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APPLE Slapping HKSAR Government in the Face

FOE(HK) Urges Task Force on External Lighting Not to Let Major Light Pollution Culprits Get Away


(6th May 2013, Press Release) World-renowned brand Apple slaps HKSAR government in the face while it is recently outlining regulations against light pollution. Apple stores are all brightly lit in the middle of the night, turning a blind eye to the waste of energy and the nuisances caused by the light pollution. Apple logo at IFC II has become the new landmark of light pollution in Central, with the bright light clearly visible even from offices of Legislative Council 700 meters away.


Task Force on Light Pollution will meet this Wednesday to discuss how to effectively regulate light pollution, such as by introducing crucial measures like mandatory lights-off hours for shops. Spokesperson of Friends of the Earth (HK) expressed that Apple’s irresponsibility in energy conservation and avoiding nuisances caused by light pollution highlights the urgency of regulating light pollution, and at the same time tests whether the Task Force would favour big corporations by turning a blind eye to these major culprits of light pollution and sacrificing public interest.


In the past few months, Friends of the Earth (HK) has received numerous complaints about Apple causing light pollution. After inspecting Apple stores at IFC II, Hysan Place in Causeway Bay and Festival Walk in Kowloon Tong, the organization discovered that light pollution is particularly severe in the first 2 shops. After its closing time at 9pm, Apple store at IFC II burns its lights until two o’clock in the morning, standing out oddly in the darkness, with the reflected light even reaching the New Wanchai Bypass area. The other store at Hysan Place burns the lights even more ‘sparingly’, with around 500 spotlights, fluorescent tubes and signboards on all three floors of the store brightly-lit in the middle of the night. (See chart below)



Overview of Apple’s Light Pollution


Closing Time

Light Pollution Level

Reference Photos



The new landmark of light pollution in Central. With the nearby large signboards turning their lights off, Apple store stands brightly lit in the empty central, serving little promotional purpose. (As seen in the photo, there is no car or pedestrian on the streets! Whose eyes is the bright Apple sign trying to catch?


Hysan Place at Causeway Bay


10pm or 11pm

More than 500 fluorescent tubes and spotlights all on until at least 2 am.

Festival Walk


Half of the lights off after midnight, but still a huge contrast compared to the nearby shops that responsibly switched all lights off.

Remarks: Inspection dates—IFC: 6 March, 25 Match, 17 April; Hysan Place: 17 April; Festival Walk: 1 May


Friends of the Earth (HK) finds it plausible that Apple, on its official website, pledges to make energy conversation and emission reduction as high priorities. However, ‘if Apple cannot even switch off its lights, it gives customers the impression that Apple is nothing but a brand with no social responsibility and only pays lip service to conservation. (Apple’s pledge on energy conservation in stores: )


Friends of the Earth (HK) urges Apple to take up the role as conservation pioneer by switching off lights in stores when they are closed; or by keeping lights on at a minimal level during warehouse cleanups. The organization also urges the government to legislate light pollution regulations that at least targets decorative lighting and to introduce 11pm to 7am lights-out measures (with reference to the Noise Control Ordinance), in order to achieve energy conservation and emission reduction, as well as to avoid nuisances created by light pollution.


Media Enquiries:

Hahn Chu, Senior Manager - Environmental Affairs  2528 5588

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