General Electric Co. will invest $10 billion in environmentally friendly products by 2015, double the amount it spent in the past five years, under Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt’s “ecomagination” program.
The 2010 target of investing $1.5 billion a year in new products tied to the initiative was reached a year early, GE, the world’s biggest maker of jet engines, power-generation equipment and locomotives, said in a statement today.
Immelt set benchmarks for increasing GE products’ energy efficiency while reducing their water use and emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and ozone. The revenue goal was $20 billion a year by 2010. The more than 90 products linked to the effort generated $18 billion in sales last year, according to Immelt’s annual report.
“We did a lot of work evaluating the types of innovations we’re talking about: $10 billion is a big number, but one we think we’re capable of,” Steve Fludder, a GE vice president and program leader, said in a telephone interview. He added that the goal will be to increase revenue at twice the rate of GE’s total gain. “We did all the due diligence to verify that these are commitments we can deliver on,” he said.
Greenhouse gas intensity, which GE defines as the ratio of such emissions to revenue, was cut by 39 percent in 2009, topping the goal of a 30 percent reduction. The company said “absolute greenhouse gas emissions” from GE operations were reduced by 22 percent compared with 2004, the last full year before the ecomagination initiative.
GE, based in Fairfield, Connecticut, fell 40 cents to $15.39 yesterday in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares had climbed 1.7 percent this year before today.