People are asking us: How sustainable are our products? How do we adapt sustainability into our grow lights? What can a lighting company do to reduce carbon footprint? This blog is about that.
100% of our revenues come from sustainable products, systems and services. By comparison one of the largest lighting companies like Signify had 84.1% in revenue* from sustainable products at the end of 2020. *according to their website on 29th of April 2022.
Sustainable lighting requires a product design philosophy.
Design for Sustainability (DfS) is part of our approach to product research and development. We innovate to make products that benefit people, plants and the wider world while reducing the impact on the environment. Our offerings are compliant with the European Ecodesign Directive, which means they meet ecological requirements and we go beyond.
What we consider:
- Energy-saving lighting reduces our carbon footprint. And yours.
- Fewer adaptors. Less environmental impact.
- A scalable design for a more sustainable approach.
HortiPower has a plan
How it's designed
Energy-saving lighting reduces our carbon footprint. And yours.
Product energy makes up a large percentage of operational carbon footprint and affects the footprint of each user.
Designing lights that require less energy is a major way to lower carbon impact, even as they’re being used. Our lighting can save up to 50% more energy. It often has double or triple its lifetime compared to traditional lighting and reduces waste by a factor of 3.
Fewer adaptors. Less environmental impact
Power adapters use the largest amounts of certain materials, including plastic, copper, tin, and zinc. Many lights require an external adaptor or power supply for each light. This means more devices that have to be made and more impact on the environment.
Products like Nurser 1, Nurser 2 and Nurser 3 can be connected without the need for an individual power supply or adaptor for each light. A Nurser 3 can even connect up to 18 meters in a single light. Using zero adaptors in the Nurser range was a bold step for HortiPower and a beneficial one for our planet.
A scalable design for a more sustainable approach
Lights become increasingly smart and powerful. More components are added to each light which increases the cost for our planet.
HortiPower made its product design modular. You can connect the lights. For example, the Nurser 3 can connect up to 18 meters without the need for extra cables or adaptors in-between. This Lego design principle makes installation smooth and ensures you only use what you need. Start small and scale up as you go.
How it’s made
Less is more
Transportation is one of the largest contributors to carbon emissions and fossil fuel usage. Reducing weight can save a huge amount of transportation space and reduce carbon.
Our lights such as Nurser 3 are made out of a lightweight single plastic body, this single-body design improves the structure of the product and reduces the need for extra components such as glue, screws, rubber and so forth.
With only 150gram it is one of the most lightweight grow lights that give your more for less.
Lighting has traditionally contained a lot of toxic waste such as mercury vapor. Avoiding this all together is a small step for us, and a big win for the planet.
This issue taps right in the percentage of the sustainable products. HortiPower does not make traditional lighting and materials such as mercury vapor are not in our eco guide.
How it’s shipped
Pack more products. Less air.
Perhaps the most shipped commodity is empty air. Optimizing packaging size is therefore a hugely important issue to save space and cut carbon. Most of our packaging is custom-made and from a recyclable carton. This makes sure that we are shipping products in the most efficient way possible. For example, when we made the custom packaging for Nruser 3 set we reduced the size by 90%. For professional users, we have large space-saving packing as well.
How it’s used
The Right Light is light fit for purpose.
Up to 30% of light might not reach the target surface. Our lights are made with specific applications in mind. We use optical design and engineering to optimize for this. For example, when the light is made for plant growth in tissue culture labs we adjust the intensity and light distribution from a light based on a typical shelf set-up and what the tissue culture would need. We also custom make the LED to ensure the vast majority of light is converted into plant light. This makes sure that the eventual lighting design is exactly what the plant needs and that the light plan is efficient as well. For professional users we also help them with light plans, this makes sure that they get both sustainable products that work and also a great lighting design that is right for them.
Food security for everyone. Everywhere. Anytime.
The world has to double its food production by 2050 according to a report by the UN. While the Netherlands ranks 3rd in the global food security index, many other countries are less privileged. In emerging countries, the demand for fresh and affordable vegetables is growing fast. Our lights contribute to better food access and food security while minimizing the need for cold storage, cold transport, food miles, and reducing food waste due to transportation. By growing indoors you can also save on pesticides, insecticides and keep our water and soil clean.
Our biggest mission when we set up HortiPower was to help everybody to grow anything, everywhere and at anytime. And it is our biggest mission today.
How it’s recycled
Circular business models for a circular product design
Recycling is good. But what if we reduce the need for recycling in the first place? Many products are designed for single-use or single ownership. This means the products are disposed of even when it is still valuable and functional.
Professional users can opt for HortiPower Light as a Service. This means businesses can use the light without the need to invest. This model promotes maximum useful lifetime, repurposing and recycling. It also helps us to make product components more circular and ensure products are used to the fullest potential that is made possible by your choice.
How does this align to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals?
See below infographic for the year 2022 and 2023:
7. Affordable and Clean energy
We offer energy-efficient solutions with our 100% sustainable lighting portfolio. 100% of our sales is from this portfolio and we're committed to this. Compared to our LED lighting, fluorescent tubes are an old technology that requires twice as much energy to produce light of lesser spectrum-quality. Replacing fluorescent lights with our LED alternatives align with SGD 7.3 to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency. LEDs are more efficient and have a longer lifetime. We are helping many tissue culture laboratories to make the change from fluorescent to LED lighting.
In vertical farming segment we help people to transform from general white LEDs to plant-centric light which can contain up to 50% more photosynthesis-effective light.
13 Climate Action
Our LEDs contain zero mercury and they can help reduce CO2 emissions as less energy is needed compared to other alternatives to generate light. This enables people and companies to take action towards positive change.
12 Responsible production and consumption
Our intent is to support more circular lighting services. For professional customers we’ve developed light-as-a-service so we can optimise lifetime and design a sustainable product cycle from initial design, to end of useful-life and bringing it back to use again. We're committed to double the amount of products that are designed for circularity in 2023.
3 Health and well-being and 2 Zero hunger
We help our users to grow their own food, have fun while growing well, and increase food security within their local community. These communities are in the Netherlands, the Philippines, the USA, Singapore, Hong Kong and elsewhere. We're committed to double the amount of users in 2023.
8 Decent work and economic growth
We support fair businesses practices and inclusive workplaces. Because we’re not producing traditional fluorescent based lighting we create a safer place of work for our factory workers as well as installers and other end-users. Exposure to mercury is possible with fluorescent lights through any stage of their life-cycle, whether it is manufacturing, transportation, installation, use and disposal. When the fluorescent lamps break there is possibility of mercury exposure. We also provide access to finance to horticultural entrepreneurs through our light-as-a-service. We're committed to double the amount of light-as-a-service revenue in 2023.
Everybody can play a part towards a thriving planet, better human health and quality of life. Contact us if you are interested in sustainable grow lights as a potential user or would like to partner with us.
This post was updated on 9 January 2023, it originally appeared on 24th of May 2021.