Denis Schwartz is a Partner Manager at Helvar, responsible for market development in the DACH region. He is supported by 10 years of experience in the lighting industry, as well as by selected and certified Helvar partners who help their customers improve employee wellbeing and reduce carbon footprints through intelligent lighting controls.
New ESG rules and green reporting
“Corporations and publicly listed companies […] have become accustomed to their shareholders and lenders demanding data on the sustainability of business models.” ¹ For medium-sized companies however, this was typically done on a voluntary basis, often as part of a marketing strategy to introduce green reporting. Furthermore, when it came to reporting with this approach, it has also been easier to decide what to focus on.
But now, as a medium-sized company, times could change quickly for you. The new ESG Directive requires companies with more than 250 employees to report on how climate-friendly, environmentally friendly and socially responsible their operations are. As a result, the number of companies that have to create such reports will increase from 500 to 15,000— and that’s only in Germany.
Simultaneously, these changes mean that there is a lot less time available to implement processes for regular internal reporting. With that being said, if you don’t feel prepared yet, you’re likely not alone. “According to a survey of 179 companies from Germany, Austria and Switzerland conducted by PWC from April to June 2021, four out of ten companies have not yet addressed the issue.” ¹
How lighting controls can help you
Lighting is always a fundamental building block of your company environment and, depending on which industry you find yourself in, can contribute to a handsome proportion of your energy consumption.
Reinhard Krotz, Managing Director of our partner Working Light LED Lichtsysteme GmbH, always says: “A lighting control system is the gateway to data”. And he’s correct; with lighting fixtures present across your entire premises, an intelligent lighting system will not only reduce your carbon footprint through efficient control and lighting sources, but will also enable you to collect all kinds of data.
With Helvar Insights, for example, you have the ability to collect data on your energy consumption and have it automatically sent as a report to your key reporting centres. Not only that, but Helvar Insights also helps you to optimise your building’s utilisation and save additional energy over its lifetime through advanced algorithms.²
As you can see, you are not alone in being faced with the question of how to implement the ESG directive in the future. In the field of lighting, we are happy to help you collect all the data you need in an automated and intuitive manner. This then empowers you with additional capabilities, and a significant advantage over companies that have to help themselves with Excel tables. Even if it might seem like “fun” in our digitalised world, “a good third of companies use Excel spreadsheets for ESG reporting”. ¹
How can I retrofit a lighting control system?
When we speak about retrofitting your existing lighting system, it’s possible that there are various additional incentives and opportunities available to you. In Germany, for example, the KfW development bank can offer subsidies for general energy saving purposes, allowing you to modernise and upgrade several components of your building and transition to a DALI-capable lighting system. With such an approach, you can collect and evaluate data via a DALI-based lighting control system.
There are also opportunities to switch to a different form of lighting control, possibly also with a subsidy, in which case a wireless lighting control system can also be a suitable choice. Daniel Grün, responsible for corporate development at Helvar partner Lipa Lichtpartner GmbH, is an ActiveAhead wireless expert and takes a clear stand on this. “In this day and age, no luminaire should be manufactured and sold without a sensor. In order to achieve maximum energy savings and to adjust lighting based on people moving around in the building, modern lighting controls are the only way forward.”
1 Fehr, Mark: “New ESG rules for 15,000 companies”, in: Frankfurter Allgemeine, 2020,
2 Helvar Insights