 million in 2005.

The company's business and environmental goals for the coming years include:

• Bringing annuals sales of ecomagination products to $25 billion by 2010.
• Investing $1.5 billion annually in ecomagination R&D by 2010.
• Improving energy efficiency by 30 percent by 2012. (GE has already met its 2012 target to cut absolute GHG emissions by 1 percent, the goal it set in 2005.)
• Reducing water consumption by 20 percent by 2012; the company's water use was flat last year.
Several GE ecomagination initiatives have recently made headlines.

Earlier this month, the company outlined plans to open a $100 million state-of-the-art, heavy-duty battery manufacturing plant just north of New York's state capital. Establishment of the facility will effectively centralize research, development and commercialization for GE's new battery business.

In April, Miami Mayor Manny Diaz announced the $200 million "Energy Smart Miami" smart grid project that partners his region with General Electric, Cisco Systems, Florida Power & Light and Silver Spring Networks to deploy smart meters on every home and most businesses in Miami-Dade County.

And in house, GE employee "treasure hunts" for efficiency opportunities that have yielded $110 million in energy savings.


Image courtesy of General Electric.