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GE Proves Sustainability Can Drive Innovation And Profits.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on May 26, 2007

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.

Join the parade.

Reader Comments


May 26, 2007 3:40 PM

Perhaps GE will push along the trend among major American businesses. Environmental consciousness is the wave of the future, and quite a formidable wave at that. Shortsighted companies and politicians may try to fight this force and they will fail. Meanwhile, companies like GE and others will make a fortune by adapting to the new reality.

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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