Congrats Signify! The first lighting company to use 100% renewable electricity and achieve carbon neutrality

The world leader in lighting, Signify, again demonstrates sustainability leadership and has achieved carbon neutrality for all its operations globally, as well as using 100% renewable electricity, in which ECOHZ played an important role.

We spoke with Maurice Loosschilder, Head of Sustainability Strategy & Reporting at Signify to better understand how they reached their renewable energy target.

What has Signify done to reach the RE100 commitment and use 100% renewable electricity in all operations globally? 

Reaching 100% renewable electricity is a very important building block in achieving carbon neutrality.

We have invested in Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) by making long-term commitments to purchase renewable electricity for our operations. We have two Virtual Power Purchase Agreements (VPPAs) – one in Texas powering our operations in North America and one in Poland. Last year we were the first multinational company to sign a VPPA in Poland. It was important for us since 25% of our electricity is used there and it helps shift Poland from a coal-based electricity market to a more renewable one.

We also invest in green tariffs as well as Energy Attribute Certificates (EACs), contributing to a cleaner local electricity grid.

How is Signify collaborating with ECOHZ to reach the 100% target?

Signify has been collaborating with ECOHZ to source certified and high-quality EACs for our global operations, following RE100 and CDP technical guidelines. In 2017, in partnership with ECOHZ, Signify was the first international company to secure renewable electricity in the Gulf region with solar energy.

Signify is an early mover when it comes to renewable electricity coverage across 6 continents. In 2020, ECOHZ has expanded the supply to us, including EACs from Australia/Oceania for the first time. Successful sourcing across 6 continents requires planning and working closely together. We start with budget estimates early in the year and agree on a strategy for sourcing, later update electricity consumption numbers, and finally ensure appropriate documentation for reporting.

“Collectively contributing to the SDGs means not only driving change in our own organization, but joining forces with our many partners. If everyone takes small steps, we’ll make big strides together.”

Nicola Kimm, Head of Sustainability, Environment, Health & Safety

How do you use the SDGs and collaborate with others to reach them?

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are Signify’s strategic compass.

The SDGs provide a framework for society to take action and drive change. We aim to play an important role in achieving these goals through our sustainability program ‘Brighter Lives, Better World 2025’. We have set ambitious targets through which we will contribute directly to the six SDGs: 3, 7, 8, 11, 12, and 13. Collectively contributing to the SDGs means not only driving change in our own organization but also joining forces. If everyone takes small steps, we will make big strides together. That is why we have developed numerous strategic partnerships over the years and we will continue to do so.

What plans do you have for reducing emissions in your supply chain?

In our new sustainability program ‘Brighter Lives, Better World 2025’ we commit to double the pace of the Paris Agreement to reach the 1.5°C goal – 6 years earlier. We will reach the 2031 pathway in 2025 by further reducing carbon emissions for our operations but also over our entire value chain.

We will increase the energy efficiency of our portfolio to reduce emissions of our customers and continue to drive carbon reductions in our supply chain.

Each year we reach out to our strategic suppliers to encourage them to report on scope 1 and 2 emissions and on emission reduction activities. We support them with training and tools to enhance transparency. Thanks to our efforts, we have made the top spot in CDP’s first ever Supplier Engagement Rating and are recognised as a leader for our work with suppliers to reduce emissions and lower climate-related risks in the supply chain.

“We believe sustainability drives business growth. Customers want to work with sustainable companies and are increasingly embedding sustainability criteria in tenders and looking at performance in ratings.”

All the efforts Signify does on sustainability gives many awards as a sustainability leader. What kind of impact does this have on employees, customers and investors? How does this effect your brand?

Indeed, we have been recognised as Industry Leader for the third consecutive year by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, and we are on the CDP A-list for several consecutive years for our leadership in environmental performance to name a few. We are extremely proud that our teams have been recognised for our continued progress on sustainability, which is central to our company purpose.

It is very important for us and our stakeholders to be named for our leadership and contribution to the challenges the world is facing. Not only does it create pride and enthusiasm among our employees, it also builds trust and credibility towards our customers and investors.

We believe sustainability drives business growth. Customers want to work with sustainable companies and are increasingly embedding sustainability criteria in tenders and looking at performance in ratings. We are actively driving the transformation in our industry, being the leader in lighting business and leading in the shift to LED and connected lighting.

More about what makes Signify a sustainability leader.

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