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Earth Hour effort one-night only? - channelnewsasia.com
SINGAPORE: Millions of people across the world are expected to switch off their lights for this year's Earth Hour on Saturday, but are they in it for the long run, or just for the night?

It is estimated lighting accounts for roughly 19 per cent of energy used globally, and some industry players say consumers and companies can bring that number down substantially by using energy efficient lighting solutions.

At this year's Earth Hour in Singapore, some 300 corporate organisations have committed to switching off to save energy.

That is a 50 per cent increase from last year.

The World Wildlife Fund said it has been approached by companies which are keen to do more.

WWF Singapore CEO Elaine Tan said: "For WWF Singapore, we have been doing Earth Hour for last four years.

"I think corporate partnership and participation has been increasing in terms of the involvement in terms of their response.

"I think, for quite a number of the companies, first and foremost, they want to be able to educate the employees, so WWF comes in to partner them and come up with a green office manual to see as a staff, how you can come in and engage in energy saving measures or steps."

Other than switching off for Earth Hour, it appears more companies worldwide are switching to more sustainable forms of lighting solution on a permanent basis.

Lighting provider Philips said sales of "green lighting" now account for 60 percent of turnover.

Asia Commercial Lighting Royal Philips senior vice-president and general manager Olivier Piccolin said: "For sure, yes, we are targeting to see towards 100 per cent of our lighting sales to be energy efficient.

"We see also, the sales of LED increasing in a spectacular way -- and we see by 2015 about 45 to 50 per cent of the market will be LED (globally)."

For Singapore-listed property developer CapitaLand, other than taking part in this year's Earth Hour, it is thinking long term and has aggressive targets for energy reduction in its buildings.

CapitaLand said it goes beyond Earth Hour with year-round initiatives such as "wear less days", requiring staff in warm-climate countries to dress light, so the company can turn up the air-conditioning and cut energy usage.

CapitaLand Green Committee chairman Francis Wong Hooe Wai said: "We set group targets for energy and water saving whereby in 2015, we should have saved 15 per cent annually from the 2008 level.

"So then this... cascades down to each property, so each property will have its own water and energy saving target."

CapitaLand added that since 2007, all its new and retrofitted projects have to be green-rated.

- CNA/wk

Turn off lights, air-conditioners and other electronic items at home from 8.30pm to 9.30pm on Saturday, March 31.


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