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Lighting efficiency should be at the heart of any serious environmental policy

Despite the great strides taken in recent years to run businesses in a more environmentally-friendly way, companies are still failing to cut their energy burn and it’s costing their shareholders and the planet dearly.

“Firms across all industry sectors like to play the ‘green card’ by being seen to add solar panels to their buildings, put up wind turbines in the car park and plant flowers on roundabouts, but a plan to reduce energy consumption has to be the starting point for any realistic energy efficiency policy,” said David Fanthorpe, senior lighting systems designer at Leicestershire-based luminaire specialist, Ecolighting.

Nothing burns more energy within a building than lighting. In fact, it is estimated that in a warehouse or distribution centre unit, for example, lighting costs account for around 70 per cent of the annual energy spend.

But, replacing old and inefficient sodium light fittings with ultra-efficient, modern LED luminaires can dramatically cut these costs and the CO2 emissions that go with them.

 “At one logistics company where we recently upgraded the warehouse lighting, the yearly lighting bill went from £6,116 to £937, saving of £5,179 (83 per cent) in 12 months. The company’s annual CO2 emissions were slashed too, from 29,482 kg to 4,999 kg,” said Fanthorpe.

“At a similar operator’s site we were able to cut annual lighting costs from £15,035 to £3,030, an annual saving of over £1,200 or 80 per cent. CO2 emissions went from 84,321 kg to 16,992 kg.

“Introducing energy efficient lighting will reduce any company’s CO2 emissions and save a sizable chunk of the money spent on energy. Any company that is serious about its environmental credibility and minimising operating costs simply has to review its lighting policy,” concluded Fanthorpe.

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