(Bloomberg) -- General Electric Co. aims to be carbon-neutral at its more than 1,000 factories and other facilities worldwide by 2030, leaving aside emissions from the fossil-fuel burning products that have defined much of the company’s recent history.
Accomplishing its goal will mean eliminating the 2.39 million metric tons of carbon dioxide produced by the company’s operations in 2019 -- roughly equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of more than 516,000 passenger cars.
Absolute cuts to direct emissions and energy use will account for a majority of the reductions at the maker of gas turbines and jet engines, Chief Executive Officer Larry Culp said in a post Thursday on LinkedIn.
“Climate change is undoubtedly among the foremost” of world challenges, Culp wrote. “We have been sharpening our strategic focus on GE’s role in helping solve the global energy transition.”
The goal comes as GE emphasizes cleaner technologies in its portfolio of power-generation equipment, such as massive offshore wind turbines, amid a multiyear decline at its gas power-plant division. GE in September said it would stop selling equipment to new coal-fired facilities. It also secured a contract to supply the world’s largest wind farm, in the North Sea off England’s Yorkshire coast, with 190 turbines.
From 2011 through last year, the company reduced its own greenhouse gas emissions by 21%, beating its goal for a 20% drop by this year.
A bigger challenge may exist beyond the company’s direct control: the roughly 7,700 GE gas turbines installed at power plants worldwide. GE omits emissions produced by gas-fired turbines at customers’ facilities from its annual environmental reports. Such plants are substantial contributors to global carbon emissions. GE jet engines run on fossil fuels as well.
The Boston-based company is in discussions with its customers, suppliers and others about reducing emissions in their industries, Culp said on LinkedIn.
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