GE’s Ecomagination line of products and services generated $21 billion in revenues and invested more than $2 billion in research and development last year, according to the program’s 2011 progress report.
This means that the initiative, which operates as both an internal corporate sustainability drive and a development program for products and services that can be used by GE’s supply chain and other third parties, has reached more than $105 billion in sales and services since its launch in 2005, the report says.
As a result of the Ecomagination program, GE says it has cut its normalized CO2 emissions by a total of 29 percent from its 2004 baseline, and has achieved a five percentage point improvement against the baseline year-on-year.
The initiative has also helped GE reduce its water use by 13.5 percent since 2010, the report says.
Some 34 new products and services were added to the Ecomagination portfolio in 2011, including the FlexEfficiency 50 Combined Cycle Power Plant, which ramps up and down quickly to enable the grid integration of power from a variety of sources, including solar and wind. The company also last year introduced the Waukesha 275GL+ natural gas engine, which produces lower greenhouse gas emissions relative to comparable natural gas engines.
In 2010, GE launched the Ecomagination Challenge, a $200 million open innovation initiative, which in its first phase sought new ideas from entrepreneurs and start-ups to create a smarter, cleaner, and more efficient electric grid. By the end of 2011, GE and its venture capital partners Emerald Technology Ventures, Foundation Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer and RockPort Capital had invested $134 million in GE’s Ecomagination Challenge winners.
Last year, in the Challenge’s second round of funding, GE awarded 10 energy tech firms, including Hara and Viridity, a share of $63 million in investments and commercial partnerships. The money is funding concepts themed around “Powering Your Home,” including projects in the solar, communications, software and building efficiency industries.
Earlier Ecomagination progress reports can be read here. Click through and scroll down to just above the black bar.