The U.S.-based lighting company, affiliated with Royal Philips Electronics, was recognized yesterday by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the first company in the U.S. to launch a company-wide 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 company-wide initiative across all of its production facilities,” said U.S. EPA 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.” (Photo: Philips Lighting Company North America President and CEO Kaj den Daas (right) accepts recognition from EPA Regional Administrator Donald S. Welsh.)
According to the EPA, Philips Lighting reduction in mercury and lead is a cut worthy of national attention since it represents 37% of the EPA’s national chemical reduction goal for 2011 for all businesses and companies reporting priority chemicals.
“It only makes sense for us to implement these waste minimization changes across all of our facilities at the same time,” said Steve McGuire, Environmental Manager, Philips Lighting Company. “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 plans to continue to refine the technology modifications and product designs it first developed in 1995 to further reduce the levels of mercury in its 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 company states this 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.
“What consumers may notice is that their light bulbs are lasting longer and providing them with energy-efficient savings,” said Steve Goldmacher, Director, Corporate Communications, Philips Lighting Company. “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 taken more than 48,500 pounds of mercury out of its lighting products since 1995 and in effect, out of the environment through non-use.