ERCO acts responsibly in dealing with resources such as raw materials and energy - toward our customers, employees, and the environment. This is demonstrated in various fields of action: from our products and production to our corporate architecture.
The sustainability model
Conscientious action and the responsible use of the resources and means entrusted to us are a mandatory part of the corporation culture of ERCO. Safety and environmental protection start in the design stage for new articles; by designing appropriate, efficient and durable products. The controlled use of raw materials and energy during production (e.g. air, water, electricity and heating fuels) and the ability to recycle at the end of the product's life are our adopted principles. The rigorous adherence to all relevant legislation on safety and environmental protection are an accepted prerequisite in our work.
Efficient visual comfort
Lighting requires energy. Anyone involved in any aspect of lighting - from the manufacturer to the designer and the user - should use the limited resources
responsibly. On the other hand, energy efficiency should not be sought at any price, especially not at the expense of the quality of light. Our aim of efficient visual comfort consists of a number of
factors to optimise the efficiency of lighting without neglecting the needs of the user for quality lighting and visual comfort.
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Intelligent planning and the optimal use of our lighting tools are crucial factors in the design and presentation of sustainable architectural lighting. Therefore,
the ERCO sales organisation cooperates with a global network of ERCO lighting experts to provide comprehensive information, training opportunities and intensive consulting in matters related to light
and efficiency. Find your regional contact at:
Sustainable products and concepts
Environmental aspects of the substances and materials which ERCO uses are thoroughly assessed as early as in the development and conception of new products to ensure durability and efficiency of the products. We see to it that all our materials are safe and environmentally friendly so that there are no risks emanting from our products, neither in their production nor in their use or disposal.
Lighting control and software
Light, not luminaires - this has been the corporate philosophy of ERCO for many years and implies concentration on the production of immaterial products, on software instead of hardware. Lighting control systems and the pertinent software link luminaires in a network comprising intelligent lighting systems that offer manifold possibilities of energy savings while increasing the comfort. This is why they form a key part of ERCO's core competences.
Light pollution - Dark Sky
Light pollution refers to the spill light that due to its illuminance level, direction or spectrum constitutes an annoyance to people and all creatures. Through the
use of specifically designed lighting technology and lighting design solutions we can minimize spill light and emissions of light into the night sky. This also helps to save the energy otherwise
wasted on producing ineffective light; in addition the biorhythms and the orientation of nocturnal wildlife remain unimpaired and furthermore the starry sky can remain visible to humans.
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Our products are both functional and aesthetically real long-life products. The life expectancy of an ERCO luminaire is guided by the useful life of buildings and thus is measured in decades. The system design of our products does not follow short-lived trends. Instead, it produces design classics with technology that is constantly further developed while maintaining continuity in terms of their shape.
ERCO's transportation packaging and product packaging are made of recyclable paper and card. For ecological and economical reasons, it is expected that packaging materials will be recycled after use. Packaging made from paper and card fulfils these requirements. For specific packaging, it is sometimes necessary to combine paper and card with other materials (e.g. laminates, coatings). In some cases, these additional materials may limit the recyclability of the packaging. As a rule, we try to design the packaging using only paper and card, while ensuring that any additional non-paper components are suitable for recycling and do not restrict the recyclability of the packagings basic material.
Product collection (WEEE)
The WEEE 20002/96/EG Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment applies to the collection of old and used equipment, whereby the amount of waste due to electrical and electronic equipment is reduced and the recycling of materials is made easier. The directive requires that products be designed so as to facilitate good and non-dangerous dismantling, recycling or re-use. Furthermore, the producers must guarantee the collection, treatment and recycling of equipment named in Annex 1A of the WEEE and brought onto the market as of March 2006. ERCO has therefore been clearly labelling its products as of March 2006 and will take these back on a cost neutral basis. In order to comply, ERCO has entered into a partnership with waste disposal and recycling companies which operate throughout Europe, who will undertake the WEEE conformant handling for us.
Sustainable corporate architecture
ERCO's Technical Centre with its offices and workshops makes optimal use of the large glass areas in its façades and roofs to benefit from the available daylight. Utilising daylight saves energy and provides a delightful connection with the constant natural change in lighting conditions throughout the day. Among ERCO employees it creates an awareness of light qualities.
Solar power from the Light Factory: Since December 2007, a solar system of 1,140sqm on the roof of production building P2 has provided up to 160 kW of power (rated output) - i.e. around 10% of the energy consumption in the Factory. Within 3 years, the system is expected to have saved more CO2 than generated during its production.
Ecological aspects played a key role even in the erection of the Technical Centre in 1988-89. This led to decisions which included the design and construction of flat green roofs on the east and west wings of the building, which largely compensates for sealing natural ground due to the building.
The park-like company grounds just outside Lüdenscheid are designed close to nature. The lawns, for example, have largely been left as natural grassland. Parking areas have been planted with trees and made up with a water-permeable surface. The grounds measure some 80,000sqm and include headwaters with a brook rising from it. This area is protected as wetland. New buildings such as the high rack warehouse P3 are carefully incorporated into the topography.
Sustainable production conditions
Resource and energy management
ERCO considers the increasing importance of environmental protection by ensuring that the conservation of resources is applied to all new production methods. Optimisation in the use of electrical and heat energy is achieved by energy-saving measures and heat recovery systems. Water consumption has been reduced by recycling, including the use of processes where baths are used for long periods and by reducing tank sizes.
A range of waste products arise during the production of our luminaires. To deal with this ERCO has a waste concept ? prioritised as: avoidance, reduction and recycling ? the objective is to reduce the overall amount of waste and to raise the proportion of recyclable waste. To do this, any option for internal recycling is used before the waste is separated and sorted and returned to the specific materials cycle for recycling other materials or are to be used for heating. We only use certified waste disposal companies to be sure that our waste is transported and treated correctly when it leaves our premises.
Use of process materials
Where process materials are used for the production of luminaires, ERCO's intention is to limit the impact on people and the environment throughout the entire product life cycle. For example, ERCO uses water-based paints and innovative mild cleaning agents, instead of aggressive solvents, while avoiding the use of chromium-based (VI+) coatings. As this is not always possible, the impact on people and the environment is kept as low as possible through technological and organisational measures.
RoHS (Restriction on Hazardous Substances) is the 2002/95/EG Directive of the European Parliament and Council restricting the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. As of its effective date of the 1st of July 2006, it is no longer permitted to use certain materials in the production of new equipment or to bring them into circulation (exemptions for certain applications are listed in the annex of the directive). The prohibited materials are: lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE). As legally required, ERCO therefore offers its products on the market pursuant to RoHS. All products and components that fully conform to the substance prohibition of RoHS are marked on their packaging with the corresponding symbol. This means that, to the extent dictated by the statutory regulations, mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), polybrominated biphenyl (PBB), polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) and compounds containing chromium (VI) are not contained in our products.