Green Innovation

Green Innovation is the Research & Development spend related to the development of new generations of Green Products and Green Technologies. We announced in 2010 our plan to invest a cumulative EUR 2 billion in Green Innovation during the coming 5 years. In 2014, Philips already achieved this EUR 2 billion target a year ahead of schedule as we invested some EUR 463 million in Green Innovation, excluding Lumileds and Automotive. Lighting continued to be the largest contributor, mainly as a result of investments in LED. The impact of Lumileds and Automotive on Green Innovation is significant at EUR 105 million in 2014 and EUR 104 million in 2013.

Philips Group
Green Innovation per sector in millions of EUR
2010 - 2014
605615146313‘10856717536363‘111367020938453‘12807522327405‘1390Healthcare97Consumer Lifestyle255Lighting21Group Innovation463‘14


Healthcare develops innovative solutions across the continuum of care in collaboration with clinicians and customers, to improve patient outcomes, provide better value, and expand access to care. Healthcare investments in Green Innovation in 2014 amounted to EUR 90 million, an increase of EUR 10 million compared to 2013. In hardware innovation, we take into account all Green Focal Areas and aim to reduce environmental impact over the total lifecycle, with a focus on energy efficiency and substance management. Other areas covered include increased levels of recycled content in our products, remote servicing and closing the materials loop contributing to a circular economy, e.g. through upgrading strategies, parts harvesting and refurbishing. Healthcare actively supports a voluntary industry initiative (COCIR) for improving the energy efficiency of imaging equipment. Moreover, we are actively partnering with care providers to look together for innovative ways to reduce the environmental impact of healthcare, for example by optimizing energy efficient use of medical equipment.

Consumer Lifestyle 

Increased R&D investments at Consumer Lifestyle are also reflected in increased Green Innovation which amounted to EUR 97 million in 2014 compared to EUR 75 million in 2013. This increase resulted in higher Green Product sales in all Business Groups. The sector continued its work on improving the energy efficiency of its products, closing the materials loop (e.g. by using recycled materials in products and packaging) and the voluntary phase-out of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), brominated flame retardants (BFR) and Bisphenol A (BPA) from food contact products. In particular, more than 80% of the shaving, grooming and oral healthcare products are completely PVC/BFR-free.


At Lighting, we strive to make the world healthier and more sustainable through energy-efficient lighting systems. With a 2014 investment of EUR 255 million in Green Innovation (excluding Lumileds and Automotive at EUR 105 million), Lighting invested EUR 32 million more than in 2013. Increasing investments in digital lighting solutions have led to further improvements in the area of energy efficiency. In 2014, Lighting piloted a breakthrough connected lighting system for offices, featuring Power-over-Ethernet (PoE-enabled) luminaires. By offering employees personal control of the lighting above their desks, the system delivers appropriate task lighting levels while keeping general lighting levels lower, enhancing both worker efficiency and energy efficiency. The connected lighting system integrates with other building systems such as heating, ventilation, and IT services to realize significant energy savings — not only on lighting, but also on HVAC and other services, which together account for up to 70% of a building’s energy usage.

Beyond significant energy efficiency benefits, the connected lighting system supports the transition to a more circular economy. PoE-enabled luminaires eliminate the need for power cabling, simplifying installation and lowering initial costs. A flexible and open system architecture streamlines servicing and maintenance, affords an easy upgrade path, and extends system lifetime.

Philips Group Innovation

Philips Group Innovation invested EUR 21 million in Green Innovations, spread over projects focused on global challenges related to water, air, waste, energy, food and access to affordable healthcare. Group Innovation used the Sustainable Innovations Assessment tool, in which innovation projects are mapped, categorized and scored along the environmental and social dimension in order to identify those innovation projects that drive sustainable innovation.

Philips Green Patent portfolio

At the end of 2014, Philips’ IP portfolio comprised 8% green patent families, which means that all these patent families were labeled with at least one Green Focal Area. In 2014, 10% of our total patent filings were flagged as green patent family. Energy efficiency is the most frequently occurring Green Focal Area throughout the portfolio. Multiplying the portfolio percentage with our annual patent portfolio cost in 2014 determines the amount that we invest in Green IP, which constitutes part of Philips investment in Green Innovation.

While a product can become green by incorporating an environmentally friendly technology, such technology cannot necessarily be protected in a patent because of lack of patentability over the state-of-the-art technology. Therefore not all Green Technologies implemented in our Green Products can be captured in patents.

Energy efficiency of products

Energy efficiency is a key Green Focal Area for our Green Products. According to our analysis, about 97% of the energy consumed during the use phase of our products is attributable to Lighting products. The remaining 3% is split over Consumer Lifestyle and Healthcare. Therefore, we focus on the energy efficiency of our Lighting products in the calculation. The annual energy consumption per product category is calculated by multiplying the power consumption of a product by the average annual operating hours and the annual pieces sold and then dividing the light output (lumens) by the energy consumed (watts). The average energy efficiency of our total product portfolio increased slightly in 2014 to 40.5 lumen per watt (but improved 21% compared to 2009, the baseline year). The exclusion of Lumileds and Automotive has a limited upward effect on the energy efficiency of the portfolio.

In 2014 LED sales advanced well, but demand for conventional lighting remained fairly stable due to the challenging economic environment. Since the number of traditional lamps sold is significantly higher than LEDs, the energy efficiency improvement of the total Lighting portfolio in 2014 was limited. We expect the energy efficiency to improve in the coming years as the traditional incandescent lamp is banned in more countries. Our target for 2015 is a 50% improvement compared to the 2009 baseline. In this target setting, assumptions were made about the speed of the regulatory developments in this area, which fell short of expectations. Therefore, in 2015 the target of 50% improvement will not yet be achieved. Further details on this parameter and the methodology can be found in the document ‘Energy efficiency of Philips products’ at

Circular Economy

The transition from a linear to a circular economy is essential to create a sustainable world. A circular economy aims to decouple economic growth from the use of natural resources and ecosystems by using these resources more effectively. It is a driver of innovation in the areas of material, component and product re-use, as well as new business models such as system solutions and services. In a circular economy, more effective (re)use of materials enables the creation of more value, both by means of cost savings and by developing new markets or growing existing ones.

For more information on our Circular Economy activities, please refer to EcoVision.

Closing the materials loop

The amount of collection and recycling for 2013 (reported in 2014) was calculated at 31,500 tonnes, a 3% increase compared to 31,000 tonnes reported in 2013, mainly driven by lower weight of products and components in Healthcare, offset by higher volumes in Lighting. The 2009 baseline for global collection and recycling amounts was around 22,500 tonnes, based on the data retrieved from the WEEE collection schemes and from our own recycling and refurbishment services (mainly Healthcare).

Recycled materials

We calculated the amount of recycled materials used in our products in 2014 at some 13,000 tonnes (2013: 14,000 tonnes), by focusing on the material streams plastics (Consumer Lifestyle), aluminum (Lighting), refurbished products, and spare parts harvesting (Healthcare) depending on the relevance in each sector.

Our target is to double global collection and recycling and the amount of recycled materials in our products by 2015 compared to 2009, when the baseline was set at 7,500 tonnes. Further details on this parameter and the methodology can be found in the document ‘Closing the materials loop’ at


Green Innovation comprise all R&D activities directly contributing to the development of Green Products or Green Technologies.

Green Products offer a significant environmental improvement in one or more Green Focal Areas: Energy efficiency, Packaging, Hazardous substances, Weight, Recycling and disposal and Lifetime reliability. The life cycle approach is used to determine a product’s overall environmental improvement. It calculates the environmental impact of a product over its total life cycle (raw materials, manufacturing, product use and disposal).

Green Products need to prove leadership in at least one Green Focal Area compared to industry standards, which is defined by a sector specific peer group. This is done either by outperforming reference products (which can be a competitor or predecessor product in the particular product family) by at least 10%, outperforming product specific eco-requirements or by being awarded with a recognized eco-performance label. Because of different product portfolios, sectors have specified additional criteria for Green Products, including product specific minimum requirements where relevant.

CO2-equivalent or carbon dioxide equivalent is a quantity that describes, for a given mixture and amount of greenhouse gas, the amount of CO2 that would have the same global warming potential (GWP), when measured over a specified timescale (generally 100 years).

A circular economy aims to decouple economic growth from the use of natural resources and ecosystems by using those resources more effectively. By definition it is a driver for innovation in the areas of material-, component- and product reuse, as well as new business models such as solutions and services. In a Circular Economy, the more effective use of materials enables to create more value, both by cost savings and by developing new markets or growing existing ones.

Polyvinyl chloride, better known as PVC or vinyl, is an inexpensive plastic so versatile it has become completely pervasive in modern society. The list of products made from polyvinyl chloride is exhaustive, ranging from phonograph records to drainage and potable piping, water bottles, cling film, credit cards and toys. More uses include window frames, rain gutters, wall paneling, doors, wallpapers, flooring, garden furniture, binders and even pens.

Brominated flame retardants are a group of chemicals that have an inhibitory effect on the ignition of combustible organic materials. Of the commercialized chemical flame retardants, the brominated variety are most widely used.