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Philips commits to making cities more energy efficient


New York, USA – Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) will today call for action to ensure that renovation of existing infrastructure and buildings in cities is accelerated in the battle against climate change. At the UN Leadership Forum on Climate Change, Philips will call upon governments worldwide to help ensure a green recovery by setting ambitious CO2 reduction targets as well as strong legislative standards for implementation. The company puts weight behind its appeal by partnering with the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), committing to make cities 40% more energy efficient in the next 10 years.

“These are challenging times for business in general,” says Gerard Kleisterlee, CEO of Royal Philips Electronics. “If an ambitious and effective global climate change program can be agreed, it will create the conditions for transformational change of our world economy and deliver the signals that companies need to speed up investment of billions of dollars in energy efficient products, services, technologies and infrastructure such as LED lighting technology.”

More than half of the world’s population now live in cities and they are responsible for 70% of global energy consumption. Up to 50% of a municipality’s energy spending goes to lighting. Making buildings alone energy efficient could save more carbon dioxide than the entire emissions of the transport sector. At the same time, the cost of energy efficiency measures is usually greatly overestimated.*

Philips argues that the current rate of renovation of existing infrastructure, based on inefficient 1960s technology or even older, is much too slow. For office lighting for instance, it is only about 6-7% per year. In city lighting, it’s just 3%. At this pace, it will take 30 years before the environmental, economical and quality of life benefits of latest technologies can be reaped.

The partnership between Philips and the World Green Building Council is intended to set up some 100 local taskforces in the coming years, joining forces with other partners such as governments and civil society to aggressively reduce the world’s carbon emissions over the next ten years that are a direct result of buildings and infrastructure.

“Business can deliver technologies and financial solutions as well as improve awareness. Efficient technologies for all segments exist today, but the one thing we can’t afford is delay their implementation. That’s why governments have to provide economic stimuli and appropriate policies and regulations. So we urge them to act, setting ambitious legislative standards, stimulate the economy to ensure a green recovery and, moreover, lead by example by making their own public buildings, schools and streets energy efficient today. After all, this is a triple win saving us money, reducing emissions and creating new jobs for a green economy,” adds Rudy Provoost, Member of the Board of Management, CEO of Philips Lighting and Chair of its Sustainability Board.

* See WBCSD report on energy efficient buildings:

About Royal Philips Electronics

Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a diversified Health and Well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through timely innovations. As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of “sense and simplicity”. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs approximately 116,000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of EUR 26 billion in 2008, the company is a market leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure with strong leadership positions in flat TV, male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at

About the WorldGBC

In 2002 eight nations formed the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), a union of national councils whose mission is to accelerate the transformation of the built environment towards sustainability. The WorldGBC provides an international forum, and champions proven tools that significantly accelerate market transformation from traditional, inefficient building practices to new generation high-performance buildings. This is a critical response strategy for cities and countries worldwide to their national and international commitments to reduce carbon emissions and redress other environmental impacts. WorldGBC is a business-led coalition. Green Building Councils are consensus-based not-for-profit organizations with no private ownership, and diverse and integrated representation from all sectors of the construction industry. They see business as a powerful solution-provider, and are working to improve frameworks that harness the ability of business to deliver. More information about WorldGBC can be reviewed at


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