quote remotely. That’s already saving us two and sometimes three site visits in each case, so we’re going to carry on in the same vein after the lockdown. Fewer air miles and hotel stays, less CO emissions and food waste, and no time spent idling in departure lounges. Our project costs will effectively lower

The lighting industry, like so many parts of the economy, faces extraordinary challenges during this tough period. Mick Ventola, founder and managing director of Ventola Projects, explores the lessons he has learned during the crisis and how the lighting industry can grasp it as a timely opportunity to reduce its environmental impact


he world had changed enormously in just a few short months. Nobody

could quite have predicted how much of a transformation has already occurred and it will most likely be several years before we know the full extent of the impact of this ongoing pandemic. But what I can tell you is that there are

some early lessons we can learn in the lighting industry, even at this relatively early stage. And I believe they can help us all in the medium and long-term. So, while this is undoubtedly a human

catastrophe, I firmly believe we should also look at this period as an ecological opportunity. A chance to build on the great progress we have already made as a sector in making our operations and our products that little bit greener still. We’ve done so well on that front, with

widespread innovation in LED technology in recent years making a significant difference to people’s and businesses’ energy bills and carbon footprints. In addition to the health concerns the

COVID-19 crisis is creating for all of us, it’s also impacting everybody’s pockets. Economic and commercial uncertainty is rife, so the pressure is on like never before to make savings. And the lighting industry is particularly

well-placed to help people and businesses do just that. So, I’d urge you to take this time to have a root and branch review of your processes, your materials and your working practices. We’re in the middle of what we’re

calling a research and development project assessing how we can upgrade

the lighting products we’ll be releasing into the US and Middle East markets later in the year to make them as ‘green’ as possible. We’re looking at ways we can source

locally to help the community in our area and reduce the distances components travel. We’re talking to our suppliers to explore ways they can increase the proportion of recyclable materials used in product manufacture. And the response we’re getting is really

encouraging. We’ve had some positive conversations about making products quicker and easier to install, so we can spend less time on-site, and more robust, so we don’t have to travel back and forth quite so often to deal with service calls. That means we have the confidence to

now promise customers that, wherever and whenever possible, we will endeavour to further expand mend and repair services, rather than replace or update components and products, in order to reduce the depletion of the planet’s valuable but finite resources. We’re also applying the same logic to

new business enquiries. In the past, more often than not myself or a member of our technical teams would fly to overseas locations to initiate design visits. But, in the current situation, we know

that’s not possible, so we’re taking advantage of available technologies and encouraging clients to send us all the technical information they have – rendered images, photos, 3D building plans etc. – and we’re continuing to


as a consequence and we can pass on the savings to the customer. There’s no need to tell you how that goes down with them, so it’s good thinking all-round. I won’t pretend for a second that any

one of these simple actions – and sometimes not so simple actions – will save the planet. But this is about the accumulation of marginal gains. LED lighting is a great place to start. It

can save you money and it will help the environment. You can use it to increase footfall and dwell-times in retail, for example, that boost your revenues. You can create lighting conditions better suited to efficient working in offices and you can design light shows that really add to the entertainment experience. LEDs can make an impact in all kinds of ways. And the good thing, as I see speaking

with suppliers almost weekly, is that the technology doesn’t stand still. There’s always something new to learn about better product longevity, improved energy efficiency and new sustainable materials. So, I’d encourage you to evaluate how

you currently do things and to leave no stone unturned. Focus on manufacture and on product development, speak with your partners to understand how you can help them do the same. I’m proud of the role our industry has

played in recent decades, alongside many other sectors, in pointing the way towards a better, brighter future. But there is so much more we can do as torchbearers. If we can all make these incremental

changes to the way we work in the lighting industry, the multiplier effect will really start to kick in. This is a difficult time for us all, there’s no hiding from it. But we’ve already had some compelling glimpses of how things can improve when we come out the other side.As we all understand, when the sun goes down, there is always a new dawn. And it’s up to us to make the very most of tomorrow.

Ventola Projects


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