Recolight Circular Economy webinars promote reuse across lighting sector

Recolight’s series of Circular Economy webinars have seen discussions surrounding the trajectory towards achieving full circularity within the lighting industry develop.

Taking place over the past two years, the panels have been host to experts from across the industry, in which they have explored the practical measures that need to be set in place in order for a circular economy to be successfully delivered.

Recolight Circular Economy webinarsThe underlying message of the most recent talks is that recycling is not the only solution to resource depletion, nor the only vessel for circularity. Instead, the reuse and repair of lighting fittings should be prioritised, with John Bullock, Editor of the Light Review, stating that ‘the natural conclusion to creating a circular economy for fixtures is to ensure that there is a route for those fixtures to enjoy further lives after the original installation.’

In order to realise widespread reuse, remanufacturers have signalled throughout the talks that they will supply certification and warranty to reused products. In tandem with this, discussion amongst experts has highlighted an ‘emerging opportunity’ amongst the maintenance and manufacturing industries to provide the lighting sector with remanufacturing and reconditioning services.

In terms of user responsibility, it has become clear throughout the webinars that specifiers will have a ‘crucial role’ to play when it comes to educating end users on ‘the importance of using products which embody circular economy principles.’ This will be facilitated by the introduction of BS8887, the draft luminaire remanufacturing standard, and TM66, the method of assessing luminaire compliance with circular economy principles. Recolight states that the legislation will aid end users and specifiers in making ‘the right product choices.’

Building on this, the Lighting Industry Association (LIA) has proposed a task force dedicated to facilitating circularity across the sector, as well as publishing The Circular Economy interim guide. Other topics discussed within the webinars include reform to Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations in order to incentivise reuse; the adoption of circular business models across the industry; and the potential for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (Defra) to set separate targets for reuse.

Nigel Harvey, CEO of Recolight, commented: “It has been really encouraging to see the discussions move beyond ‘what needs to be done’ and towards ‘what is actually happening’.  There is clearly still a lot to do – but it is starting to happen.  That gives me hope that we will increasingly play our part in tackling the climate crisis.”

Ruth Kelly Waskett,  Senior Associate at Hoare Lea and President of the Society of Light and Lighting, said: “The shift towards a circular economy in lighting is a challenge but also a great opportunity. For specifiers, this is our time to take clients and collaborators on the journey with us, to awaken an appetite for reuse and repurposing of luminaires. For all of us, there is an opportunity to reassess our relationship with lighting, that could lead to a greater appreciation of it, and a greater understanding of the real cost of making a new luminaire.”

John Gorse, Technical Solutions Manager at Signify, said: “Global commitments on sustainability and carbon for the future are essential but we have to wait for them to be realised. This series of Webinars has shown what lighting can actually do right now without restrictive costs or new mandatory legislation. Smart LED technology is low capex, easy to install, and when applied correctly is sustainable, circular and immediately cuts emissions that have a real impact on slowing and stopping temperature rise and climate change.”