Circularity – Lighting solutions that preserve value and avoid waste


    October 2, 2020


    Our circular commitment aligns the goals of our customers, the growth of our business, and the future resources of our planet


    At Signify, sustainability is core to everything we do. Our business and consumer customers expect to work with companies that make a positive contribution. Operating sustainably is not at odds with our growth, but is our guiding direction and competitive advantage.

    With this in mind, we have identified five strategic areas where we will grow our business while furthering our contribution to a better and more sustainable world. These five growth areas are defined based on the major trends facing society, and on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. And one of these growth areas is circular economy. The most recent article was on climate action.

    A circular economy does more with less

    As a global society, we are incredibly and untenably wasteful. Today, we use 1.6 times the volume of resources that our planet can sustain. Every day, 1440 garbage trucks of plastic are dumped into our oceans. The current ‘take-make-waste’ model isn’t working, and it has to change.

    This is not only an ethical matter. As a business, it makes sense to do more with less. As the world continues to overuse its precious, limited resources, increasingly scarce materials will become more expensive and more challenging to source. We owe it to our customers, and to the world, to do better.

    We are committed to doubling our revenues from circular products, systems and services to 32%”

    I believe the answer lies in circularity: creating products with minimal waste that can be upgraded, serviced, reused, refurbished, or recycled. That is why we’re committed to doubling our revenues from circular products, systems and services to 32% by 2025.

    One example of this commitment is our launch, earlier this year, of new generations of street luminaires designed for a circular economy.

    global waste

    Meeting the global waste challenges

    When it comes to waste reduction, we’re making haste. Today 90% of our industrial waste is recycled. And by the end of this year we’ll achieve zero waste to landfill in our manufacturing locations.

    The next step is already on our roadmap and underway: Signify will be plastic-free in all consumer packaging by the end of 2021. That’s a saving of 2,500 tonnes of plastic per year. Smaller packaging has an important added bonus: it’s lighter and cheaper to ship, reducing the carbon footprint of our transport and materials.

    circular lighting

    Circular lighting portfolio

    Our circular lighting portfolio aims to preserve value and avoid waste and consist of four categories: serviceable luminaires, circular components, intelligent systems, and circular services.

    • Serviceable luminaires are fixtures that are upgradable, serviceable, connectable, energy efficient, reusable, and recyclable
    • Circular components are exchangeable and have recyclable parts, such as drivers, controls, and LED boards
    • Intelligent systems monitor serviceable luminaires and enable preventive maintenance
    • Circular services aim to prolong lifetimes and provide customers with end-of-contract options

    A great example of our serviceable luminaires are our 3D printed luminaires. These luminaires have been modularly designed and can be upgraded to meet the emerging needs of customers.

    Whether these needs are performance improvements (higher efficacies in lm/W or better light quality), a diverse look and feel (different housing), or a system upgrade, the modular concept facilitates these needs. Instead of replacing the whole luminaire, modules can be exchanged or added, thus preserving value and avoiding waste.

    3D printing is the new, powerful tool that helps us design and manufacture customized, recyclable products for consumer and business customers.

    Furthermore, a 3D printed luminaire has an up to 47% lower carbon footprint for its materials, production and logistics than its conventional equivalent. What’s more, 3D printing allows us to manufacture on demand and close to customers, reducing the carbon footprint of our freight operations. It’s even possible to print using materials that often end up in landfill, like unwanted CDs.

    3D printed luminaires can be made to our customers’ precise specifications and customized in a fraction of the time it takes to create conventional luminaires”

    Of course, this isn’t the only reason we’re excited about this growth area. 3D printed luminaires can be made to our customers’ precise specifications, blending with existing fixtures or integrating highly customized design features, and delivered in a fraction of the traditional manufacturing lead time. It’s one of the ways we’re innovating for brighter lives and a better world.
    Signify 2020 - Innovations for brighter lives and a better world

    Closing the circularity loop with services

    Services can be circular too. We support our customers’ sustainability objectives with our innovative Light-as-a-Service (LaaS) model, combining lighting design, installation and maintenance in a single contract.

    The connected systems tell us exactly when and where to perform maintenance. This cuts down on waste, costs, downtime, and manpower. At the end of the contract, the equipment can be returned to Signify to be reused or recycled. It’s in everyone’s interest to optimize product efficiency and lifespan.

    Innovation is part of our identity. Our teams nurture creativity and the desire to experiment, iterate and improve, and this approach has kept Signify at the pinnacle of the lighting industry for over a century.

    I’m excited to see what we can all achieve when we focus this innovation engine not just on our customers’ needs, but on an entirely new circularity model. We intend to double the sales of lighting solutions that preserve value and avoid waste and so align the goals of our customers, the growth of our business, and the future resources of our planet.

    About the author:

    Anton Brummelhuis

    Anton Brummelhuis

    Senior Director Sustainability

    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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