Inside GE, Ecomagination is deemed a success, so much so that it has spawned a sister initiative (if you can spawn a sister) called Healthymagination, focused on profitably creating better health for more people. GE says that it expects Ecomagination product revenues to grow at twice the rate of GE’s overall revenue between now and 2015.
The logic behind both initiatives is simple, Bob noted. Big global problems demand big solutions from big companies. GE prides itself on “tackling the world’s most complex and pressing problems,” as chief executive Jeff Immelt writes in the report.
The trouble is, the payoff for GE’s shareholders have been disappointing. I didn’t realize just how disappointing until I put together this chart comparing GE’s stock-price performance to the S&P500 and to a couple of its conglomerate competitors, Siemens and United Technologies.
The Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) has added a power efficiency metric, TPC-Energy, to its ongoing roundups of speedy transactional processing systems. Hewlett-Packard is the first participant to use the new TPC-Energy specification, submitting benchmark results of four of its systems.
“Energy is an increasing factor in the total cost of ownership” for many organisations, said Karl Huppler, chairman of the TPC. The new benchmark will allow an organisation to judge how energy efficient systems are, as judged by watts per performance.
A new report by the Green Scissors Campaign details some $200 billion worth of yearly US government subsidies that the coalition says are “wasteful to taxpayers, harmful to the environment and bad for consumers.” Green Scissors 2010 [PDF] covers four broad areas in which these subsidies occur– energy, agriculture and biofuels, infrastructure, and public lands.
In 2007, the Sierra Club brought the state of Wisconsin to court over emissions from some state-run coal plants used to provide heat and power to some university buildings and a hospital (UW-Eau Claire, UW-La Crosse, UW-Oshkosh, UW-River Falls and Mendota Mental Health Institute). The Department of Natural Resources sided with the Sierra Club, and the state now has a choice between installing pollution-control equipment to greatly reduce emissions, reducing the use of coal by displacing part of it with other fuels, or simply eliminating the use of coal completely
“While electronic devices have greatly improved in many regards, such as in storage capacity, graphics, and overall performance, etc., they still have a weight hanging around their neck: they’re huge energy hogs. When it comes to energy efficiency, today’s computers, cell phones, and other gadgets are little better off than those from a decade ago, or more. The problem of power goes beyond being green and saving money. For electrical engineers, power has become the primary design constraint for future electronic devices. Without lowering power consumption, improvements made in other areas of electronic devices could be useless, simply because there isn’t enough power to support them.”
“Sustainable investments in Asia (ex Japan) could make a huge jump from approximately $20bn today to $4 trillion by 2015 according to research by Vontobel, the Swiss fund manager. Vontobel says it believes sustainability themes are being ‘seriously undervalued’ in a region undergoing a tremendous pace of change in environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards. “
Waste from discarded electronics will rise dramatically in the developing world within a decade, with computer waste in India alone to grow by 500 percent from 2007 levels by 2020, a U.N. study released on Monday said.