GE’s operational GHG intensity dropped 12.4 percent from 2007 (40.65 metric tons of GHG per million dollars in revenue) to 2008 (35.58).
However, GE, which had $182.5 billion in global revenues for the year, also saw its water use rise slightly, from 12.29 billion gallons in 2006 to 12.32 billion gallons in 2008.
Additionally, the company generated more hazardous waste, with 2008 figures of 43,215 metric tons, up 8.5 percent from 39,807 metric tons in 2006, according to GE’s 2008 CSR report, entitled “Resetting Responsibilities” (PDF download). This is GE’s fifth annual citizenship report.
The data reveals some gaps in reporting. For instance, GE reported its greenhouse gas emissions in 2004, but did not in 2005 and 2006, before resuming in 2007 and 2008. The company first reported its water use and waste generation in 2006, but skipped 2007 before resuming for 2008. And the company chose not to report its U.S. toxic release inventory (TRI) for 2008.
Overall, GE’s operational GHG emissions are down, from 7.02 million metric tons of CO2e in 2007 to 6.49 million metric tons of CO2e in 2008.
For an alternative view of the company’s CSR data, visit this page, and scroll your mouse over the categories on the left to reveal charts.
GE is conducting a pilot program to encourage its suppliers to adopt their own management approach to ethical business issues, including protecting environental quality. Read more here.
A rundown of the company’s compliance with GRI reporting standards can be found here.
An index for the company’s compliance with UN Global Compact standards is here.
With regards to GE’s product and services lineup, the company is making investments in the following areas:
- Renewable energy. The company is the top wind turbine manufacturer in the U.S. and No. 2 globally. The company is betting on wind becoming a $6 billion revenue center, up from $300 million in revenue when the company entered the business six years ago.
- Smart grid. GE has high hopes for this sector, citing estimates that a modern digital energy grid could reduce U.S. power usage 10 percent, slash GHG emissions by a quarter and eliminate the need to build $80 billion in new power plants.
- Hybrid transportation. GE is putting $13 million toward building a prototype hybrid fuel-cell bus. GE also has invested $4 million into a hybrid car company and $20 million into a lithium-ion battery firm.
- Waste-to-value. GE is working on solutions to turn wastes into valuable commodities, such as co-generation projects.