Circular Lighting Report

Thorlux plants its final tree

Thorlux tree

After 12 years and 180,000 trees, the final sapling has been planted at the Thorlux Carbon Offsetting Project at Devauden in Wales.

The last one was put in the ground by retiring FW Thorpe group director David Taylor, pictured above, at the 215-acre site.

The woodland –  mainly native broadleaf species including oak, birch, ash, willow, hornbeam and cherry – is designed to neutralise the CO2 emissions from lighting installations all over the UK.  It’s anticipated that it will offset more than 44,385 tonnes of CO₂e over the next 100 years.

Over half a kilogram of carbon dioxide is released for every kilowatt hour of electricity used, so 10  25W luminaires, operating around the clock, will produce one tonne of carbon dioxide every year.

‘The process of sequestering the CO2 in a tree can take 100 years, so we encourage our customers to use the most efficient lighting possible and then offset the remainder [of the carbon],’ says company boss Mike Allcock.

‘To put it into context, a tonne of CO2 is one million pints of the stuff. ‘It’s a huge amount of CO2,’ says Allcock. ‘So to offset that light you need to have a tree in the ground for 100 years.’

The company paid £1 million for Devauden in 2009, receiving a 50 per cent grant from the Forestry Commission.

A typical sports hall luminaires could be offset by planting 10 trees a year. Each tree will offset about one tonne of CO2, or approximately 1,900KWh of electricity.

Thorlux quotes for luminaires prices include quotes for carbon offsetting using the company’s trees at Devauden.

Customers who opt for the carbon offsetting scheme receive an email detailing the trees they have purchased and the location of the site.

Thorlux encourages its customers to visit Devauden – and has recently built a visitor centre there to explain the process. Children – some from schools using Thorlux luminaires – are regular visitors to the site to see the trees that are capturing the carbon produced by their classroom’s lighting. ‘It’s a great lesson because it’s something they can relate to,’ says Allcock.

Thorlux is planning another chapter in its carbon offsetting programme, with details to be revealed later this year.

• Remanufacturing Lighting is the subject of a special one-day conference organised by Recolight and taking place on Thursday 27 April 2023 at the Coin Street Conference Centre in London. This CPD-approved event will give you the tools, insights and contacts make a success of luminaire reconditioning and reuse. You’ll learn how to sell the concept of reconditioned lights, develop best practice policies, comply with the standards, set up a testing regime for reused luminaires and remanufacture fittings at scale. The gathering will also give you inspiration from real world projects which prove that remanufacturing can be a success everyone. You’ll also meet key players in the remanufacturing industry  network with specifiers with the power to get your products into projects. See more HERE.

Ray Molony

Recolight Report is an independent guide to the latest developments in sustainable and circular lighting. Learn about the people, products, projects and processes that are shaping our industry’s low carbon future. Plus: explainers on the latest innovations, opinion from thought leaders and video interviews with leading disruptors. Edited by lighting expert, editor and industry figure Ray Molony.