Creating Brighter Lives and a Better World, One Light Bulb at a Time
Sumit Padmakar Joshi, CEO, Signify – South Asia, 0
In 2023, the world continues to warm at an alarming rate. There is a widespread sense of unrest that calls for action, not words, to minimize and avert the damage that humans have caused to the planet. For Signify, this means we need to amplify our efforts, not only in our operations, but across our entire value chain, and help our stakeholders play their role in minimizing the impacts of climate change.
Signify was built on the foundation of 130 years of heritage in sustainability and innovation. Our story as an independent company started in 2016, and in the same year, we launched our first sustainability program, Brighter Lives, Better World. By the end of 2020, we had achieved all our commitments, including becoming carbon neutral and using 100 percent renewable electricity in our operations. Our climate action journey continues with the second edition of our sustainability program: Brighter Lives, Better World 2025, which goes further to ensure we play our part in limiting global warming to less than 1.5 °C in line with the Paris Agreement.
Each of us plays a role in creating positive impact, but those roles are not of equal weight. What is required now is coordinated international planning and fundamental changes in governmental and business thinking. As a global company, we are ready to do our part for meaningful action and lasting change.
Our Journey towards Becoming 100 Percent Carbon Neutral
Sustainability and climate action have been at the heart of our purpose for more than a decade, since we actively took the lead in the transition from conventional to LED and connected lighting. Every year, that purpose comes to life in our offering to our customers and in the way we operate our company.
In September 2020, we became the first lighting company to achieve carbon neutrality in its operations, using 100 percent renewable electricity, ahead of our target and ahead of the aspirations set out by the Paris Agreement.
Over the last decade, we have reduced our operational footprint by more than 70 percent and have been driving hundreds of initiatives to reduce emissions in factories, offices, logistics, and business travel. This means GHG emissions from our manufacturing and non-industrial locations (scope 1 and 2), upstream and downstream logistics activities (scope 3), and business travel (scope 3) are all carbon neutral. We continue sourcing 100 percent renewable electricity in our global operations, contributing to the green energy transition.
Last year, more than 21 percent of our revenues came
Brighter Lives, Better World 2025
Going beyond carbon neutrality, in 2020, we launched Brighter Lives, Better World 2025, a sustainability program that addresses some of the most important challenges of our time. With the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) as our strategic compass, we set targets to double our positive impact on the environment and society by the end of 2025.
While the transition to LED lighting is well advanced, two-thirds of all installed lighting still consist of conventional lighting technology. This shows the significant potential for further reduction of electricity consumption and GHG emissions
With this program, we look beyond the performance of our own operations, increasing positive impact across our entire value chain. In line with our commitment to Climate action (SDG 13) and Affordable and clean energy (SDG 7), we are committed to doubling the pace of the Paris Agreement’s 1.50°C scenario to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over our full value chain by the end of 2025. This means we will reduce value chain emissions two times faster than the Paris Agreement 1.50°C scenario pathway. In other words, we will achieve the Paris Agreement goals for 2031, six years early, as defined by the Science Based Targets Initiative. We will do so by increasing the energy efficiency of our portfolio, enabling our customers to reduce emissions, and driving carbon reduction at our suppliers.
As a testimony to our efforts, we have been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index since our IPO for six consecutive years and were named Industry Leader in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and in the top one percent in the Electrical Components & Equipment industry in 2021 and in 2022. We have also been recognized on the CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) A list for several consecutive years for our leadership in environmental performance.
Changing how we run our company is a key driver of growth. It’s also a commitment to working with our clients and our partners, whether they be corporations, governments, educational institutions, or consumers, to make the lighting industry a force for positive environmental change. Indeed, governments and industry must act, but individuals can also play an important role. There are many residential light points and replacing those with LEDs can have a significant positive impact. While there are close to 30 billion light points in the world, and while the transition to LED lighting is well advanced, two-thirds of all installed lighting still consist of conventional lighting technology. This shows the significant potential for further reduction of electricity consumption and GHG emissions. All of us: world leaders, businesses, and individual households, can and must play our part in securing a sustainable future of our planet for our children, our grandchildren, and for the generations to come.