GE has announced the expansion of its “ecomagination” strategy, committing to reduce its global water use by 20 percent by 2012.
GE also reported that revenues from its environmental portfolio topped $14 billion in 2007, up more than 15 percent compared with 2006, and the company’s “cleantech” fund — investment in cleaner technology research and development — surpassed $1 billion for the first time.
The announcements coincide with a new report (PDF) on the progress of GE’s ecomagination strategy.
GE set out in 2005 to grow revenues from its ecomagination products to $20 billion in 2010 and now forecasts that it will surpass $20 billion by 2009, which raises the company’s annual ecomagination revenue goal to $25 billion by 2010. GE said it would invest more than $1 billion on cleaner technology research and development for 2007, drawing closer to its pledge to invest $1.5 billion annually on ecomagination R&D by 2010.
In 2007, GE’ says its GHG emissions were 7.02 million metric tons, a reduction of eight percent from its 2004 baseline. GHG Intensity and energy Intensity improved by 34 percent and 33 percent, respectively, compared to 2004. The company says it has also reduced its total energy use by seven percent since 2004.
Each year, GE adjusts its 2004 inventory to account for divestments and acquisitions. With the divestment of its Plastics business in 2007, its adjusted baseline inventory is now approximately 32 percent lower than its initial 2004 inventory.
Although the number of large GE GHG inventory sites is approximately the same as in 2004, about 27 percent of the sites in its original inventory have been replaced by newly acquired sites and the company is measuring its progress
GE’s mechanisms to manage GHGs and energy include “energy treasure hunts,” a Lean manufacturing-based process originally developed by Toyota. More than 200 treasure hunts have been conducted globally across GE to date, and that process has driven a reduction in GHG emissions of 250,000 metric tons, according to the company.
GE has also started an eCO2 awards and certification program recognizing those sites that achieve at least a five percent GHG reduction. To be certified, sites must demonstrate that reductions were achieved independently of any changes in production levels. During 2007, 46 sites were certified and 10 sites received eCO2 awards based on results and use of GE technology.
According to GE’s ecomagination website, if seven percent of the land area of Arizona were covered with GE’s GEPV-200-M solar modules, it could generate an amount of energy equal the average daily electricity demand of the entire U.S. If a typical 75,000-square-foot “Big Box” retail store in the the U.S. mid-Pacific region covered its roof with GE’s GEPV-200-M modules, it could generate more than 6.1 million kWh of electricity each year.