Fairfield, Conn.-based General Electric Co. expects to invest $1.5 billion annually in research in cleaner technologies by 2010, up from $700 million in 2004, as part of its much-publicized "ecomagination" initiative.
"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," says Jeffrey R. Immelt, the company's chairman and CEO. "And we plan to make money doing it. Increasingly for business, 'green' is green," he says.
Specifically GE plans to develop solar energy, hybrid locomotives, fuel cells, lower-emission aircraft engines, lighter and stronger materials, efficient lighting and water purification technology.
The diversified manufacturing and services company also plans to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions and to improve energy efficiency. GE says it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, compared to 2004, 1% by 2012 and the intensity of those emissions 30% by 2008. Based on its projected rate of business growth, GE's greenhouse gas emissions would have risen 40% by 2012, the company says.