Only one week remains to register for Daylight Hour, an annual social media campaign encouraging day-lit offices of all sizes to turn off nonessential lighting from noon to 1pm local time to reduce energy use, improve working environments, and save money.
During Daylight Hour 2017, more than 820 offices turned off lights in 100 million square feet of office space, reaching 10 million on social media and saving enough energy to power more than 9,400 homes for a day. Vancouver, San Francisco, and New York were among 12 cities and counties to commit to the participation of municipal buildings. Major participating organizations included Tishman Speyer, the Real Estate Board of New York, the New York Power Authority, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Building Energy Exchange, a New York City non-profit energy efficiency resource center that provides education to the real estate community, is encouraging offices all over the world to register for the fifth annual Daylight Hour. The social media campaign—which began in 2014 and occurs annually on the Friday nearest the summer solstice—encourages offices across all sectors to showcase their environmental commitment in a simple way: Turn off nonessential lights in daylit spaces from noon to 1pm local time, and post photos and other content to social media using the hashtag #DaylightHour.
Last year, more than 820 offices participated in 100 million square feet of office space, reaching 10 million on social media. The global campaign has reached cultural institutions, schools, government organizations, and corporate offices in twenty countries and counting.
CBRE Group, the world’s largest real estate services firm and the most far-reaching organization to participate in Daylight Hour, has registered offices in 11 countries, including Australia, China, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam.
The benefits of utilizing daylight in lieu of electric lighting include sizable energy and cost savings, increased employee comfort and wellbeing, reduced absenteeism, and improved productivity in the office environment. The campaign highlights the availability of natural light and the impacts of collective participation; it encourages organizations to register standalone offices and entire building portfolios alike. In 2017, FirstService Residential—North America’s largest manager of residential communities—registered 61 offices in 46 cities.
““The beauty of the Daylight Hour campaign is in its simplicity; it proves how one small act for a short period of time can make a huge impact for the greater good, and we are proud to be a part of this movement,”
In 2016, the campaign began calling on cities and counties to support Daylight Hour efforts in their regions by committing large swaths of municipal offices and inviting private sector entities to join. Since then, 15 cities and counties have registered for the campaign including New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, San Francisco, and Vancouver.
“We make choices every day that change the world around us, and turning off excessive lights is one of the easiest choices there is – and one of many opportunities for New Yorkers to come together to build a sustainable future,” said Mark Chambers, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability.
Other noteworthy institutions to join Daylight Hour include the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
After participating in previous years’ campaigns, some day-lit offices have opted to keep the lights off throughout the summer or even more often, like sustainability consultancy Great Forest, who extended the campaign to be a weekly event, year round.
“We need to get more people to pay attention to their immediate surroundings,” said Sheila Sweeney, Great Forest’s Director of Energy Services. “Part of what we do at Great Forest is to work closely with C-suite levels at property management firms around the US to forge change in the mindsets of their employees and the larger community. Now we’ve done it within our own offices with Daylight Hour.”
Participants are encouraged to utilize resources on the Daylight Hour website (www.daylighthour.org/resources/), including the energy savings calculator, marketing and engagement materials, Daylight Hour best practices, and case studies from past participants.
Daylight Hour will be on June 22, 2018 from noon until 1pm local time. Register at www.daylighthour.org/join and post your participation to social media to be included in the official count.
Contact: Yetsuh Frank, Managing Director, BE-Ex, firstname.lastname@example.org