How this one switch in school can reduce CO2 emissions

by | May 22, 2019

For us, one of the most exciting parts of installing LED lighting in schools is seeing how much CO2 can be saved as a result. In fact, one recent meeting with a school started us thinking just how much difference could be made if every school in the country made the switch to LED.

How do LED lights save so much CO2 in the first place?

CO2 is created when we generate electricity, which then feeds into the lights we use. The more electricity needed to generate the light, the more CO2 is produced.

With traditional lightings, such as fluorescent and halogen, more electricity is needed to light the bulbs, therefore, more CO2 is produced when they are used. If we switch out these lights to LED then there is less electricity needed to produce the light and less CO2 emitted into the atmosphere.

So, if every school were to switch out its fluorescent lights for LED lights, it would be a way of significantly reducing CO2 emissions in the UK and contribute to the target of zero emissions by 2050.

Let’s look at the figures

As an example, let’s say on average that a school can save 20 tonnes of CO2 every year using LED lights. This can differ depending on the situation, the number of lamps used, the type of lamps and how long they are switched on. Some schools may save more and others less.

There are just over 32,000 schools in the UK. If we use these conservative figures, that is a saving of 640,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.

So what does this mean?

640,000 tonnes of CO2 is a figure that not many of us can relate to. If we can’t relate it, we can’t understand what that really means in our world.

This is the equivalent of over 5,000 acres of forest, (which is about the size of 2,500 football pitches). An acre of forest contains around 40 trees, which produce 260lbs of clean air every year.

5,000 acres of forest would give us 23,000 tonnes of clean air every year. This is the equivalent of 2,421 children breathing clean air every single day. Or of almost 7 children having clean air for an entire year.

If you want to know more about the impact of poor air quality on children’s lung development, you can read about it here.

As a nation, if we are to meet the target of zero emissions by 2050 then we all need to do our bit. The good news is that changing our lighting habits is a simple and easy way to reduce CO2 emissions.

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