Companies in the LED business are energy savers. Global lighting and controls manufacturer Acuity Brands calculates the savings its customers made in 2020 from using its LED-based products in place of older, energy-hungry products amount to 9.7 million kWh attributable to LED fixtures, and 3.3 million kWh from the use of lighting controls.
Driver manufacturer eldoLED, an Acuity Brands company, is consistently pioneering efficient ways for users to light space with LEDs. One of the most effective is to avoid producing more light than users need. eldoLED has never produced a non-dimmable LED driver. Customers today choose its high efficiency LED drivers for their superior dimming performance—including flicker-safe dimming and Dim to Dark capabilities.
These dimming controls deployed in building automation systems enable users to run building-wide energy-saving programs. High efficiency LED drivers from eldoLED support every mainstream lighting control protocol—from legacy 0-10V to DALI-2, DMX, pulse dimming and wireless Casambi networking. Via the drivers’ built-in LEDcode interface, proximity and ambient light sensors can turn the power down or off completely when the application does not need full power.
We're finding new ways to meet its environmental responsibility by rethinking the design of our products and by greening our operations. By doing so, we're contributing to the Acuity Brands multi-year sustainability plan.
Sustainability At The Heart Of Our Company
So why are we emphasizing our engagement in their sustainability program?
We've put our responsibility to stakeholders and the lighting community front and center from its founding in 2003. Our mission is to help the lighting community deliver LED lighting which is comfortable, efficient, healthier and intelligent through the supply of smarter digital drive solutions. This is consistent with its vision of a world in which illumination matches natural light in its character and quality.
This vision of ‘natural’ lighting rests on the assumption that nature has implicit value to all of us who share this planet. Customers agree: our interactions with the lighting design community leave no doubt that the environmental impact of lighting is a top priority for specifiers and users alike. Reiterating the message that we cannot sustain our relationship with our customers and end users without taking environmental responsibility for our products.
The eldoLED sustainability program is part of the wider EarthLIGHT initiative of Acuity Brands. Its plan sets ambitious goals for the performance of the group in terms of environmental impact, social responsibility and governance.
Environmental goals include:
25% reduction in group-wide energy consumption by 2022 compared with the 2019 baseline
25% reduction in carbon intensity (CO2 emissions per dollar of revenue) compared with 2019
25% improvement in the CO2 footprint of the raw materials the company uses compared with 2019
Designing Products For Sustainability
Our part in the EarthLIGHT plan has two important elements. The first is a program to reduce the environmental footprint of our products. This is partly about minimizing the environmental impact of customers’ use of the products. High efficiency eldoLED drivers for sale globally comply with the most stringent energy standards applied anywhere. Specifications such as ENERGY STAR® in the US and the European Union’s Code of Conduct for Power Supplies set high efficiency benchmarks for lighting equipment.
We also play an active part in industry groups such as the GreenLight Alliance. The GreenLight Alliance facilitates collaboration between manufacturers and users in efforts to implement the concept of the circular economy.
We’re also working to reduce the direct impact of the products which it manufactures. Here’s three ways we’re working to achieve this:
Product Development Emphasis
A new emphasis in product development on reducing the size and weight of drivers. This has two sustainability benefits: reduced materials usage and reduced resource usage in shipment.
Environmental Footprint Of Materials.
Reduction of the environmental footprint of the materials are built into eldoLED drivers. All eldoLED products are REACH- and RoHS-compliant. These aren’t the only calculations that we rely on—we’re also leveraging TM65 calculations in the upcoming year.
Other research includes identifying methods for monitoring the source of raw materials. This reduces and eventually eliminates the use of materials sourced from conflict zones and from environmentally sensitive regions.
Additionally, we’re also working on ways to reduce the packaging used to ship products to customers. The EarthLIGHT initiative already reduced cardboard packaging by 71% across more than 50 Acuity Brands product families. On an annualized basis, Acuity Brands expects to use 721,375 fewer metric tons of cardboard and 324 fewer truck trips.
Reduction Of Disposal Products
We're also reducing the impact of our products on disposal. The most effective way to do this is by avoiding disposal altogether. eldoLED LED drivers already achieves market-leading reliability and are known for their longevity.
On disposal, RoHS-compliant eldoLED drivers are continually being made more recyclable. This is consistent with the company’s end-to-end responsibility for the impact of its products, from raw material extraction through to disposal of the finished product. This fiscal year, we're actively investigating a recycling program for their LED drivers.
Greening eldoLED Operations
Sustainable products are one element of our contribution to the EarthLIGHT initiative. Greening our operations is the other important element.
The Acuity Brands goal of carbon neutrality underlies eldoLED’s 2021 investment in renewable energy. Currently, we’ve installed one thousand solar panels at our headquarters building in Eindhoven. The Netherlands supply most of the building’s daytime consumption of electricity.
A heat exchanger for space heating has also superseded a gas-fired heating system. The company’s direct gas consumption for space heating fell from more than 52,000m3 in 2017 to almost zero in 2019—the heat exchanger’s first full year of operation. Now, the gas heating system is only used in periods of extreme cold weather and as a back-up heater for when the heat-pump system is undergoing maintenance or repair.
A Planet For People
The extension of the eldoLED sustainability program is not for some abstract purpose—it’s to help make the planet a better, safer home for nature and people.
Our company’s vision of lighting which is comfortable, efficient, healthier and intelligent speaks to our sense of social responsibility. This social responsibility shines through in the wider initiatives to support our communities in which people live.
For example, we sponsored the Catharina Research Fund—a Dutch medical charity which is researching new treatments for life-threatening diseases.
Staff at our HQ have also forged links with a local community group that serves children in underprivileged areas. Staff donations of books and toys have allowed us to provide children with gifts to celebrate special occasions and achievements.
Green Agenda In Tune With The eldoLED Philosophy
Long before the founding of the GreenLight Alliance, the California Energy Alliance, the Alliance to Save Energy—and other industry groups in which Acuity Brands participates—we were committed to a philosophy of design which minimized resource use.
This encompasses the functioning of our products—supporting user-friendly dimming so that lights can operate at reduced power. It also dictates the design of products in which form fits function. ‘Less is more’ is a design ethic applied throughout our organization.
Our continued commitment to environmental responsibility across every aspect of eldoLED operations comes naturally. Together, eldoLED and the wider family of Acuity Brands companies are now on track to greater sustainability, for the good of customers, stakeholders and the whole planet.