LEDs play key role in green efforts surrounding the World Cup

June 16, 2010
South Africa has launched a green program to mitigate the carbon impact of the FIFA World Cup and LED players such as Lemnis and OSRAM are participating in the environmental effort.

The FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) World Cup has kicked off in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the host country has simultaneously launched an initiative to minimize the carbon footprint of the globally-popular event held once every four years. The South African government is attempting to implement green initiatives that offset emissions that are attributable to tournament visitors and has enlisted the help of LED lighting vendor Lemnis Lighting. Osram is also involved in LED lighting for both game venues and other indoor and outdoor spaces.

The green initiative is a joint project between the Global Environment Facility, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). The Global Environment Facility has provided $1 million in funding for green projects in six of the nine cities that will host games.

The DEA along with the South African Department of Energy, Department of Tourism, the Central Energy Fund, power utility Eskom, and the local World Cup organizing committee have chosen five carbon-offset projects that will presumably compensate for the carbon emissions attributable to those traveling to the World Cup. The five include solar cookers, soil composting, wind energy, solar-powered displays, and LED lighting.

In the LED lighting area, the DEA has selected Lemnis Lighting as a partner to begin a large-scale retrofit of lighting in hotels, office buildings, and street lighting. The project will also include off-grid LED lighting for rural areas. Lemnis will donate a portion of the carbon credits that it receives for the LED lighting deployment to the DEA to help offset the South African carbon footprint that's attributable to staging the World Cup.

The Arch at Durban World Cup stadium

Buyelwa Sonjica, South African Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs said, "Whilst we welcome the world, South Africa's hosting of the World Cup must leave a legacy for the people of South Africa. As the environment sector, we want part of the legacy to be a green legacy. In this regard, we have initiated several programs as part of this green legacy which should benefit South Africans from all walks of life, now, and continue beyond the moment when visitors leave our shores."

Venue lighting

OSRAM, meanwhile is supplying a variety of lighting technologies for game venues including lighting for restaurants, parking lots, and playing fields. Most notably, OSRAM has supplied LEDs for the illuminated arc called "The Arch" that is prominent spanning the entire Durban stadium. The architectural feature includes more than 12,000 Golden Dragon LEDs.

Philips, meanwhile, has also announced that its ArenaVision sports lighting system is being used in six of the world cup venues, although LEDs are not part of the system that illuminates the playing field. The company did announce that it has supplied LED lighting for the hotel where the Dutch World Cup team is headquartered.

Getting back to Lemnis, the company is using the World Cup to permanently launch a South African presence. The company has labled it's effort the "LED's Kick Off." The project will include Lemnis' Pharox LED retrofit lamps, mesopic street lights, and off-grid solar lamps.

Francois van Tonder, Managing Director of Lemnis Lighting Africa said “ Lemnis Lighting is leading the revolution in LED technologies that are easily retrofitted in existing luminaries. With the achievement of project status for our LED’s Kick Off programme, momentum is added to our recent entry into the South African market and the broader African continent. The envisaged education program will also ensure that the benefits of this programme will not only be related to the FIFA 2010 World Cup, but will bring a lasting change in climate change awareness for generations to come”.

In other Lemins news, the company has launched a subsidiary called Lemnis Technical Services. The new company based in The Netherlands will produce driver electronics for LED lighting and serve as an R&D center.