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Conde Nast
Conde Nast

The need for sustainable lighting design solutions will be the next major shift facing our industry. We are working towards this at Ström by moving away from the traditional linear design approach and actively proposing circular lighting design schemes. 

Fritidshus Exterior Umeå Varg Arkitekter

Sustainable Summer House, Sweden - Render by Varg Arkitekter  

Sustainability has been a key focus of the architecture, engineering and construction industry for quite some time, but the term has a broad meaning, and its applications are even broader. The most effective way to optimise environmental sustainability will differ from project to project.

At Ström, we’re committed to understanding the impact of our lighting designs on the environment and seeking ways to improve them by incorporating circular design principles as much as possible.
An easy win is to reduce – and yes, this means fewer light fixtures. It's always important to
consider how much light is actually needed in a scheme and to prioritise quality over quantity. Maximising the use of daylight is also a given – it benefits both people and the planet.
Considered and technically competent designs help us achieve these goals.

We strive to specify lighting in such a way that products can be maintained and then repurposed rather than recycled after their initial life cycle. We’re eager to work with our clients, partners and suppliers to explore options such as upcycling, salvaging, refurbishing or using products with interchangeable components wherever possible. As lighting designers, we must foster a mindset that values this approach.

A circular process requires collaboration, education, and knowledge-sharing up and down the design and specification chain and across all parties. The GreenLight Alliance is an initiative that embodies this ethos, and we’re proud to be one of its founding members, with Emilio serving as the current chair.

GreenLight Alliance logo

We work alongside other GreenLight Alliance members to create a hub of discussion and education around circular lighting design and the circular economy, with the aim of creating industry standards that are universally recognised, trusted and sought after.

As a practice, we've also joined North Sweden Cleantech, a platform for service and product suppliers of green technology and sustainable solutions. 


Our biggest environmental impact comes from the products we specify, the energy used to create and operate them, and what happens to them at the end of life. Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is one of the fastest-growing waste streams globally, so it’s vital we work with responsible suppliers and partners to establish what’s being done to improve this picture.


We scrutinise products through scientific assessment methods (that track embodied carbon in materials, products and processes) and discuss circular principles to understand how products are designed for maintenance, end-of-life disassembly, remanufacturing, and eventually recycling. We also ask for environmental/sustainability reports or declarations that include following recognised principles or comply with recognised organisations.


We’re realistic about where we are on this journey, the enormous challenge ahead and the ongoing effort required to make progress. Even if a project as a whole can’t commit to circular initiatives, we can still take a circular ‘first step’. Collaboration drives meaningful change, so from working with responsible partners and suppliers to supporting the initiatives of the GreenLight Alliance, we will continue to do our part to contribute to a circular economy.


As a practice, we’re taking action to operate sustainably by, amongst other things, using a renewable energy supplier and recording energy use and waste production. We also partner with Earthly to calculate our carbon footprint (when we need to leave our bikes at the studio) and purchase nature-based solutions that remove carbon.

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