Biodiversity is the foundation of a healthy planet. It is vital to ecosystem health and productivity. Biodiversity loss is a critical global problem that displays its effects on both local and regional levels. GE understands that the health and preservation of biodiversity are fundamental to ensuring a sustainable future for communities, nature and businesses.
Because biodiversity and ecosystem health are intrinsically linked and are critical global concerns, GE strives to continually improve and revamp our greenhouse gas emission reduction and water programs, which help to reduce the global stress on biodiversity resulting from climate change and water scarcity.
Global Volunteer Efforts
GE Volunteers contribute to environmental efforts where they live and work to help improve local and regional biodiversity through habitat improvement, community cleanup and education projects. In 2016, for example, GE Volunteers participated in the Mayor’s Challenge during GE Global Community Day as they beautified the city and its parks by performing outside work, such as planting, trimming, mulching and cleaning up debris downtown in Cincinnati, Ohio parks. In Brazil, there was a “hands on” project with volunteers who participated with the in collection/separation of paper discarded for trash (recycling). Please visit GE Volunteers to learn more about their impactful projects.
The Bandipur Tiger Reserve is one of the oldest and largest tiger sanctuaries in India and a global biodiversity hot spot. Beginning in 2009, the team at GE Global Research partnered with local agencies to restore degraded forests and improve wildlife habitat through a variety of activities. These activities are ecologically critical and improve livelihoods among modest local village communities. The volunteers rejuvenated more than 2,000 acres in Lokkere Reserve Forest, planting more than 50,000 native trees, clearing many acres of invasive plants, and installing check dams and trenches to store rainwater to improve groundwater percolation for wildlife and forest health. Check out the you tube video to hear more about the afforestation project.
The GE Power Operations & Maintenance team in Muridke, Pakistan has a strong commitment to protecting the environment and always strives to bring innovative ideas to fruition. This year the team launched a project which encouraged every employee to plant a Conocorpus tree in the “Eco-Birthday Park” at the site on the eve of his or her birthday. This project will greatly support the national campaign for much needed forestation in the country. In addition, the team also launched an awareness project to educate students and local villagers on risks imposed to the environment due to human activities. Team’s efforts on environmental sustainability were recognized by National Forum on Environment and Health, Pakistan (NFEH) and team was awarded with a CSR award which was presented by the provincial governor during an award distribution ceremony.
LCA and Biodiversity
GE employs a standardized approach called life cycle assessment (LCA) to evaluate the environmental impacts of selected products throughout their life cycles. In the field of LCA, some methodologies are focusing more attention on biodiversity loss, while continuing to improve other methods that focus on broader impacts that affect biodiversity, such as water depletion, ecosystem quality, climate change and land use. If the results of an LCA study indicate a hot spot in any of these impact categories, additional examination would uncover a better understanding of any local biodiversity impacts. GE is also beginning to apply some of the latest LCA water-impact-assessment methodologies, which address the impact of regional water consumption on ecosystem quality and biodiversity.