Sydney, Australia – Philips, a global leader in energy efficient lighting solutions, today urged all levels of government to immediately adopt strong measures to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings and infrastructure, in order to deliver a significant reduction to Australia’s carbon emissions.
Speaking in Sydney at the Interior Design Excellence Awards roundtable on sustainable building and design practices, Olivier Piccolin, Senior Vice President of Philips Lighting for Asia Pacific, encouraged Australia to heed the lessons of successful energy efficiency initiatives from across the Asia Pacific region, and implement workable policies to deliver greater sustainability in the built environment.
Piccolin highlighted that the current rate of renovation from old lighting technology , is an area for improvement in Australia. “Improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings and infrastructure is the single biggest opportunity for Australia to cut carbon emissions”, added Piccolin. “Greater sustainability in the built environment would be crucial if Australia is to meet 2020 emission reduction targets.”
According to The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Australia’s emissions in the 12 months to March 2010 were an estimated 542 million tonnes.
“Governments play a critical role in driving greater efficiency and sustainability in the built environment,” said Piccolin. “One way they can demonstrate leadership is through initiatives that simplify compliance and encourage the switch to more efficient technologies, such as lighting, in existing buildings. Governments in Australia, from municipalities to Federal Departments have the perfect opportunity to lead by example, by simply retrofitting their own properties. ”
The trend towards urbanisation is a global phenomena, and Australia is no exception with Sydney and Melbourne both facing pressures on their infrastructure as a result of rapid urban population growth. Piccolin emphasised that rapid population growth puts an enormous strain on a city’s infrastructure, and with the level of growth occurring in Australia, the quality of its urban environments will increasingly be a major determininant of our quality of life.
In addition, Piccolin highlighted the need to make sustainable lighting a key focus area, as it’s an important component of urban design, with the potential to have a major impact on a city’s livability. “New energy efficient lighting solutions in both indoor and outdoor environments can revitalise cities, improve productivity, wellness and convenience, safety, security, and significantly reduce energy consumption”, said Piccolin. “Better lit, more livable cities attract business and investment as well as address urban issues and challenges head on.”
Philips also used the roundtable session to share examples of what other countries in Asia are doing to improve energy efficiency in the built environment.
Speaking at the roundtable, Piccolin said, “Countries in Asia are now leading the way in sustainable development through their own emissions reduction strategies. Australia has an opportunity to learn from their innovative programs and play a greater leadership role in the region.”
Some of those leading initiatives included Korea’s plans to spend in the vicinity of $40 billion in 2012 to build green buildings and homes.
Notes to Editor:
The Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA). IDEA is Australia’s pre-eminent design awards program, showcasing the best of Australian design.
The theme of the roundtable is ‘Less Red Tape, More Green Action’. It focuses on environmental certification, its current implementation, challenges and how to improve and expand sustainable building design practices. The event is sponsored by Philips and will be held at the Barnett Long Room, Customs House, Circular Quay, Sydney on Tuesday November 16 from 5:30-7:00pm.
The roundtable will feature a range of experts from the design, architecture and retail sectors as well as government and education bodies. Confirmed speakers include Olivier Piccolin, Senior Vice President of Lighting for Philips Asia Pacific, Paul Kelly, Director of Woods Bagot, Dr Usha Iyer-Raniga, Senior Lecturer of School of Property, Construction and Project Management at RMIT University, Director of Spaceleft Design, Tone Wheeler, Director of Environa Studio.