Phillips Cuts Lead and Mercury in US Florescent Lights

AEN News

Philadelphia - Philips Lighting pledged today to substantially reduce mercury and eliminate lead in the making of fluorescent lighting products at its four U.S. plants. The company is voluntarily cutting the two compounds as part of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency effort to reduce the presence of 31 'priority' chemicals in our nation's products and wastes.

"Philips Lighting has a long history of corporate sustainability, and today it continues this tradition by establishing additional goals to lessen environmental impacts and foster social responsibility at all of the company's U.S. manufacturing plants," said Donald S. Welsh, EPA's mid-Atlantic regional administrator.

In a ceremony today at Philips Lighting headquarters in Somerset, N.J., Welsh congratulated the company's executives for joining EPA's National Partnership for Environmental Priorities Program and becoming the first company in the nation to commit all of its U.S.-based plants in the voluntary program.

Philips committed to reduce 780 pounds of mercury by next year from the manufacture of its fluorescent lighting products. This equates to a reduction of nearly two tons of mercury in the manufacture of light bulbs over the next five years.

In addition, the company has pledged to eliminate lead from its manufacturing processes, for a total of 1.5 million pounds by 2010.

Mercury and lead are among 31 harmful chemicals and metals identified by EPA as a priority for reducing or eliminating their use. The cuts to be made by Philips Lighting are significant because they represent 37 percent of EPA's national goal for reducing the 31 chemicals by 4 million pounds come 2011.

The EPA's National Partnership for Environmental Priorities program challenges businesses and manufacturers to become more environmentally aware and to adopt a resource conservation ethic that results in less waste, more recycling, and more environmentally-sound products. The program seeks solutions that prevent pollution at the source, by recovering or recycling chemicals which may be hard to eliminate or reduce at the source.

Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a global leader in healthcare, lifestyle and technology, delivering products, services and solutions through the brand promise of "sense and simplicity".

Philips Lighting innovations include the ALTO low-mercury lamp technology, the compact fluorescent lamp, and the halogen automotive lamp