At the Parisian climate summit, Dutch group Philips has committed to become carbon neutral by 2020. It feels the lighting industry plays a crucial part in the fight against climate change.
Lowered carbon emissions 40 % since 2007
Philips says it has already lowered its carbon emissions 40 % in the 2007 - 2015 time frame, thanks to an increased focus on renewable energy (which grew from 8 % in 2008 to 55 % in 2014). It will now speed up its efforts as Philips Lighting's CEO, Eric Rondolat, announced in Paris that the company wants to lower its carbon emissions even more in order to get to zero within the next 5 years.
"The current state of affairs is that we are at the climate change's tipping point and have to conclude that the worldwide contributions do not suffice. We may be heading towards a potentially worldwide catastrophe if the temperatures continue to rise. We need to set ambitious goals regarding our energy efficiency", he said.
One of his solutions is something that would also benefit Philips as a company. "Faster adoption of LED lighting, improved renovation of our current urban infrastructure and increased adoption of solar-powered LED lighting would be very advantageous."
"Major role for lighting industry"
Despite the aforementioned personal benefit, the CEO does have a point. Research has shown that the worldwide annual energy efficiency improvement could be twice as fast if everyone used current technologies optimally. That move alone would help lower carbon emissions by 50 % of the amount needed to limit climate change to 2 degrees Celsius.
The lighting industry has a crucial part to play, as lighting currently represents about a fifth (19 %) of the world's electricity usage. If more integrated LED lighting systems were used, which can be controlled from a distance and only need to be activated when necessary, up to 80 % of energy can be saved. "The worldwide transition to LED lighting will save up to 53 % of energy between now and 2030, compared to the "business as usual" model", Eric Rondolat said.