How EU green and digital recovery plans can inspire the world

Sponsored content: Smart lighting can be a key component of the Covid recovery, saving energy, creating jobs and boosting productivity

Paris skyline at dusk (Photo: Radek Kucharski / Flickr)


In the run up to COP26, EU member states must ramp up efforts towards a truly green and digital recovery and inspire the rest of the world to follow suit.

Under the European Commission’s Recovery and Resilience Facility, a key element of the temporary financial instrument Next Generation EU, nations are encouraged to reform and make investments for sustainable and resilient societies.

Specifically, the Facility aims for states to make green and digital transitions.

“If EU countries can speed up their efforts now, they may be able to inspire those outside of the Union to do the same and use pandemic recovery plans and digitisation to their advantage,” said Harry Verhaar, Signify’s Head of Global Public & Government Affairs.

“A digital transition, which can include renovations in lighting, heating, transport, and security, among others, will not only help make stronger and more productive societies, but will also tackle climate change, as such developments usually increase energy efficiency overall.”

Signify argues that lighting should be at the top of the agenda as it is often the easiest renovation, tends not to be intrusive, and can provide quick results. To some extent it’s “as simple as changing a lightbulb”.

The Philips DimTone, for example, is almost 90% more efficient than a halogen bulb, while the Philips LED A-Class, which launched this summer, has a lifespan of 50 years. These can be fit both at home and in the office, the latter a setting that Signify has done a lot of research and development for.

Interact Office, a platform developed by Signify, connects individual light points to a larger integrated building management system, where heating, ventilation, and air conditioning can be controlled and monitored, resulting in less wastage and improved efficiency.

“Increasing the renovation rate of our digital buildings is also the biggest job machine at our disposal, and these are good local jobs that replace expensive energy imports,” Verhaar added, echoing IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol who, last year, described energy efficiency as a “job machine”.

The company also says that digital lighting can be the backbone of any smart city.

Interact City, for example, a system that remotely monitors and controls a web of connected lighting points, has the ability to output energy performance analytics and facilitate real time alerts like traffic, parking spaces and emergencies, when paired with Signify’s LED smart poles, BrightSites.

These streetlights offer far more than illumination as they are fitted with powerful IT service nodes allowing for 5G and Wi-Fi connectivity, helping societies not only transition digitally, but towards an improved Internet of Things (IoT).

“Never before have economic and environmental crises and opportunity been so closely entangled. It is time to speed up the race to zero and to see the light of a more resilient and prosperous future while leaving the darkness of crisis behind us,” said Verhaar.

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