A Sustainable Resolution: The Guardian on GE's Ecomagination

Jan 19, 2012 9:00 AM ET
Campaign: Energy at GE

A Sustainable New Year's Resolution

Now that the holiday season is over, many of us have turned to the annual ritual of committing ourselves to a better future – otherwise known as the New Year's resolution.

Most New Year's resolutions involve obsessing about waistlines rather than bottom lines, but both of these issues get to the core of our patterns of consumption. Our desire to shed weight – and to improve our self-image – has everything to do with our consumption patterns, corporate profits and the future of sustainability.

What if our sense of self-worth came not just from our body image, but from a broader understanding of how we are all connected around the globe – and how we must all consume differently these days? In fact, companies are changing consumption patterns around the world – and that is certainly something to celebrate.

More and more, we're hearing about the need for "sustainable consumption" – which doesn't mean a lower standard of living, just a higher level of intentionality about encouraging more sustainable products, systems and services.

Take for example Unilever, one of the leaders in this area. They are cleverly transitioning people's buying habits towards more sustainable products. Unilever has launched a number of campaigns focused on emissions reduction, packaging and sustainable agricultural sourcing. For example, by 2020 Unilever aims to cut the greenhouse gas impacts of its products in half.

Or how about General Electric, whose Ecomagination line of more sustainable and energy efficient products is leading consumers towards greener and cleaner purchases – all in the name of saving time and money? In keeping with this theme, GE announced recently that it will invest in the largest fleet of electric vehicles in the world – talk about driving innovation!

To continue reading the article, please click here.