Our carbon offset essay contest winner


    December 16, 2019


    From Nov 11 – Nov 28, Signify employees around the globe were encouraged to write a short essay on carbon offsetting. Learn more about this contest (including the fabulous prize) and read the winning essay


    For our first essay contest we had submissions from colleagues around the globe – poetic, learned, opinionated, personal and above all, engaging! The topic – or at least the idea behind the topics – was carbon offsetting.

    What is carbon offsetting?

    At Signify, we’ll be going completely carbon neutral in 2020. Total carbon neutrality covers emissions from industrial and nonindustrial locations (like offices and warehouses), logistics and business travel.

    As part of this initiative, we invest in carbon offsetting projects, compensating for CO2 emissions of our activities by preventing the same amount of emissions from entering the atmosphere elsewhere.

    As well, these projects help us support communities in emerging economies to transition to a low-carbon economy. Our selected projects also drive social, economic, and environmental progress for the communities within which they operate.
    pen hand writing

    What’s the carbon offsetting essay contest?

    All Signify employee were invited to write an essay on the topic of “why carbon neutrality matters to me” or “the world I want to live in”. We received many great entries, and our jury was impressed with the passion and inventiveness of all of them.

    Well, after sifting through all the entries and making deliberations, our jury found one deserving winner. And that is Duane Shore, Marketing Manager of the Consumer channel in our Pacific market. Congratulations Duane!

    Duane wins a visit to our carbon offsetting project in Indonesia. We’re investing in upgrading a geothermal energy plant there, and Duane will get a site visit and tell us all about it! (The carbon footprint of the journey will, naturally, be offset).

    Here's his deserving essay. And keep reading afterward to see the names of our runners-up and the complete shortlist!

    The means of our redemption

    Late afternoon. The sun – an angry red orb – peeks through a veil of smoke. The world beyond burns. The official start of the fire season is still months away and yet the land is already scorched. The lingering smell of burnt eucalpyt fills the air. The birds, having escaped the furnace, aren’t present to welcome the coming twilight.

    In exercising our dominion over nature, we have forgotten that it’s only nature that’s eternal.

    Walking the earth, consuming her resources, we have understated the role of the fossil fuels that power our livelihoods. Fuels created over millennia are consumed in the spark of a car’s ignition, the switch of a lamp.

    Moreover, our world is reformed as that consumption leads to pollution.

    Greenhouse effects, global warming. Bush fire seasons without end.

    Yet, standing amid the blackened earth, I stand within the means of our own redemption!

    Let us harness the rays of that angry red sun, have it power our future. Let the wind and the kinetic energy of the waves spin turbines to generate electricity. Let us no longer gouge the earth for coal and minerals but green areas that now stand bare. Let us embrace the might of the world itself with renewable sources of energy and allow for our scorched earth to heal itself.

    That it may become a playground for the generations that follow.

    Let our rallying cry begin with carbon offsetting and evolve beyond mere economics to harness a new science.

    I shift the dark soil beneath my feet. My eyes catch a glimpse of color. From beneath the blackened earth, there springs a single blade of grass, green as if it were born of a new morning. That this world can be reborn without the interference of humankind is obvious. That we need to let it, essential. We need only give it a chance.

    -Duane Shore

    The rest of the winners’ podium

    Duane is a very deserving winner, though the following Signify employees were hot on his heels, submitting excellent work that greatly impressed our jury.



    • Jonathan Hardy
    • Kars-Michiel Lenssen

    Each runner-up will have a tree planted in their name, as a tangible contribution to offsetting carbon.



    • Abigail Cionciolo
    • Michael Piper
    • Roel Broods
    • Magali Dupin
    • Daniela Restrepa


    Congratulations to all the winners, and of course a big thank you to everyone who took the time to submit their work, we truly appreciate your passion, dedication and way with words!

    Key Signify carbon facts

    • In 2020, 100% of our electricity will come from renewable sources
    • At the end of 2019, 15 market are already carbon neutral
    • The remaining four markets will join in 2020

    About the author:

    Ryan Millar

    Ryan Millar


    Chief Editor

    For further information, please contact:

    Signify Global Integrated Communications
    Neil Pattie
    Tel: + 31 6 15 08 48 17

    About Signify


    Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) is the world leader in lighting for professionals, consumers and the Internet of Things. Our Philips products, Interact systems and data-enabled services, deliver business value and transform life in homes, buildings and public spaces. In 2023, we had sales of EUR 6.7 billion, approximately 32,000 employees and a presence in over 70 countries. We unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. We have been in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index since our IPO for seven consecutive years and have achieved the EcoVadis Platinum rating for four consecutive years, placing Signify in the top one percent of companies assessed. News from Signify can be found in the Newsroom, on X, LinkedIn and Instagram. Information for investors is located on the Investor Relations page.

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