US: GE to Unveil Green Initiative

Publisher Name: 
Financial Times

Jeffrey Immelt, chairman and chief executive of General Electric,
will on Monday unveil a plan to invest in and develop technology that
seeks to reduce the environmental impact of industrial development.

GE plans to invent "green technology" that will be safer for the
environment than current products and will double its current spending
on research to develop new products.

The company will also commit to reducing greenhouse gases and make the environmental consequences of its work more transparent.

GE's plan comes as the Bush administration is encouraging
businesses to develop technologies that are safer for the environment.

The group's energy division has already developed a process that
converts coal into a gas before burning it, making it a much cleaner
process than that used by traditional coal plants.

Mr Immelt will give a speech at George Washington University in
Washington DC where he will describe the company-wide initiative, known
as "ecomagination".

GE joins other industrial companies that have decided a focus on
the environment could improve their bottom line as well as their
reputation with customers. The hope is that the technologies developed
through research become growth businesses.

BP,
the UK energy giant, has for some years been running a campaign known
as "Beyond Petroleum". It last month announced plans to invest more
than $130m on new clean diesel facilities at its Whiting, Indiana
refinery and said its BP Solar division had expanded a program that
enables Home Depot
customers in California to obtain complete installed solar home power
systems that can reduce electrical bills and increase home values
"without adverse impacts to the environment".

Several carmarkers, inlcuding Toyota and General Motors, have found success selling automobiles with engines that use both petrol and electricity.

For about a week, GE has been running advertisements on the
networks of NBC, which it owns, to promote its company-wide
"ecomagination" campaign. The ads feature an elephant dancing to
"Singin' in the Rain".

AMP Section Name:Energy
  • 183 Environment