20070524 gelightbulbs
GE's website says some of its smartest ecomagination products are lightbulbs — Compact Fluorescent Lighting so efficient, over 90 percent are ENERGY STAR-qualified. - 


LISA NAPOLI: Here's a photo op that's tinged the color green: General Electric's CEO is coming to Hollywood today to promote the company's "green" business initiative. He'll be joined by movie star-turned-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at Universal Studios — which happens to be owned by GE.

It just goes to show what even a big conglomerate like GE will do to grab the ecological spotlight these days. As Sarah Gardner reports from the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, it hasn't been without some prodding.

SARAH GARDNER: GE pledged to more than double its investment in clean energy R ∓ D, reduce its own carbon footprint and sell $20 billion of green-tech products by 2010. That's everything from huge wind turbines to small compact fluorescent light bulbs.

With 45 products now in its "Ecoimagination" portfolio, vice president Lorraine Bolsinger says those goals are in sight.

LORRAINE BOLSINGER: Last year, we sold about $12 billion, and we have an orders backlog of about $50 billion. So we feel very confident that we're well on our way to hit that $20-billion mark.

Green groups have generally cheered GE's efforts. But recently, the Natural Resources Defense Council accused GE of "EcoProcrastination." The company has resisted an aggressive federal proposal to clean up diesel locomotive engines. GE's Bolsinger says the company's simply advocating what she calls a "balanced" approach.

I'm Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.

Follow Sarah Gardner at @RadioGardner