General Electric

Big Business Takes Lead On Clean Energy Movement

Corporate America is taking up the mantle for the green-energy movement, realizing that renewable fuels and energy conservation are good for the environment and make sense economically.

The latest evidence of this came forth today, when General Electric and General Motors announced they are teaming up on an energy-efficiency program with a payback period of only six months. GE says in this story that the annual energy savings to the automaker's production process will be significantly more than the cost of implementing the program.

The new system is surprisingly simple and, according to this CleanTechnica story, involves, among other things, GE synchronizing the conveyors in GM factories with lights and other equipment. This is just another example of energy-efficiency measures producing a robust return on investment - and of Big Business taking up a leadership role in Big Green.

Consider what Mike Duke, CEO of Walmart - which is greening its supply chain and installing solar panels, wind turbines and fuel cells - said in a recent statement that we noted in a blog: "Business should not see a conflict between doing what is right for business and what is right for the world."

As if on cue, Diageo, the world’s leading premium distilled spirits, beer and wine company, followed up by announcing today that it achieved carbon neutral status for its North American corporate fleet in 2010.

Want more evidence? On Friday, the United Nations implemented a program encouraging businesses to share best practices on sustainability - and immediately signed up 54 companies, including heavy-hitters such as Nestle, Shell and Coca Cola.

With business leading the charge, the green movement could pick up speed.