The Race to be Green
Singapore, 3rd April 2012
You can’t open a newspaper or watch the news on TV these days without bumping into a story about a city or corporation doing it’s bit “for the environment”. I say this with a bit of sarcasm as, though I am sure they have genuine intent, the real reason seems to be political or commercial. It is nearly like the anti-smoke campaign. Those who smoke are made out to be outcasts and the way we are going with being environmentally friendly is the same. If you are not seen to be “green” or putting into action “environmentally friendly” actions, you will soon belong to a group of antisocial outcasts! Over the recent days I noted several stories related to lighting.
I already mentioned the Sydney City Council (one of the many cities around the world) embarking on a multi-million dollar LED replacement scheme for their city street lights, no doubt driven and “supported” by eager manufacturers who provide the City with free of charge samples and visual test mock ups. Today I read the Singapore government through its Land Transport Authority (LTA), has embarked on a (surely costly) replacement of all the fluorescent (!) lights on all their 50+ overhead link bridges. The replacement comes with movement sensor driven controls to switch the lights on only when pedestrians approach the bridge. This would increase the savings further with another 15% according to the report, on top of the 50% which is claimed in savings from changing fluorescent to LED lighting. Of course it is claimed to be feasible and very cost effective to save energy, a great way to get public approval. No mention however of the costs and ROI, an increasingly common thing as now sustainable is seemingly becoming a must at all cost, which is most probably passed on to the consumer!
Operators, like recently Kempinski and Millenium Copthorne Hotels have also embarked on green programs. In fact Kempinski has set up a green consultancy arm that offers its sustainability services to the industry as well I believe. MC has just publicly announced a sweeping implementation of green schemes for all their hotels. It is obvious that being seen as sustainable has reach high stakes proportions as the sustainability angle on any project can now win you votes at the next elections or increase the value of your property!
Light Watch 3-47: Intelligent street lighting systems are coming your way and I am sure we will see more at L&B in Frankfurt this year…