Philips Participates in the Gulf Environment Forum to Boost the Switch to Energy Efficiency
March 7, 2010 12:00 by Aarti Nagraj
March 7, 2010
PHILIPS PARTICIPATES IN THE GULF ENVIRONMENT FORUM TO BOOST THE SWITCH TO ENEGRY EFFICIENCY
Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) announced today its participation as the Sustainable Lighting Partner during the Gulf Environment Forum that is taking place in Jeddah from the 7th till 9th of March. The company will also be present on the panel discussion ‘Ingraining Environmental Sustainability Practices in the Region’.
Philips’ participation comes in line with making a significant thrust to advance energy efficiency in the GCC and the Middle East as a whole. The time is now for governments, businesses and civil societies to decide how to combat climate change and secure our energy future.
At the venue, Philips will display a booth with a pledge wall where people can sign their oath to take simple actions in saving energy and switching to energy efficient lighting.
The Gulf Environment Forum (http://www.gulfenvironmentforum.com) is organized under the high patronage of HRH Prince Turki bin Nasser bin Abdulazziz; President of the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment and with the support of the United Nations Environment Programme and the GCC union of chambers of commerce and industries.
The forum comes at a time of huge investment, with GCC region signifying their commitment to a sustainable future, enabling huge opportunities for major lucrative contracts to be made.
On this note, Louis Hakim – VP of Royal Philips Electronics and CEO of Philips Middle East, comments: “On the 19th of October 2009, Philips announced its voluntary decision to phase-out the sale of home use incandescent lamps in the GCC as of September 2010, and made a call to make the switch to energy efficient lighting with the aim of reducing carbon emissions.” He also adds: “Cities as well have a crucial role to play in addressing global warming; therefore, Philips will also call for action to ensure that renovation of existing infrastructure and buildings in cities is accelerated in the battle against climate change.”
Lighting accounts for approximately 19% or one third of the world’s total electricity use, the total savings that can be made are huge. Today, 22% of the electricity used in the Middle East is spent on lighting, which is a higher rate compared to the rest of the world. For homes, up to 80% savings can be made by converting from conventional lamps to energy efficient ones. If GCC consumers switch their homes to energy efficient lighting solutions, this will already save up to $400 million and 5.1 megaton in CO2 emissions annually.
It is not enough to only switch to energy saving lights at home or create new, low-energy buildings. In fact, also municipalities and companies can make a difference right now, being able to significantly reduce energy consumption and carbon emission, and as such also costs. All this can still be achieved with better lighting solutions that will enhance people’s lives at work, in the city, on the road and at home.
For example in Europe, 75% of non-residential buildings like public offices and schools are old 1940’s technology and only 1% is using lighting controls. The current rate of renovation in offices is only about 7% per year and in street lighting, it’s not more than 3%. At this pace, it will take 30 years to be able to reap the environmental and economic benefits, therefore it is essential to refurbish the existing facilities.
Philips’ phasing-out initiative is just one of many that are currently taking place to create more consciousness on the environment and energy saving among different stakeholders like the educational councils, municipalities, NGOs, utilities and property owners.
Other initiatives include, an in-school program, ‘Knowing is sharing and acting’, which focuses on the environmental benefits of energy efficient lighting, targeting elementary and secondary school children in the UAE. In addition, Philips has signed an investor membership with the Dubai Quality Group to help develop customized energy efficiency workshops for lighting designers, consultants and end users. Philips has also partnered with Dubai Tourism in their ‘Go Green Tourism Award’ to educate and support hotels to switch to energy saving solutions.
“As part of Philips’ corporate social responsibility, the company will continue to explore opportunities around the world to help educate and encourage energy efficiency and carbon reduction, for a better quality of life and a healthier well-being”, adds Louis.
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For further information, please contact:
Philips Corporate Communications, Middle East & Africa
Tel: +9714 3095155
About Royal Philips Electronics
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a diversified Health and Well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through timely innovations. As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of “sense and simplicity”. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs more than 116,000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of EUR 23 billion in 2009, the company is a market leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure with strong leadership positions in flat TV, male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at www.philips.com/newscenter