For over 100 years, GE has been investing and growing its presence across Western Europe. Today we employ over 50,000 people, and the region is home to the headquarters of several of our global businesses. We also have one of our global research centers in Munich, Germany. Dedicated to innovation in the areas of energy, health, transportation and infrastructure, we are committed to leadership, partnership and human progress.
Throughout Western Europe, GE employees take pride in the work we do. Good citizenship inspires our thinking and drives our actions, whether we’re inventing things that matter, reducing our impact on the planet or addressing critical community needs.
Healthymagination is GE’s global commitment to reduce costs and improve quality of healthcare while increasing access to it for millions of people. It is a business strategy that seeks to help people live more healthily while helping the Company grow.
One of our flagship healthymagination projects in Western Europe has been to work with Homerton University Hospital in London, U.K. to enhance its maternal infant care. Approximately one in nine newborn babies requires some form of specialist hospital care in the U.K. and Hackney has higher-than-average infant mortality rates, at 6.5 per 1,000 live births. To help eradicate this problem, GE donated medical equipment including fetal monitors, incubators and magnetic resonance scanners to the hospital.
GE is also committed to improving the health and well-being of its employees in Western Europe. Each site with over 150 people is required to become Health Ahead-certified, meaning that it must fulfill criteria such as encouraging employee uptake of annual physicals and preventive screenings, and improving access to healthier meal options and fitness facilities.
GE Volunteers have been active in Europe for over 20 years and have well-established programs around GE sites focusing on areas of local need and driven by the energy and passion of the GE employees. In 2012, more than 11,500 employees in Western Europe took part in approximately 960 projects, donating 95,536 hours to the local communities where they live and work.
Every week, GE Volunteers help children build core skills by reading with them, mentoring or helping with homework. In Milan, Italy, volunteers have been working with underprivileged young people at the Martinitt Institute for over five years, giving young people a chance to improve their future prospects.
In Germany, GE Volunteers take young people from a local orphanage out to climb trees. In France and Switzerland they hold “Sport Benefit” workshops to help underprivileged children learn how to keep healthy.
In Norway, GE Volunteers work with the elderly and infirm at Eldredagen, an annual event planned and executed 100% by GE employees, involving outings and a party for the elderly. In Denmark, work focuses on Asylum seekers who have limited or no access to work while their cases are pending. The volunteers teach them new skills through learning and doing. Across Europe, sites support the homeless by collecting items of warm clothing, toiletries and provisions for food banks.
Ecomagination is GE’s commitment to address challenges such as the need for cleaner, more efficient sources of energy; reduced emissions; and abundant sources of clean water. Our valuable products and solutions can help European governments meet the European Union’s 2020 targets.
For example, our Integrated Compressor Line (ICL) technology, developed at our Oil & Gas facility in Le Creusot, France, helps compression plant operators meet growing operational and environmental challenges. Using an integrated system with a single casing for the compressor and the motor, and driven by electricity rather than gas, ICL technology saves energy and avoids associated CO2 emissions. Customers in France and Germany are currently using this technology.
In the U.K., GE is a patron of the Wetlands and Wildfowl Trust (WWT), supporting the charity’s international conservation work and free education programs for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Employees also volunteer at WWT centers throughout England.
Throughout Europe, GE Volunteers work on local environmental and construction projects, clearing woodlands, refurbishing community centers, making playgrounds more exciting and creating sensory gardens. In Scotland, volunteers have helped many schools create greenhouses from old plastic bottles.
Innovation is at the very heart of GE. Across Europe, some 36,000 employees at over 60 centers are devoted to research and development (R&D), engineering and manufacturing. Our innovation focuses on solving customer and societal problems, forging partnerships that extend our capability, and designing a wide range of products.
At our GE Global Research – Europe facility in Germany, researchers are focused on renewable-energy technologies including waste heat recovery for industrial and power applications and grid integration of green energies. Molecular imaging for cancer diagnostics is also a research priority.
GE Europe has a strong relationship with Junior Achievement / Young Enterprise Europe, with several senior GE leaders serving on both the European and local boards. The GE Foundation supports JA/YE through funding at the local level and for the annual Innovations and Creativity Camp held in Brussels, where GE Volunteers from Belgium, Spain, Switzerland and the U.K. come together to take part.
DIVERSITY AND STEM EDUCATION
Sites across Europe have developed their own programs to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in schools. GE Oil & Gas, GE Energy and GE Aviation all have projects based on young people exploring the technology that goes with each GE business. There is a strong focus on encouraging girls to go into engineering. At GE Aviation in the U.K., their award-winning Girls Get SET project has positively influenced over 2,000 girls in the last three years.
The GE Women’s Network is extremely active in Western Europe, providing a specific forum to engage with female employees, develop their leadership skills and share best practices from across the globe.