THE WORLD’S largest lighting company, Signify, has signed up to Prince Charles’ Terra Carta initiative, an environmental plan which puts nature, people and the planet ‘at the heart of global value creation’.
The Terra Carta is a 10-point plan which asks supporting firms to comply with nearly 100 actions as the basis of a recovery plan.
Signify, which sells its luminaires, controls and lamps under the Philips Lighting brand, became carbon neutral last year.
It joins big brands including the Bank of America, BP, AstraZeneca and private equity behemoth BlackRock as signatories.
A Signify spokesman said: ‘We are extremely proud to support this initiative and truly believe in its cause after achieving carbon neutrality in September 2020, with plans to double our positive impact on the environment and society by 2025’.
In November, Signify CEO Eric Rondolat was named Lux Person of the Year, partly for his strategy of putting sustainability at the heart of the company, ‘not as greenwash, but as a key differentiator for the brand’, said the judges.
However, the company’s recent push into UV-C products – a major strategic investment by Rondolat in 2021 – has been questioned.
Specifically, critics have pointed to the a free-standing unit with visible UV light aimed at domestic consumers.
In a statement the company said: ‘The Philips UV-C desk lamp… uses UV-C technology which has been proven by scientific studies to disinfect against a vast host of viruses, bacteria, germs and mites.
‘Indeed, people and animals should not be exposed to UV-C light as it is harmful to the eyes and skin.
‘However, the potential hazards associated with the use of UV-C are well understood, and proper protective measures are described in standards to prevent these.
‘Earlier this year, the Global Lighting Association (GLA) brought together industry experts and developed UV-C Safety Guidelines , which define additional protective measures for countries who may require these.
‘The guidelines assist light source and product manufacturers to ensure that UV-C products are manufactured, installed and supplemented with instructions to ensure safe use at all times.
‘Signify has contributed to these industry guidelines to enable the broadest safe use of the technology to address the current pandemic and, in general, to enable the effective inactivation of pathogens.
‘Our products take these additional protective measures into account. When using the Philips UV-C desk lamp, users are not only asked by built-in voice guidance to leave the room before the light turns on, but they also benefit from additional protection through built-in sensors that detect movement from humans and instantly shut down the lamp upon detecting such movement.’