Lighting Industry

Experts gather to address sustainability in lighting

Luminaires being made at the Thorn factory in Durham
In the second online conference on Lighting and the Circular Economy, organised by WEEE-compliance body Recolight, speakers will challenge the industry to set ambitious goals and explore how innovative product design can have a positive impact on sustainability.

INDUSTRY experts in sustainability and product design are set to gather to discuss how the lighting sector can address its environmental impact.

In the second online conference on Lighting and the Circular Economy, organised by WEEE-compliance body Recolight, speakers will challenge the industry to set ambitious goals and explore how innovative product design can have a positive impact on sustainability.

Richard Garrett of Signify will outline the market-leading steps the company is making to become carbon neutral, while luminaire designer Simon Fisher will outline the steps needed to create products for a circular economy.

Environmental campaigner and lighting designer John Bullock will challenge the industry to commit to dramatically reducing its environmental impact.

Russell Parr of Prime Light and a representative of extrusion specialist Elkamet will discuss the use of sustainable raw materials based on renewable resources.

The event, which will be chaired by Lux Review online editor Ray Molony, takes place on Tuesday 14 July 2020 and is free to all.

At the first online event on the circular economy and lighting in May, the lighting sector was challenged to prepare for a radical future of circular economy principles which would see a dramatic increase in reuse and recycling as well as the return of replaceable light sources.

The event brought together government, manufacturers and lighting industry leaders who outlined dramatic changes which will see environmental concerns move rapidly up the agenda.

LightingEurope chief Ourania Georgoutsakou discussed how new EU laws and policies on sustainability will have a major impact on lighting products. 

She discussed the priorities of the new European Commission, the Ecodesign directive and the EU Circular Economy action plan. 

She discussed the impact of the new circular economy requirement for luminaires to include a replaceable light source.

Georgoutsakou also drew delegates attention to the Substance Information Requirements  which will come into force as a legal obligation in the EU at the beginning of 2021.  

And although there is now reasonable pressure from many in the industry to push back on these, and other deadlines, given the Covid-19 crisis, she noted that this might be perceived as a delaying tactic.

Speakers from Defra introduced the UK’s approach of moving from a linear to a circular economy following the UK’s departure from the EU. 

They laid out the Government’s commitment in its 25-year Environment Plan ‘to leave the environment in a better state’ for the next generation, and a zero net emissions target by 2050. The speakers outlined the following plans: 

The Industrial Strategy has ambitions to double resource productivity and to eliminate avoidable waste by 2050. 

The Resources and Waste strategy sets out how the Government will promote resource efficiency and move towards a more circular economy.

The Environment Bill will, once passed into law, give the Government a range of powers to implement circular economy policies, such as wider use of Extended Producer Responsibility.

The speakers discussed Government plans to update the WEEE regulations to encourage reuse, increase collections, tackle online marketplace non-compliance, and encourage eco-design. 

This includes proposals for ‘eco modulation’ of WEEE charges, which would see producers of environmentally better products receiving lower WEEE bills. 

Nigel Harvey, CEO of Recolight, introduced proposed changes to the UK’s Waste Packaging Regulations. 

He noted that the Government policy to require producers to finance the full net costs of packaging recycling could result in charges to producers increasing up to tenfold.  

He also discussed the urgent steps needed to address the huge increase non-compliant sales through online marketplaces. He called for urgent action to address the issue, noting that the change cannot wait until 2023, the planned date for the update to the WEEE Regulations.

Register for the webinar HERE.