Grand Award Neonlite Electronic & Lighting (HK) A simple switch of light bulbs can save consumers nearly $2,000 in electricity bills a year. This can be achieved by using Megaman's energy-saving offerings, assuming that 15 bulbs of 100 watts are used for five hours a day. Megaman light bulbs not only save money, they also save up to 80 per cent of electricity compared with traditional products, thereby saving the environment. With less electricity being used, less coal needs to be burnt and the emissions of carbon dioxide and other air pollutants can be reduced. Megaman energy-saving bulbs also last longer, which means they do not have to be replaced as often, and fewer end up in Hong Kong's landfills. Megaman, one of the top three compact fluorescent light bulb brands in the world, is the flagship brand of Neonlite Electronic & Lighting. The company has just won the Grand Award in the Awards for Industries' environmental performance category. Neonlite Electronic & Lighting Brand manager Sharon Pang said the company's aim was to create the world's most eco-friendly, energy-saving light sources. Megaman bulbs are the first energy-saving products in the world that adhere to the Restriction of Use of Certain Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS). RoHS restricts the use of hazardous materials in the manufacture of various types of electronic and electrical equipment to solve the problem of toxic electronic waste. The directive takes effect on July 1 this year and applies to electronic products exported to the European Union. To meet the directive, Megaman has adopted lead-free soldering processes to ensure that the light bulbs do not contain banned substances. Lead-free glass tubes are used, and each bulb contains less than 3mg of mercury, which is even less than the new required standards. Megaman light bulbs have a unique protective silicon sleeve which replaces traditional frosting methods that use toxic acid to etch the surface of the glass covers. This helps prevent injuries and mercury leakage should the glass shatter inside the sleeve. Beyond being environmentally friendly, Megaman light bulbs are stylish and functional, Ms Pang said. 'We have to convince people that energy-saving light bulbs provide the same functions and elegance while being more environmentally friendly. We provide the best lighting solutions, which come in an array of choices with unique designs and innovative technology.' There is still a common misconception that energy-saving light bulbs are huge and inconvenient. The Megaman Ping Pong series proves otherwise. These lamps are as small as a table tennis ball yet as bright as a conventional 35-watt incandescent bulb. They are only seven watts and have a lifespan of 15,000 hours - 15 times longer than normal bulbs. DorS DIMMING, invented by Megaman, makes energy-saving lamps dimmable for the first time. Unlike other dimmable lights, DorS DIMMING bulbs conserve energy when the lamps are lowered. Other lamps are dimmed by changing light to heat energy rather than using less energy. Environmental considerations are also taken into account at every step of the manufacturing stage, from research and development to office management. The company set up an environmental protection taskforce in 1999 to identify and monitor environmental impact arising from daily business activities and operations. The taskforce organised training sessions, seminars and orientations to ensure that staff and partnering companies were aware that environmental conservation was their responsibility. All employees at Neonlite use laptops and mobile phones, ensuring that they work on a paperless basis. They encourage their business partners to use electronic copies rather than paper as well, and these measures have had an effect. Since 2000, Neonlite has reduced its paper consumption by 66 per cent. Neonlite has also reduced its electricity usage by 62 per cent since implementing an open-plan office, replacing all lights with energy-saving lamps and establishing a switch-lights-off guideline in 2000. 'It became the culture of our company,' Ms Pang said. 'If you use unnecessary hard copy, or don't put waste in the appropriate recycle bin, other colleagues will tell you not to do it again and you will have to pay a fine.' The company is also committed to educating the public. Panels in all of its concept stores illustrate how using energy-saving lamps help the environment. The company has organised an annual programme with TVB Jade since 2003 that focuses on energy saving and environmental protection. Last year Neonlite sponsored a lighting design competition among tertiary education institutions. It provided energy-saving light bulbs for the designs to promote their wider usage. The company was one of the major sponsors of the 2005 Eco-Products Award organised by the Business Environment Council and the 2005 Eco-Page Award organised by the Hong Kong Sustainable and Communications Association. Neonlite also gives talks and seminars on energy-saving. Ms Pang said winning the Grand Award showed the company's efforts were recognised by authoritative parties. This would further motivate it to excel in areas where there was still a need to improve, she said. 'We also hope that we can serve as a role model for other industries,' she said. 'When we have taken so many raw materials from the environment to make our products, it is our responsibility to minimise negative environmental impacts. 'Our company cannot conserve the environment alone. It needs everyone to pitch in.' and The judges said: 'Neolite [has demonstrated] strong management commitment, having developed systematic Eco-Product Design Guidelines, performed life cycle assessments to [its] products, implemented supply chain environmental management and supported [outreach] programmes [in] the community. It has also achieved landmark efforts in reducing [environmental] impact by significantly reducing carbon dioxide/greenhouse gas emissions in production. Its energy-saving programmes achieved electricity savings [of] more than 2,000 kWh a day, and more than 90 per cent of their new products are compliant with the European Union's directives on WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) and RoHS (Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations). It also uses amalgam to replace liquid mercury in product.'