Cllimate Change.. GE does change

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Cllimate Change.. GE does change

Postby Tracker » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:23 am

http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/25546

I found this post on WP.. and thought it interesting enough to just simply copy it.. rather than pretend to present it..http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=2228816

.....
Climate change has become more divisive than I could have believed possible. Here is a huge company that makes billions of dollars from renewables and energy efficient products, yet it cannot use climate change as part of its sales.


General Electric Succumbs to Climate-Deniers

We received an email titled, Leading Free-Market Activists Score Major Concession on Global Warming.

The email comes from the National Center for Public Policy Research, which is congratulating itself for convincing General Electric (GE) to never again initiate projects for the purpose of controlling carbon emissions.

Why? Because they might spend money that takes away from maximum corporate profits.

Touting themselves as "free market" defenders, they have spent years going to shareholder meetings, conducting media campaigns and protests to get GE to stop "green energy cheerleading."

"For years, GE has been the poster boy for crony capitalism and corporate America's green energy cheerleader. Now, GE shareholders have confirmation that the company's strategies will henceforth be led by true market forces and not by blind adherence to global warming zealotry," says Justin Danhof, director of the National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterprise Project.

What's the crony capitalism? The fact that GE, along with 6000 corporations, have pushed President Obama (and Bush before him) to address climate change by emphasizing renewable energy and passing national climate change legislation.

That, by the way, benefits GE as it vies for the position of the world's leading wind turbine manufacturer.

Last year, the group managed to get GE's Board of Directors to revise its Corporate Social Responsibility policy so that the company can't "undertake any energy savings or sustainability project for the sole goal of seeking carbon dioxide emissions reductions due to climate change concerns, except as required by law."

At GE's 2011 shareholder meeting, the group tried to oust CEO Jeff Immelt because he supported national cap-and-trade legislation, President Obama's stimulus bill (Recovery Act) and national health care legislation. They also gave GE a lashing because it supported phasing out inefficient light bulbs, "which was pushed on the public as an anti-global warming measure."

Since GE makes light bulbs, it materially benefits from the move to more efficient lighting.

"For the past quarter-century, government and corporate efforts have plowed billions into the promotion and exploitation of the human-caused catastrophic global warming theory," says Amy Ridenour, Chair of the National Center for Public Policy Research. "The result has been higher taxes, greater deficits, higher prices, job loss and greater government control over our daily lives -
all in service of a theory based on computer models that are not coming true.

Yes, they blame all of that on the so-far feeble attempts to address climate change.

"More and more people around the world are waking up to the fact that the global warming theory is about hot air, all right, but that a startlingly high percentage of that hot air is coming from people pushing the theory, not hardworking people going about their daily business. Slowly but surely, the expensive, job-killing and liberty-encroaching global warming leviathan is being defeated. We commend General Electric for taking this step and encourage other corporations to follow its lead," Ridenour says.
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Re: Cllimate Change.. GE does change

Postby Tracker » Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:33 am

..
The changes to the RET will now mean that even fewer businesses will be seeking to profit from Renewable Energy..
That is likely a good thing, given the dramatic over generation potential of the National Grid (following closures of the serious energy consumers)
I would bet that the generators are feeling relieved that renewable projects are now being canned, thus reducing competition in supply..

I wonder what difference it will make for the average taxpayer and resident ..

Cancellation of the Carbon Tax will lead to certain organisations closing, and the distinct benefit of reduced personal living expenses..

Interesting times..
..
.
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Re: Cllimate Change.. GE does change

Postby Smurf1976 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:33 pm

From a purely financial perspective, if GE thinks they can make a profit by cutting emissions then that's what they should be doing. The board is obliged to act in the best interest of shareholders.

If the public considers CO2 to be a problem, then (to use a different company as an example) someone like, say, Coca Cola could gain a marketing advantage simply by reducing emissions. It might cost them more to make Coke in solar powered factories, but it's plausible that the ability to market on that basis might lead to more sales and pricing power for the company thus being profitable overall.

Those arguing that GE shouldn't consider emissions have lost the plot in my view. It's bean counter thinking, not sound business thinking. Just because something costs more, doesn't mean that doing it won't necessarily be profitable overall.
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Re: Cllimate Change.. GE does change

Postby Tracker » Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:58 am

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Re: Cllimate Change.. GE does change

Postby davidg » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:44 am

Smurf1976 wrote:Those arguing that GE shouldn't consider emissions have lost the plot in my view. It's bean counter thinking, not sound business thinking.

Yes, beans counters don't consider the emissions they only look at the bottom line, unfortunately :( and then there is the large Instutional investor/shareholders that demand ROI nowadays essentialy above all else, if it reduces ROI or it's not what was expected, sell shares, because it must be bad.

There is no forecast beyond the current year pretty much, just want the max return. It's what drives publicly listed large corporatations now, one of the reasons why we have the mentality we do in those types of bean counters.

Smurf1976 wrote:Just because something costs more, doesn't mean that doing it won't necessarily be profitable overall.

In publicly listed ROI driven bean counter world though you make less money today, therefore it's not the best way to maximise profit above all else..........
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Re: Cllimate Change.. GE does change

Postby Smurf1976 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:25 pm

davidg wrote:In publicly listed ROI driven bean counter world though you make less money today, therefore it's not the best way to maximise profit above all else..........

But there's plenty of standard business practices that do work on the basis of a loss today = increased profit tomorrow.

Any form of marketing is one of them. You lose money now, with the hope that spending on marketing will produce growth in future sales and profits.

In the case of emissions, it seems plausible to me that, if the public is concerned about the issue, reducing emissions could of itself be used as a marketing tool to boost sales and profit and that is true even if the means of reducing emissions is itself a cost. Eg company A produces a product with an emissions intensity of 1, company B produces the same product with 80% less emissions. Company B has a real opportunity to market on their "green" credentials, leading to increased sales and profit. Even if the emissions reduction itself wasn't strictly profitable in a static accounting sense, it could still be profitable overall if it enables growth in sales and/or charging a premium price for products.

Green power schemes are an example. Electricity is electricity no matter where it comes from, but some utilities have managed to convince a significant number of customers to voluntarily pay more solely on the basis of "clean" production. They get electricity either way, but the consumers are choosing to pay more in order to reduce pollution. The same can be said for cosmetics, detergents etc which aren't tested on animals or have some other "desirable" attribute in their production.

As another example, I'd think that quite a few people who buy Australian built Holden, Ford or Toyota cars are at least partially influenced by them being local produced. They narrowed the choice down to a few different vehicles, and picked the Commodore, Falcon etc on the basis of wanting to buy something locally made for reasons of keeping people in jobs etc. Obviously not everyone does that, but no doubt some do. Anecdotally at least, there does seem to be quite a bit of that thinking in the US - consumers consciously choosing to buy an American made vehicle or home appliance rather than an imported one due to concerns about the economy etc.
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Re: Cllimate Change.. GE does change

Postby Tracker » Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:47 am

if the public is concerned about the issue,


They could simply install their own PV system, and we have already witnessed the results ... ie. Discussion about closing less efficient/profitable power plants..
And the more that individuals like David, get involved in eliminating their entire power consumption, the greater the pressure on the generators to rationalise and close power generators..
And the higher the price of electricity / energy goes, the greater the incentive for industry to provide affordable off-grid systems. :D
..
.
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Re: Cllimate Change.. GE does change

Postby davidg » Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:58 am

Smurf1976 wrote:Any form of marketing is one of them. You lose money now, with the hope that spending on marketing will produce growth in future sales and profits.

For someone like GE that in the budget as a specific ongoing cost that is factored into every product that's sold. PV and energy efficiency is hard to put a clear cost on. easy to do the saving retrospectively often very hard to be highly accurate, unfortunately.

Bean counters often only factor in the saving in the current financial year or maybe few years but not in the longer term typically. "#just saying" based on conversations I've had with couple bean counters, because it's so transparent it kind of gets swallowed up and disappears. :(
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Re: Cllimate Change.. GE does change

Postby Smurf1976 » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:15 pm

davidg wrote:Bean counters often only factor in the saving in the current financial year


I know it all too well. Bean counters are good at telling you how much money you have made but they aren't much help when it comes to making it in the first place. In general, they see the cost side of the ledger but fail to see the link between that and the income side, assuming that cost can be reduced without a resultant drop in income. Been there, seen that one. :)
Last edited by Smurf1976 on Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cllimate Change.. GE does change

Postby davidg » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:21 pm

Smurf1976 wrote:
davidg wrote:Bean counters often only factor in the saving in the current financial year

my statement :lol: :lol:

[Moderator - Indeed it is, fixed in previous post now :) ]
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