It’s a marquee week for two of GE’s consumer innovations. On one hand, coffee powerhouse Starbucks has embarked on a massive project to help reduce its global environmental footprint — and as part of it, has begun converting to GE’s LED lighting systems at company-owned stores in the U.S. and Canada. On the other, a GE technology that just jumped from the drawing board to the production line has caught the eye of the tech gurus at Popular Science magazine, which today gave GE’s new hybrid water heater its “Best of What’s New” award in the Home Technology category.
Starbucks has completed installation in more than 1,000 U.S. locations and will expand the program to international markets in March 2010. The switch is part of Starbucks goal to achieve a 25 percent reduction in energy use by the end of 2010.
In addition to its work with GE, Starbucks announced that it has entered into the construction phase of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED pilot program, which is an internationally recognized green building certification system. Over the next six months, Starbucks will build or renovate a minimum of 10 pilot stores in six different regions around the world. The goal is to achieve LEED certification for all new company-owned stores worldwide beginning in late 2010.