Thorlux Lighting is committed to minimising the environmental impact of both its manufacturing processes and products. However, even with the most responsible approach, some carbon dioxide (CO₂) and other greenhouse gases (GHG), collectively referred to as CO₂ equivalent (CO₂e), will be released into the atmosphere as an indirect result of factory and selling activities and customers’ use of luminaires. In 2009 Thorlux designed an ambitious carbon-offsetting scheme to help compensate for these emissions.
"It’s particularly pleasing that this woodland will be contributing towards a number of targets to address climate change. The scheme is a demonstration that we recognise the emissions from Thorlux Lighting and the FW Thorpe Lighting Group and will also help the Welsh Government’s target to increase the area of woodland."
The first site in Wales to be accredited to the
Thorlux has worked hard to develop and implement a truly effective environmental management system and is proud to have achieved ISO14001:2015 certification. ISO 14001:2015 confirms that a management system meets the highest international environmental standards.
In June 2019, parliament passed legislation requiring the government to reduce the UK’s net emissions of greenhouse gases by 100%, relative to 1990 levels, by 2050. Doing so would make the UK a ‘net zero’ emitter. Net zero refers to achieving a balance between the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. CO₂ is seen as the largest contributor to climate change.
Thorlux, therefore, aims to minimise energy consumption associated with its products, both directly during manufacturing and selling activities and indirectly via the users of its products (lighting accounts for 20% of the energy consumed globally). By continuing to design and manufacture luminaires that are as optically and energy efficient as possible, fewer luminaires are required on a lighting scheme and power consumption is reduced. Thorlux luminaires use energy-efficient control gear and LED circuits. Electronic control systems can further reduce energy consumption by reducing output in response to the presence of natural daylight or by turning lighting off due to a lack of presence. Use of the Thorlux SmartScan wireless lighting management system can show significant energy savings of up to 70% compared to a similar uncontrolled lighting system.
The carbon footprint is a measure of the amount of CO₂ and other greenhouse gases (CO₂e) emitted by human activity or accumulated over the complete life cycle of a product or service. A manufacturing process or lighting installation will always have a carbon footprint. Thorlux calculated that each luminaire indirectly creates an average of 2.8 kilograms of CO₂e during its production and marketing to the point where it leaves the factory and is delivered on a company vehicle.
No matter how efficient the luminaire is and how effective the control system is, a lighting installation still requires some electricity to operate. A 250 W luminaire, for example, may create up to 8.95 tonnes of CO₂e due to the electricity used during its 20-year life. That is around 2,500 times the amount generated during its production. A 116 W garage forecourt floodlight operated on a 24-hour cycle will consume 1,120 kWh of electricity and indirectly produce 200 kg of CO₂e per annum. Thorlux, being aware of its environmental responsibilities, has designed an in-house carbon offsetting scheme to enable the company and its customers to offset their carbon footprints.
Carbon offsetting is the compensation of CO₂ emissions by equivalent savings elsewhere. Carbon offsetting projects may include the installation of energy saving devices in developing countries, the investment in renewable energy schemes such as wind farms or “carbon bank” tree planting schemes.
Thorlux has chosen to plant trees. Why trees? Trees and other plants absorb CO₂ during photosynthesis. One tree grown to maturity in open space can absorb approximately 1 tonne of CO₂ over its lifetime. A forest covering many acres can effectively lock up CO₂, creating a “carbon sink”. On 215 acres of land in Cwm Fagor, near Devauden in Monmouthshire, Thorlux (and the FW Thorpe Plc Group) plans to plant enough trees to offset group emissions each year. 179,412 trees have been planted between 2009 and 2022.
Native broadleaf species maximise the potential of the site, linking up adjoining ancient woodlands and so improving the local environment. Sustainable forest management ensures that the trees thrive and are harvested at appropriate times to be used in wood-related products, ensuring that the carbon is held within the wood well past the lifetime of the tree.
Forestry principles require that 4-5 trees are planted to ensure 1 grows to maturity, offsetting 1 tonne of CO₂. Faster-growing species will reach maturity faster and will be thinned to allow room for the slower-growing species to form the remaining forest.
The project has been designed and is managed by a silviculturalist (an expert in the development and management of forests), with a view to long-term accreditation by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). It has the backing of Natural Resources Wales and is the first site in Wales to gain approval with the Woodland Carbon Code (WCC), a voluntary standard for woodland creation projects in the UK to monitor and assess claims about the CO₂ sequestered. WCC guidelines refer to sequestered carbon as CO₂e.
Most importantly, you should first minimise your carbon footprint. Plan your lighting scheme using the most energy-efficient solution that is practical for your application. Use automatic controls that take advantage of daylight ingress and use presence detection. Such controls offer the added benefit of extended luminaire life.
You should also consider the effect on the environment of producing the luminaires. Thorlux luminaires have a negligible effect on the environment during their production as the CO₂ per luminaire is offset by Thorlux and the manufacturing environment is certified ISO 14001.
You can help compensate for your carbon footprint through the Thorlux carbon offsetting scheme. If you, our customer, join the scheme, the impact will be far greater than Thorlux can achieve alone and, by planting your trees through the Thorlux scheme, you can be confident of achieving the maximum benefit - our project is managed by experts to ensure a sustainable forest.
Tree planting is an effective approach to carbon offsetting. A typical school sports hall using 25 x 141 W luminaires can be carbon offset by planting only 3 trees which then live to maturity.
It costs £7.50 to offset 1 tonne of CO₂e, which includes the planning, tree planting and long-term maintenance. The typical installation above would cost only £22.50 per year to offset at current emission levels (April 2020).
Approximately 1 tonne of CO₂ will be sequestered by ensuring 1 tree grows to maturity. To reach maturity more than one tree will be initially planted. 1 tonne of CO₂ equates to approximately 5,170 kWh of electricity.
To calculate the number of tonnes to offset each year, divide the annual energy consumption of your installation (in kWh) by 5,170. For example, if an installation uses 18,000 kWh per annum, you need to offset 3.5 tonnes. Alternatively, you can use our online energy calculator to determine your CO₂e emissions from Thorlux luminaires, a report will be generated in PDF format.
We also recommend offsetting packages with our quotations.
Douglas Fir, Norway Spruce, Western Red Cedar
Alder, Oak, Hazel
Douglas Fir, Oak, Mixed Broadleaves
Oak, Mixed Broadleaves
Oak, Wild Cherry, Mixed Broadleaves
215 Acres of land
NOTE: No ash trees have been planted since ash dieback (chalara) was found in the UK.
tonnes of CO₂e over a period of 100 years
Retiring FW Thorpe Group Director David Taylor (left) and Group Chairman Michael Allcock plant the last tree in the Thorlux Carbon Offsetting woodland.
The site has a net capacity of 36,413 tonnes of CO₂e for the offsetting of FW Thorpe Plc emissions.
In the greenhouse effect, the surface of the earth absorbs heat from the sun, re-emitting it as infrared radiation. This infrared radiation is absorbed by CO₂ water, ozone, methane and chloro-fluorocarbons (CFCs) and radiated back to earth.
An unnatural increase in greenhouse gases may therefore raise global temperatures and could cause climate change with such resulting phenomena as adverse weather patterns, the melting of polar ice caps and rising sea levels.
CO₂ is identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in their 2007 report “Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report”, as the single biggest contributor to climate change.
We will plant native broadleaf species - oak, hornbeam, birch, willow and wild cherry. The faster growing trees will be harvested (to FSC guidelines) to allow room for the slower growing species to mature.
Some non-native species can absorb greater levels of CO₂ however they will have a negative effect on local wildlife. Native species will improve the natural environment and provide a habitat for indigenous natural wildlife.
The UK was approximately 98% forest before man settled. At the start of the 1900s, most of the forest had gone; only 5% of the UK was covered. Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, this figure is back up to 12%, but only 2% is with native species, the remainder being fast-growing conifers for the timber trade. Much of the UK’s indigenous wildlife cannot survive in these conifer forests, hence the importance of increasing the coverage of native trees.
Yes, you are welcome to visit. You will receive an email detailing what you have purchased and the location of the site. The site will be open with free access all year round.
To quantify Thorlux’s carbon footprint, we measured all electricity, gas and fuel used (including by company-owned vehicles but excluding sub-contractors’ activities) in our UK factory and selling activities. We multiplied these quantities by factors provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in its “Greenhouse Gas Reporting: conversion factors 2019” to estimate the total CO₂e produced.
By dividing the total CO₂e produced by the number of luminaires that Thorlux produces each year, we calculated that each luminaire creates an average of 2.8 kg CO₂e in its production and delivery.
Use our online energy calculator to determine your CO₂ emissions from Thorlux luminaires, a report will be generated in PDF format.Use calculator
Trees absorb CO₂ during photosynthesis. (Trees and other plants use CO₂ and water in the presence of light to produce energy-containing carbohydrates.) The CO₂ remains in the tree until it dies and decomposes. Through sustainable management, trees can be harvested and used in wood products, therefore trapping the CO₂ and not releasing it back into the atmosphere.
It may be necessary to plant as many as 5 trees to achieve one tonne of sequestration due to forestry management requirements. Conditions will be monitored and adjusted as required by the silviculturalist and the Woodland Carbon Code. Each tree that grows to maturity will absorb approximately 1 tonne (1000 kg) of CO₂e over 100 years. 1 tonne of CO₂e equates to approximately 5,170 kWh of electricity (0.1934 kg per kWh, 2022 figure). Divide your total carbon footprint (kg CO₂e) for a year by 1000 to provide the total number of trees required that year. Alternatively, divide your energy use in kWh by 5,170.
ISO 14001 is an internationally accepted standard that sets out a framework of essential elements for putting an effective environmental management system in place.
An environmental management system allows an organisation to consistently control its impact on the environment, reduce the risk of pollution incidents, ensure compliance with environmental legislation, and continually improve business operations.
ISO 14001 addresses the delicate balance between maintaining profitability and reducing environmental impact.
Carbon offsetting alone is not a cure for climate change. The most effective action you can take is to reduce your emissions. However, carbon offsetting can help reduce the impact of our energy consumption, and it makes us think more carefully about our effect on the environment.
The Thorlux SmartScan System uses presence detection and daylight linking to control light levels. Lights turn off when an area is vacant. When the lights are switched on, the light levels adjust automatically to combine with available natural light. Measurements have proven significant energy savings, depending on natural light ingress and presence frequency.
The FSC is an international organisation to promote responsible management of the world’s woodlands. For further information, see fsc.org.
Natural Resources Wales is a government department established for looking after the environment, with a division dedicated to forest management. For further information, see naturalresources.wales.
The Thorlux Woodland project is the first site in Wales to gain approval with the Woodland Carbon Code, a voluntary standard for woodland creation projects in the UK to monitor and assess claims about the CO₂ sequestered. See woodlandcarboncode.org.uk.
5 year cumulative
10 year cumulative
(assuming 5% energy inflation per annum)
5 year cumulative
10 year cumulative
(assuming 5% energy inflation per annum)
(Figures based on the 2019 emission factor 0.2773 kg of CO₂e per kWh)