As part of EuroCham’s Green Growth Sector Committee (GGSC), Jonathan Trouillon spoke on Tuesday, June 7, 2022.
EuroCham’s Green Growth Sector Committee organized a conference on “Green Buildings in Vietnam: where we are and how we will achieve the targets in 2030”. Its objective was to discuss the current legal framework governing green building in Vietnam and share initiatives in green building operations. The event was moderated by the Head of the GGSC Sustainable Construction Working Group, Mr. Sergio Pereira da Silva.
As an engineer and environmental jurist from his education, Jonathan Trouillon, who has become a lighting expert consultant and entrepreneur in the social and lighting field, took the floor to answer a few questions related to his area of expertise. These questions are listed and addressed below:
First question: What is light pollution? What are the issues related to it and is it a new paradigm or a trend?
Jonathan : “Light pollution occurs when artificial light – whether from housing, business, industry or street lighting – affects the viewing experience at night. This wastes energy and affects our perception. It is because of light pollution, for example, that it is almost impossible to see the stars in the city sky at night.
Any artificial light that is not necessary is a pollutant that has serious and negative consequences on fauna, flora and people. In fact, we don’t necessarily “feel” it, but light also affects us, our emotions and our health.
It is therefore much more than a paradigm, it is a health and environmental problem which is little known and which is just beginning to be regulated and standardized.
The bad news is that the current trend is rather to over-illuminate to promote both products and architectural work rather than adopting a frugal and sustainable approach to light.
My conviction is that it is absolutely possible to work on a luxury project for example, with refinement and elegance and yet by keeping the lighting design simple, without consuming more. Excess and abundance, especially in light, is not desirable from any point of view.
Also, there is a social aspect to light because not everyone has the same needs. It is essential to ensure equity and a luminous balance that can correspond to all. For example, in the case of several generations under the same roof, we will ensure that the light can adapt to each one.”
Second question: How did you go from a position of lamp manufacturer to being a responsible and sustainable lighting entrepreneur & consultant? Is it possible to switch from one to the other?
Jonathan: “Yes, I have been involved in different jobs related to light, but I believe a lot in transversality. After manufacturing, I understood the issues relating to the life cycle of lamps and the issues relating to carbon and energy efficiency in regards to light and well-being. These experiences were very formative, and allowed me to learn from past mistakes.
Through my training as an engineer and environmental jurist, I decided to detach myself from manufacturing and to use this light material in a freer, more ethical and more responsible way to participate positively in the prevention of any undesirable impact of light on man and the environment.”
Third question: What do you think of the goal of reducing carbon emissions by 2030?
Jonathan: “I must say that I am pessimistic on the one hand, because there is a time to think about climate laws and unfortunately there is still nothing clear and established nationally. There is also a time to vote, there is a time to implement and apply standards and laws, in particular with the help of experts and consultants in sustainable construction. Finally, there is a time to audit and check the conformity of what has been done. All of this is very expensive and the current model is taking the opposite direction.
I am however optimistic in the capacity of man to react and adapt, but we must not forget the environmental irreversibility. In short, I believe that the climate emergency is real and it is up to all of us to act at our different scales.”
Thank you again for the invitation and thank you to all those who participated in the event and its organization.