Experts say true eco-transformation of big business is under way

Big business is going green … hey, where you going? No, we mean it this time! Old-guard financial-services firm Goldman Sachs Group just announced new policies to promote forest and climate protection, and intends to invest $1 billion in alternative-energy projects. Procter & Gamble, seeking to trim oil costs, is subbing vegetable oil for petroleum products in Tide detergent and Head & Shoulders shampoos. General Electric’s “ecomagination” products reaped $10 billion in sales in 2004. Many major corporations now have sizable green divisions. Meanwhile, some smaller green-leaning businesses say they’re getting warmer welcomes when seeking financing, as investors look to put resources into clean power and eco-friendly technology. “The environmental industry is about to take off, as more investors realize that they can reap returns from cleaner technologies,” says Dan Bakal of Ceres, a coalition of investors and eco-advocates. But, um, could they please hurry up?