GE’s investment in ‘Ecomagination’ has paid off in a big way. Revenue from the sales of its line of energy-efficient products and services is rising by 21 percent per year, reaching $17 billion.

The Ecomagination program is a label for GE’s portfolio of 80 eco-friendly products and services as well as the company’s own ambitious environmental objectives, which it outlined in 2005 with benchmark goals in 2008, 2010 and 2012.

Ecomagination technology also helped GE lower its own greenhouse gas emissions and energy usage. In its most recent CSR report, the company reveals that it managed to reduce its operational greenhouse gas intensity by 41 percent since 2004, surpassing its goal to reduce the figure 30 percent by 2008. It also reduced its absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 13 percent and improved energy efficiency by 37 percent since 2005.

Solar panels, high efficiency lighting, EnergyStar appliances and biogas engines are just a handful of the Ecomagination products currently in the works, and soon there will be even more. GE increased its investment in the research and development of clean tech solutions by 27 percent and spent $1.4 billion on it in 2008. The company is even working on sustainably designed hospitals and hybrid locomotives.

So, it’s full steam ahead for GE as it positions itself as a leading innovator in sustainable technology, and greens up its own operations in the process.  The company still has a challenge ahead in proving that its Ecomagination line can continue to perform well during the economic downturn, but if GE’s own success with Ecomagination products is any indication, consumers will catch on to the benefits.