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GE recently said that it has doubled the sales of its “green” products and services to $12 billion over the past two years. This is a very important number, showing that sustainability is moving beyond the “corporate responsibility” box into the “biz-dev” world of generating revenues and profits. As more and more companies understand that going green is not only an obligation but a path to profitability, we will see sustainability built into economy and society.
I think we are already at the tipping point. When GE shift to “ecoimagination” as a management theme, the US joined Europe in going green. CEO Jeff Immelt made driving revenues by going green his personal agenda and GE has succeeded remarkably well. Wind turbines, energy-efficient appliances, water-purification and—next up—hybrid electric-gas locomotives are all sustainable products.
Recently, IBM, News Corpo and Citigroup announced that they would invest bilions of dollars in efforts to boost sustainability—carbon trading, alternative energies and energy efficiency. All expect to make real profits.
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