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  Today Online 27 Sep 07
A green drive: Philips to make more eco-friendly products
Esther Fung

ECO-CONSCIOUS consumers will have more options when choosing energy-efficient household products.

Royal Philips Electronics said yesterday that it aimed to increase the energy efficiency of its operations by 25 per cent and invest 1 billion euro ($2 billion) into developing green products over the next five years as part of the company's fourth and latest EcoVision 2012 programme.

"We have engaged in sustainability for a long time it has been high on our agenda in the late 80s," said Mr Rudy Provoost (picture), global chief executive officer of Philips Consumer Electronics.

By 2012, Philips wants to double its total revenue from green products from 15 per cent to 30 per cent.

To reduce its carbon footprint, the company said it had invested about 400 million euros in energy-efficient lights over the last four years. With lighting taking up 19 per cent of the global electricity consumption, the firm estimates that 555 million tonnes of carbon can be reduced if energy efficient lighting is used

Many developing countries are reluctant to take on energy-saving initiatives because of fears that they will incur more costs, but some of these green products can actually help to reduce costs in terms of energy consumption, said Philips' regional corporate communications manager Sajin Varghese.

Converting street lamps from incandescent lighting to energy-efficient bulbs is one of the "low-hanging fruits" governments can pick without compromising on economic growth, he said.

Philips hopes to achieve the Green Mark certification by next June for its Toa Payoh facility here. Third-party auditors will certify its extensive range of products, which include LCD televisions and DVD players, as green products.

Mr Provoost assured that Philips' green products would not cost more despite a "considerable amount of money" spent in researching and developing them.

"They are on the same price points as competitive models that are less green, or not green," he said.

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