Friends of the earth
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An Public letter to Apple Company:

Please Remember To Turn Off Your Lights!



(Public letter, 6 May 2013)


no one walks in Central in 2:00am, but APPLE still keep switching on all the lights in its IFC store.



To APPLE Inc.,


Your esteemed company always claims that you attach great importance to environmental protection, energy saving, emission reduction and global climate change. However, Friends of the Earth (HK) has received several complaints that your Hong Kong sub branches do not turn off their lights even after midnight when the shops are closed. This behavior produces extra and unnecessary light pollution in Hong Kong.


Our staff visited the 3 APPLE stores in Hong Kong: International Finance Centre (IFC), Hysan Place in Causeway Bay and Festival Walk in Kowloon Tong, to verify the accusation.  We agree with the complainers that the light pollution level is rather high and causes a nuisance. Take the IFC store for example, the full lighting system of the whole shop was still on at 2 o’clock in the morning though the shop itself closes at 9 pm. The strong light from your shop forms a sharp contrast with the quiet, dark surroundings. Moreover, the light even influences regions as far as the new Waterfront park next to the Central-Wan Chai Bypass, becoming a new source of light pollution, disturbance and nuisance for people in that area. As for the Hysan Place store, approximately 500 lamps including spotlights, light tubes and the LED sign are all working late at night, as if electricity costs nothing for your shop.  This light disturbs pedestrians and in particular the people living nearby.


We note that APPLE claimed to the media that the light is out of “security and cleaning considerations”. The validity of the claim is doubtful: even if there is such a need, it is unnecessary to keep all lights on, as it is obvious that security and cleaning have nothing to do with the dazzling outdoor logo and light box advertising. As far as our organization is concerned, the saying is just an excuse for passing the buck of an enterprise’s corporate social and environmental responsibilities.


You also mention on your website that “switching off lights and recycling office waste” are not by themselves sufficient for environmental protection. But we are afraid that both your sincerity of making positive contributions to the environment and your accountability as an international brand are hard to believe because you cannot even fulfill your basic promise and turn off the lights! (Link to relevant APPLE environmental promises on facilities:


Friend of the Earth (HK) expects APPLE to play a leading role in taking social and environmental responsibility. We hope you could shut down at least 80% of your lighting systems as soon as possible after closure of your shops, just leaving on a few key lights to promote your products and logo, and only turn on additional lights when actual cleaning is happening.


If you could limit your main light usage to only a period from 7 am to 11 pm, we are sure that your commitment will be better demonstrated. After all, a good enterprise acts also as a good neighbor for our community who will never place their own commercial interests above the health of others and the environment. We are looking forward to your active response to our criticisms.



Mayling Chan

CEO, Friends of the Earth (HK)

May 6, 2013

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