Sustainability in Action

Sustainability at an industrial scale

Richard Garrett

Sustainability in the industry sector

In recent years, the concept of sustainability has evolved beyond the narrow confines of energy efficiency and decarbonisation, expanding to encompass a broader spectrum that includes social aspects, health, and well-being. Within the lighting industry, this shift has prompted a re-evaluation of practices, leading to a more comprehensive approach that considers the triple bottom line—economy, environment, and social impacts. This article delves into how a lighting company, focusing on circular design, human-centric workplaces, and systemic economic considerations, can contribute to a sustainable future.

Environmental Sustainability: Circular Design for Minimal Impact

A significant stride towards environmental sustainability in the lighting industry involves the application of Circular Design Rules to products. Circular design prioritises resource efficiency, recycling, and reducing waste, ensuring that products have minimal adverse impacts on the environment from the manufacturing stage onward. For our business, this means a commitment to designing lighting solutions that minimise resource consumption, extend product life cycles, and facilitate easy recycling.

Take an example of a refurbishment project of a production hall that previously utilised High-Intensity Discharge (HID) technology. By replacing the existing HID fittings with HiPak LED, the upgrade resulted in a 57% reduction in energy usage over the lifetime of the luminaires. This shift also translated to a significant environmental benefit, with a reduction of 186,003 kg of CO2 emissions over the same period. The return on investment for this eco-friendly upgrade was achieved in just under nine months.

Furthermore, incorporating sensors into the lighting infrastructure can enhance energy efficiency. In the aforementioned refurbishment project, the addition of presence sensors required no additional wiring, leading to even greater environmental gains. With the sensors in place, the project achieved a CO2 reduction of 236,899 kg over the lifetime of the luminaires, with a slightly extended return on investment of just under 11 months.

Social sustainability: Human-centric workplaces through IoT

Beyond environmental considerations, social sustainability is a vital facet of the lighting industry's journey towards a more responsible future. Integrating Internet of Things (IoT) technology into lighting systems allows us to be more focused on human health and well-being. One example is how your lighting infrastructure can assist in supporting your health and safety teams. Through asset tracking technology you can see where forklift trucks are being used and if they are near other members of staff. This can help us to understand how to further limit potential incidents.

For our business, this translates to a commitment to implementing IoT in our lighting solutions to contribute to a more conducive and adaptive work environment for employees. Human-centric lighting not only improves concentration and mood but also positively influences the overall health and well-being of individuals in the workplace. By prioritising the social impact of lighting solutions, companies can foster a positive corporate culture and contribute to the overall satisfaction and productivity of their workforce.

Economic sustainability: Systemic design for effectiveness

Economic sustainability within the lighting industry involves designing luminaires as integral components of a broader system. This approach aims to maximise effectiveness, offering controls and sensors at all market levels. By creating lighting solutions that are not only energy-efficient but also seamlessly integrated into larger systems, companies can significantly contribute to economic sustainability.

Designing luminaires as part of a system is instrumental in lowering costs and facilitating sustainable refurbishment of spaces. Industry 5.0, the next phase in industrial evolution characterised by the integration of smart technologies and advanced manufacturing processes, aligns with this economic sustainability objective. The European Union's Green Deal, focusing on achieving climate neutrality by 2050, further reinforces the industry's commitment to changes that benefit both the economy and the environment.

Energy and CO2 Savings: A Cornerstone of Sustainable Lighting

Key focuses on lowering costs, sustainable refurbishment of spaces, Industry 5.0, and the EU Green Deal converge on the central theme of energy and CO2 savings. By embracing energy-efficient technologies and practices, the lighting industry can significantly contribute to the global effort to mitigate climate change.

The refurbishment project's example, transitioning from HID to HiPak LED, not only highlighted substantial energy savings but also contributed to a reduction in CO2 emissions. The importance of such initiatives lies not only in their environmental impact but also in their economic feasibility. Achieving a return on investment in under a year for the previously mentioned project underscores the financial viability of sustainable lighting solutions.

The significance of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs)

In the quest for sustainability, obtaining Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for lighting products is crucial. EPDs provide transparent and standardised information about the environmental performance of products, helping customers make informed choices for their projects. By ensuring that the products selected have EPDs, customers can contribute to the broader goal of sustainability by supporting environmentally responsible manufacturing practices and promoting transparency in the supply chain.


In conclusion, sustainability within the lighting industry goes beyond mere energy efficiency or decarbonisation. By embracing a comprehensive approach that encompasses economic, environmental and social aspects, companies can play a pivotal role in creating a more sustainable future. Circular design, human-centric workplaces, and systemic economic considerations are key pillars that can guide the industry towards meaningful transformation. The example of a production hall refurbishment serves as a tangible illustration of the positive impacts that sustainable lighting solutions can have on energy savings, CO2 reduction, and economic viability. As the industry continues to evolve, the integration of Environmental Product Declarations further solidifies the commitment to transparency and responsible practices, empowering customers to make environmentally conscious choices for their projects.