December 27, 2017

Philips Lighting powers up Barefoot College in Rajasthan

The college’s Tilonia campus now has access to reliable off-grid energy with a 116 KW solar system provided by Philips Foundation

New Delhi, India– Philips Lighting (Euronext: LIGHT), the world leader in lighting, today announced that it has powered the Tilonia campus of Barefoot College in Rajasthan with a 116KW solar system, thereby enabling the college to have access to reliable off-grid energy. A grant from Philips Foundation replaced a thirty-year-old, aged-out solar equipment, more than tripling the kilowattage in parts of the historic campus that empowers rural women to earn their livelihoods.

In a world where 1.06 billion people have no reliable access to power, electric light is a distant dream for many. One in seven people across the globe struggle to work, study, or help others after sunset. Philips Lighting is committed to ending this imbalance and has a vision to unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. By applying technology, expertise and resources, we provide access to light, raise awareness of the importance of energy efficiency in protecting our environment and support humanitarian interventions.

Since its humble beginning nearly 50 years ago, the Tilonia campus of Barefoot College in Rajasthan, India has enhanced the lives of the rural poor through a combination of local knowledge and appropriate technologies. Women from all over the world –representing nearly 100 different countries–have come to Barefoot College to train to become solar engineers and electrify their villages upon their return.

The new solar panels installed on the “old campus” of Barefoot College allow for increased work and training capacity for two of its vital programs, Enriche and Amritchurna, which are housed there. For this project, Philips Foundation worked with Orb Energy, a leading provider of rooftop solar systems in India, to install a 116-kW system across the Barefoot campus, with full battery backup. It now powers the Solar Office Block, Solar Workshops, Solar Mama Residences and the Community Kitchen.

“At Philips Lighting, our ambition is to enable livelihoods by providing communities access to reliable and clean energy. We are delighted to power up the Tilonia campus of Barefoot College and I strongly believe that we will make a difference to the lives of these wonderful women entrepreneurs” said Dr. Shalini Sarin, Chair of the Board, Philips Lighting Foundation.

“Light and power are the keys to everything we do as an organization,” said Meagan Fallone, CEO of Barefoot College International. “As we grow and expand our services throughout the global south, working to empower women rising from ultra-poverty, our ability to train here at the college is critical. This partnership has improved our capacity and started a ripple effect of impact that reaches people around the world with hope for the future. On behalf of women everywhere and the entire Barefoot family, I say thank you.”

“Orb Energy is proud to have been selected by both Barefoot College and Philips Lighting to provide a 116-kilowatt solar system with battery back-up that has successfully taken Barefoot College off-grid,” Damian Miller, CEO of Orb Energy, said. “As battery costs continue to fall, we believe this solar energy system represents the future of solar in India – allowing customers to not only reduce their grid electricity costs with solar, but also to eliminate the need for a diesel generator set.”

Amritchurna is an enterprise started by the rural women who produce, package and sell an indigenous product that combats anemia. The women who made this product involves grinding and mixing different ingredients in specific ratios, a process previously slowed by the lack of power. Enriche is a comprehensive, one-of-a-kind training program for women that teaches a wide set of skills from microfinance to reproductive health. The women become trainers of the program for others back in their home villages.

For further information, please contact:

Philips Lighting South Asia

Natasha Tandon
Tel: +91 98 11 72 64 50

Avian Media

Arshiya Ahmad
Tel: +91 83 77 98 49 33

Barefoot College

Sue Stevenson, Director of International Development –
BR Gururaj, GM-Marketing, Orb Energy –

About Philips Lighting

Philips Lighting (Euronext: LIGHT), the world leader in lighting products, systems and services, delivers innovations that unlock business value, providing rich user experiences that help improve lives. Serving professional and consumer markets, we lead the industry in leveraging the Internet of Things to transform homes, buildings and urban spaces. With 2016 sales of EUR 7.1 billion, we have approximately 34,000 employees in over 70 countries. News from Philips Lighting is located at the Newsroom, Twitter and LinkedIn. Information for investors can be found on the Investor Relations page.

About Barefoot College

Barefoot College is building a sustainable world from the ground up — one village at a time, one woman at a time. The organization which launched in India and has spread across the globe forges a first-of-its kind a global network where women fully participate in the sustainable development of their communities, irrespective of barriers to literacy or formal education. Barefoot College’s comprehensive approach and grassroots solutions address 14 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for truly global impact.

About Orb Energy

Orb is a leading provider of solar energy systems in India, having sold more than 150,000 systems and serving the Indian market for more than ten years. Orb manufactures, sells, installs, and services solar photovoltaic and solar water heating systems for residential and commercial customers across India.