FAO HQ 'sees the light' on its way to climate neutrality

Fri, 29/07/16

[Article written by: Jean Philippe Decraene]

After an innovative procurement process, FAO has upgraded nearly all corridor lighting around the headquarters buildings. This project will save the Organization approximately USD 71,000 per year and reduce emissions by approximately 150,000kg CO2/year. This is the equivalent of removing 32,000 vehicles from the road annually.

An innovation of the UN system, the approach requires that interested vendors supply products and services to FAO forgoing an initial upfront payment. Instead, payments are based on calculated annual energy savings, with these savings paid to the vendor until the initial investment cost is paid off. In this way FAO is able to save on allocating significant funding upfront making the project budget-neutral on implementation.

An external company, Pandora Green, was chosen to provide the lighting services based on stringent quality and cost efficiency. With a payback (break-even) period of just under four years and the lights’ lifetime guarantee of over ten years, the project is an ideal investment for FAO. Not only will it reduce costs and the Organization’s environmental footprint (approximately USD 700,000 financial savings and 1 500 000 kg CO2 over ten years), but it has been implemented without diverting regular funds from FAO’s core work.

The lighting systems installed include the latest LED technology, which is significantly more eco-friendly in its life-cycle when compared with other lighting technologies on factors such as manufacturing (e.g. mercury free light bulbs), transport, use and disposal. Moreover, the new design meets EU lighting code standards and will provide natural and comfortable lighting. Sensors have been installed to ensure that the lights are only “on” when in use. Upon detecting movement the lights within the sensor area will become operational for one minute at 100% power and reduce to 10% for 30 minutes thereafter; whereas frequent traffic areas will maintain 10 percent power at all times for security reasons.

Watch the video to see exactly how the FAO are going climate neutral, or visit the site to access the full resources and read more.

Categories: Buildings, Energy