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General Electric has been building market share based on a brand name that is associated with the company. This brand name has become so popular that it can be found on in most households. As the world's largest company, General Electric achieved consistent growth in sales. General Electric products have become synonymous with environmental safety in the consumers „minds. The company has capitalized on consumer recognition of the GE logo, thus avoiding the need for costly advertising. This strategy has allowed the company to price its products slightly below those of similar brands. The future growth of General Electric performance remains clouded. The environment is changing, leaning toward nonmarket issues. The Superfund Act, Clean Water Act, and the Clean Air Act help provide markets for products. The economic environment has changed. There are more two-earner families, more health conscious consumers, as well as more environmentally conscious consumers. The nonmarket environment is most important since it represents the opinions of the general public. General Electric Limited is a multinational enterprise which is well known for its technological innovation, leadership and quality in the industry. This report will discuss the impacts of the company‟s strategic plan on the environment and the effect of non-market forces on the companies‟ profits.
For decades, General Electric had a role in Canada's nuclear industry developing Ontario's first pressurized heavy water reactor with Atomic Energy of Canada, Limited and Ontario Hydro. Since the 1970s, the focus has been on fuel supply, fuel handling systems, and fuel services. General Electric has designed nuclear power plants in eleven countries. In the event of a nuclear meltdown there is a ninety percent chance that radiation from these reactors would be discharged directly into the atmosphere. While the United States nuclear regulatory commission is aware of the problem, it continues to license General Electric. General Electric came under attack for its operations of nuclear weapons facilities. A boycott was directed at the company by the United Methodist Church, Physicians for Social Responsibility and Infact which produced the documentary film, Deadly Deception: General Electric, Nuclear Weapons and Our Environment. Physicians for Social Responsibility claimed that its campaign against General Electric caused physicians to switch purchases of $43 million of medical equipment, such as magnetic resonance imaging machines from General Electric to other suppliers. General Electric denied that the campaign had any effect, but in 1993, sold its aerospace division which included its nuclear weapon business.” The Infact boycott led to a film, "Deadly Deception: General Electric, Nuclear Weapons and Our Environment." Infact was the executive producer of the film, which won the Oscar for short documentary film in 1992 and gave the campaign the visibility it needed. Infact was able to document $75 million in lost sales for GE because of the boycott, and
Antitrust In a letter to shareholders General Electric stated they expect Honeywell to give them double digits earning per share and within two years add one to two percentage points to GE‟s bottom line growth. however. The reason for blocking this merger centered on the economic theory of bundling.” (Meller. which would give Honeywell an unfair advantage over its direct competitors. but the company eventually accepted a plan to clean more than 40 miles of the Hudson. The European Commission. 2005). causing the companies to abandon their merger plans. The Commission‟s rejection hinged on their assertion that because General Electric and Honeywell were market leaders in their respective aeronautical fields. by polluting the environment where General Electric products were manufactured.G. Honeywell shareholders approved the merger and in 2001.In 1980. General Electric moved quickly to acquire Honeywell whose businesses were a complimentary fit with their aircraft engines. in two phases. General Electric instead of complying with the superfund law is lobbying congress. from Fort Edward to the Troy dam. “One of the commission's arguments was that GE could force aircraft builders to take a bundle of products including Honeywell's avionics equipment. General Electric is one of the largest polluters on the political economy research institute‟s toxic index. the merger would allow them to bundle complementary products at unbeatable prices. The index is based on EPA toxics release inventory data which ranks the nation‟s largest companies based on the quantity of their emissions and relative toxicity of chemicals emitted. 2003). 2007).A. (Quote). industrial systems and plastics businesses. General Electric has threatened to move operations to Mexico unless the state and . “The only ways to solve the problem. addressing the law in court and holding media conferences which cost the company millions. decided in the late 1980s. congress passed the superfund law which created a tax on petroleum industries and has provided federal authority to respond to threats of hazardous substances that might endanger the environment. the United States approved a merger between General Electric and Honeywell after the companies agreed to some minor fixes. General Electric stated that dredging the river would stir up PCBs and the EPA responded by stating this fact was false. spent millions of dollars on advertising trying to convince local residents that dredging was worse than doing nothing.”(DePalma. However.six months later the company announced it was pulling out of the nuclear industry. were to remove or cap the PCBs. However. rejected the merger.” (English. Thus. they could price other firms out of business and then assume a monopoly status. the E. Corporate Social Responsibility Jack Welch made General Electric the most valuable company in the world. The company polluted the Hudson River with PCBs which was believed to cause cancer.P.E. General Electric fulfills the duty of social responsibility only when the company pays taxes. he did not fulfill the duty of corporate social responsibility.
and will potentially reduce future market share by lagging behind in those areas. it is perhaps better known for its environmental mismanagement. This objective of taking a leadership role in environmental issues can be addressed through initiation of the following: • Corporate environmental strategy. the Housatonic River and the upper Hudson River. General Electric pumped over one million pounds of PCBs into the Hudson River. According to the 2001 annual report. however. By increasing environmental product differentiation they could potentially increase their market share. innovation and name brand reputability. all of which are contaminated with toxic polychlorinated biphenyls are the Coosa River.3 million pounds it dumped. General Electric‟s corporate environmental strategy pledges to comply with existing environmental standards and fails to prioritize proactive pursuits. General Electric produces a environmentally friendly products. • Product Differentiation. the company continued to release PCB‟s until mandated to stop by the federal government. In taking signals from the market only. The Company is. In 1976. Between 1947 to 1977. when this toxin was deemed a cancer-causing agent.000 pounds of the 1. General Electric is currently involved in federal superfund sites and has spent in excess of one billion in cleanup costs. pulling out 100. • Profit Margin. giving up the opportunity to use its power and influence to initiate social and environmental change. As a direct result of this waste disposal practice. In 2001 the director of the Environmental Protection Agency. General Electric‟s net earnings were fourteen billion. values which are becoming increasingly important to the general populous as information is increasingly available and corporate induced international disasters are frequently in the media. When the EPA finished a ten-year long assessment it proposed that General Electric dredge hotspots along a 43-mile section. two hundred miles of the Hudson River is now listed as the United States largest a federal superfund site. General Electric fails to see the larger global trend towards international and domestic responsibility. Conclusion Although General Electric has demonstrated some environmental stewardship. General Electric‟s response was to challenge the superfund law. Recommendations General Electric is a global leader in terms of profitability. they spent fifty million for capital projects related to the environment and a . Three of their most notorious sites.federal government lower their taxes which show General Electric‟s lack of corporate social responsibility. charged General Electric responsible for the multi-million dollar cleanup.
Several non-market issues like climate change are likely to impact corporations in the near future. In reducing the prices. • Spending. . economies of scale will allow the goods to truly be offered for a lesser price. General Electric uses strictly numbers to shape its direction.hundred million to cleanup superfund sites. General Electric is in a position to promote greener consumption by subsidizing the price of select environmental goods. For example. General Electric spent one hundred million on an aggressive campaign regarding the Hudson River. General Electric could gain a competitive advantage when those issues come to pass. demand increases. Over the next two years they expected to spend around fifty million on projects that would demonstrate environmental responsibility. As a leader in the industry. • Shaping consumer preference through subsidies. Perhaps that money would have been better spent on cleanup costs or increasing awareness about the green products that it produces. and a shift in preference for green goods will have been achieved. clean power sources like Energy Star appliances. Once the volume of the good has reached a critical volume. • Non-market issues. By considering non-market issues now.
com/2007/05/0 /nyregion/01 river. Meller.E. English.1. p. B. P. (2003.Retrieved from http://www. The New York Times. GE and Honeywell lose merger appeal. Taking down the Marlboro Man.nytimes. Retrieved from http://www. May 1). (2007. December 14).1. Retrieved from http://www. The New York Times.com/ae/media/articles/2003/12/23/taking_down_the_malboro_man.References DePalma. A. (2005.The Boston Globe. .html.nytimes. Moves Ahead on Removal of PCBs From 2 Rivers.com/2005/12/14/business/worldbusiness/14iht-merger. G. p. but Frustration Remains.boston.1. December 13).html. p.
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