Philips partners with UNESCO-led initiative to light up the world

    April 10, 2014

    • Philips to be the first Patron Sponsor of UNESCO-led International Year of Light
    • Bringing 120 years of expertise and understanding of lighting solutions to improve living standards and people’s lives as well as the health of our planet


    Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG AEX: PHIA), the global leader in lighting, announces that it has become the first patron sponsor of the International Year of Light in 2015, a UNESCO-led initiative.


    In this role, Philips will work with UNESCO and a large consortium of scientific bodies to raise awareness of the ways that light-based technologies can provide solutions in the areas of energy, education, agriculture, health and wellbeing.


    2015 and the International Year of Light presents the opportunity to realize the potential of recent innovations in lighting to benefit people both socially and economically, while addressing the global challenge of climate change at the same time. As the leader of the LED revolution, Philips will support the United Nations to help unlock the transformative power of light for people everywhere.


    “As patron sponsor, we bring our wealth of understanding of energy efficient lighting and our knowledge of the physiological and emotional benefits of light. LED technologies and digital lighting have made lighting solutions more energy efficient, controllable and accessible. Light has entered a digital era. It is now connected to networks, devices and apps, enabling people and organizations such as Philips and UNESCO to address the world’s challenges like never before,” comments Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public and Government Affairs at Philips Lighting.


    Today Philips is helping some of the 1.5 billion people globally who still don’t have access to electric light after dark through solar powered community light centers. Demand for energy by cities is predicted to increase substantially as 60% of the world’s population migrates to urban environments by 2030. Philips’ connected, controllable LED lighting can help cities realize savings of 40-80% on energy used for lighting.¹ Philips also applies its knowledge of light and its effect on human beings in solutions that have an impact on people’s everyday lives. For example, Philips SchoolVision enhances pupils’ concentration at school, while the HealWell lighting system for hospital patient rooms has a positive effect on patients’ biorhythms by helping them fall asleep quicker and sleep longer.


    Throughout the International Year of Light, Philips will be involved in a number of activities. For example, we will participate in the IYL2015 program “Study after Sunset” to promote the use of portable solar-powered high brightness LED lanterns in regions where there is little or no reliable source of light.


    Dr. Maciej Nalecz, Director of International Basic Sciences Program at UNESCO HQ in Paris adds: “UNESCO is very keen to engage with Private Sector partners in its activities in areas of sustainability and development. Philips is a natural partner of the International Year of Light and we look forward to working with them during 2014 and 2015.”



    ¹ Lighting the Clean Revolution: the rise of LEDs and what it means for Cities (Climate Group, 2012)

    For further information, please contact:

    Shai Dewan
    Philips Lighting
    Tel: +31620695822


    Mary Ann Williams
    IYL2015 Global Secretariat
    Tel: +39 040 2240 603


    About Royal Philips:

    Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2013 sales of EUR 23.3 billion and employs approximately 115,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at


    About IYL 2015:

    The International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies (IYL 2015) is a global initiative adopted by the United Nations (A/RES/68/221) to raise awareness of how optical technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health.  With UNESCO as lead agency, IYL 2015 programs will promote improved public and political understanding of the central role of light in the modern world while also celebrating noteworthy anniversaries in 2015—from the first studies of optics 1,000 years ago to discoveries in optical communications that power the Internet today.  The IYL Global Secretariat is located at the International Centre of Theoretical Physics ICTP.  Founding Partners of IYL 2015 are the American Physical Society (APS), the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG), the European Physical Society (EPS), the IEEE Photonics Society (IPS), the Institute of Physics (IOP), the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), the International Network and The Optical Society (OSA).