SOMERSET, N.J.—Philips Lighting Co., the U.S.-based lighting company affiliated with Royal Philips Electronics, was recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the first company in the United States to launch a companywide effort towards meeting the EPA’s National Partnership for Environmental Priorities (NPEP) waste minimization standards.
As a new partner in the national program, Philips Lighting has committed to reducing the amount of mercury used in the manufacturing of its fluorescent lamps by 780 pounds by the end of 2007. In addition, the company has committed to eliminating the amount of lead in all of its U.S. lamp manufacturing processes by 1.5 million pounds by 2010.
“Philips Lighting has demonstrated its industry leadership by undertaking waste minimization as a companywide initiative across all of its production facilities,” says U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator Donald S. Welsh. “While other companies have committed a single plant to implement a waste minimization plan, this is an industry first and a substantial step towards reducing the levels of toxic materials in our environment.”
According to the EPA, Philips Lighting’s reduction in mercury and lead is a cut worthy of national attention because it represents 37 percent of the EPA’s national chemical reduction goal for 2011 for all businesses and companies reporting priority chemicals.
Part of Company’s Eco-Vision
Philips has initiated this effort because of its natural fit within the company’s sustainability and eco-vision mission to manufacture and produce products that require the lowest level of toxic materials, while still delivering the most energy-efficient, longest-life lighting product for its customers.
“It only makes sense for us to implement these waste minimization changes across all of our facilities at the same time,” says Steve McGuire, environmental manager, Philips Lighting Co. “As Philips continues to reduce our dependence on both mercury and lead to produce our lighting products, we’ll be using less of these materials in all our plants and will help prevent higher levels of mercury from entering the environment.”
Philips Lighting will continue to refine the technology modifications and product designs it first developed in 1995 to further reduce the levels of mercury in their fluorescent lamps and the lead in all its lighting products. With the changes planned, Philips Lighting will reduce mercury levels particularly in its fluorescent lighting. The change equates to nearly two tons of mercury reduction in the manufacture of light bulbs over the next five years. Additionally, Philips has committed to reducing the level, and in some cases, completely eliminating all of the lead in the base and glass sleeves of its incandescent bulbs by 2010.
While these reductions will ultimately have a long-term impact on the environment, customers won’t be able to tell a difference in the brightness or quality of the lighting.
“What consumers may notice is that their light bulbs are lasting longer and providing them with energy-efficient savings,” says Steve Goldmacher, director, corporate communications, Philips Lighting Co. “What they should know is that Philips is still leading the lighting industry in developing and producing the most advanced lighting that leaves the least environmental impact.”
Philips’ efforts have already taken more than 48,500 pounds of mercury out of its lighting products since 1995.
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