Signify calls for accelerated climate actions of building and transport sectors

Signify calls for accelerated climate actions of building and transport sectors as it commits to carbon neutral buildings and 100% electric fleet

  • Signify and Rocky Mountain Institute call for acceleration in building renovations to pave the way for the electric vehicle revolution
  • Political leaders need to accelerate integrated policies that can limit temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius
  • Signify commits to net zero carbon buildings and use of a 100% electric and hybrid lease fleet

From extreme droughts in Australia to heat waves in parts of Europe and North America and from excessive monsoons in India to floods in Japan. If there’s one thing that the past months have showed us it is that global warming is real and that the need for climate action is more imminent than ever.

Signify, the world leader in lighting, together with the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), one of the world’s leading non-governmental organizations in field of energy efficiency, are therefore calling upon political leaders to implement regulatory measures that accelerate climate action. Signify meanwhile, is showing its leadership by having committed to have net-zero carbon buildings by 2030 and to operate a 100% electric and hybrid lease fleet by 2030.

“Today’s weather anomalies are the result of a temperature rise of only 1 degree Celsius. Imagine the impact on our daily lives when temperature rises 2 degrees or more,” said Harry Verhaar, Head of Public and Government Relations at Signify. “We – both political and business leaders – need to act now and accelerate targeted integrated policy interventions that foster sustainable business and safeguard a healthy planet for future generations.”

In a report[1] that Verhaar and RMI published today at the UN’s Earth Innovation Forum in Tallinn, Estonia, the researchers predict a 3,000 Twh increase in electricity demand by 2040 if the world switches to electric vehicles as fast as their fastest scenario – that is more than the total electricity consumption of the European Union in 2013. To ensure that the power grid has sufficient capacity to deal with such a revolution, the researchers advocate accelerated action from political leaders and to step up the renovation of buildings to improve their energy efficiency.

According to the researchers, increasing the current global building retrofit rate from approximately 1% per year to just over 5% per year, could accommodate baseline adoption of 550 million electric vehicles on the road through 2040 without increasing generation capacity dramatically. At the same time, this would help to successfully meet the 2 degrees Celsius target set by the Paris Agreement.

To realize this and speed up climate actions, Verhaar and RMI call upon political leaders to develop building and electric vehicle policies in tandem, lowering costs that are associated with both. A combined approach would also enable the installation of electric charging stations during the renovations, they argue, which fosters the switch to electric vehicles.

“By working in tandem, the switch to electric vehicles can be an effective driver for building efficiency, while building efficiency is likely to provide the lowest-cost option to address electric vehicle grid infrastructure needs,” said Jamie Mandel, Managing Director for RMI’s Buildings program. “An integrated policy approach is the only way to go if we want to limit the earth’s warming to 2 degrees Celsius.”

Signify is at the forefront of implementing energy efficiency measures. The company is committed to the World Green Business Council’s initiative to have all the buildings that it is using to be carbon neutral by 2030. In addition to that, Signify is also joining The Climate Group’s EV100 initiative to operate a 100% electric and hybrid lease fleet by 2030.

“In order to create a net zero carbon society, we need to accelerate the switch to electric vehicles. Our EV100 commitment and the shift to electric vehicles is one way our Signify employees can directly contribute to our overall efforts in driving carbon footprint reduction and becoming carbon neutral,” said Bill Bien, Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer at Signify.

“By committing to electric vehicles through our EV100 initiative, Signify is sending an important signal to the automobile industry to speed up the roll out of EVs around the world,” said Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group. “Already a member of RE100, Signify’s charging points will run off renewable energy – maximizing the environmental benefit of its EVs while providing storage solutions.”

“To accelerate the transition to a clean energy system and demonstrate the demand policy makers need to set more stringent emissions goals, we need many more global businesses to step up and take the lead on EVs,” she added.

Signify and RMI will elaborate on their research and sustainability commitments during the Global climate action summit in San Francisco, California from September 12 to 14.

Signify became the new company name of Philips Lighting as of May 16, 2018.

About Signify

Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) is the world leader in lighting for professionals and consumers and lighting for the Internet of Things. Our Philips products, Interact connected lighting systems and data-enabled services, deliver business value and transform life in homes, buildings and public spaces. With 2017 sales of EUR 7.0 billion, we have approximately 30,000 employees and are present in over 70 countries. We unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. News from Signify is located at the Newsroom, Twitter and LinkedIn. Information for investors can be found on the Investor Relations page.

About Rocky Mountain Institute

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)-an independent nonprofit founded in 1982-transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. It engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. RMI [i1] has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.

More information on RMI can be found at or follow us on Twitter @RockyMtnInst

About EV100

EV100 is a global initiative by The Climate Group bringing together forward-looking companies committed to accelerating the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) and making electric transport the new normal by 2030. The transport sector accounts for approximately 23% of global energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Electric transport offers a major solution, as well as curbing transport related air and noise pollution. With businesses owning over half of all registered vehicles on the road, it is crucial they lead the shift to electric vehicles through their investment decisions and influence on millions of staff and customers worldwide. By setting out their future EV purchasing requirements on an ambitious timescale, companies can increase demand, drive mass roll-out, and make electric cars more rapidly affordable for everyone. Visit and follow #EV100 on Twitter.

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