Greg Sebasky has represented Philips in several different roles, which have allowed him to speak at conferences about the company’s role in areas like sustainability and health care. Sebasky is currently chairman of Philips North America. He’s been interviewed by media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal and Fast Company about his leadership skills. In this abridged discussion, he talks about the energy efficiency of LED lighting.
What cities, nationally or internationally, can you point to as models of sustainability?
In the U.S., there are a number of them, but I would point to New York City as a model. We have recognized Mayor Michael Bloomberg for putting in place energy standards that require building owners at the time they do renovations above a certain size to upgrade their buildings to new codes that are among some of the strongest [in the] nation around energy efficiency. Amsterdam and Denmark also come to mind.
What partnerships does Philips have with cities, counties or states?
We have been attending the U.S. Conference of Mayors for a number of years now. Mayors have an interest in how Philips can help them become more sustainable. A lot of the discussions have been around street and roadway lighting, because they face the dilemma of trying to bring down their costs. Through the use of advanced LED lighting and swapping out street lighting, they have improved energy efficiency [and] can control the lights from a Web-based application.
Do you think this is a trend? Will this continue happening in the future?
It is accelerating from where it was a couple of years ago. We are doing a number of projects with mayors around the U.S. The last couple of years, they have also been intrigued by unique design lighting solutions because they feel that by enhancing the environment with light in the evening for safety and color, they also can improve tourism.
What’s on the horizon for government as far as Philips is concerned?
We have been building up our government relationship programs to try to work with energy ministries at the local level to do three things. One is to enhance communities through light, either by energy efficiency or improving design and ambiance. The second is to help connect patients at home into the health-care system through our health-care business. The third is to provide healthy appliances for people in their homes. People in the U.S. have seen our Sonicare and Avent product lines, but if you go outside the U.S., we have a range of products for healthy food preparation. In China, people are worried about the quality of food coming out of the farms, so we have appliances that can wash fresh vegetables and fruits and disinfect them through light.