General Electric Goes Green on Marketing and Policy

10 May 2005

US global conglomerate General Electric Company, America's largest company, has read the green writing on the wall and on Monday announced the rollout of a far reaching investment, marketing and policy plan that will address global environmental concerns.

Among the technologies in which GE aims to pump its new verdant pectorals are cleaner coal-fired power plants, a diesel-and-electric hybrid locomotive, and an agricultural silicon that cuts the amount of water and pesticide used in spraying fields.

It aims to hit $20 billion in sales of environmentally cleaner products by 2010 - or double the amount it has currently achieved. Hitting that target would account for 20% of the company's estimated industrial sales.

According to GE chairman/ceo Jeffrey Immelt, those sales targets will be reflected in its advertising approach, one flank of which will urge the US energy industry to take the lead in dealing with carbon-dioxide emissions in a "carbon-constrained world."

Typifying GE's new ad approach is its Ecomagination campaign. In one TV treatment, attractive male and female models pose as coal miners, biceps exposed and flexed as a voiceover intones: "GE is making coal more beautiful".

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff