Presented by the Designers Lighting Forum of New York

March 19–20, 2024
New York Hilton Midtown, New York City

2021 Embodied Carbon in Lighting

Embodied Carbon in Lighting

Leela Shanker, The Flint Collective NYC and Elaine Cook, Moxie Lighting

March 17, 2021

12:30pm – 1:30pm EST


1 LU – HSW


New York’s 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act introduced ambitious emissions targets set for 2050. To date, the lighting industry has focused on reducing emissions by retrofitting LED lamps and thereby operational energy consumption. However, considering the full life cycle of production and disposal of lighting fixtures would allow further action addressing the embodied carbon impact of fixtures as well.

Currently, there are significant data gaps that prevent accurate measurement and comparison of the embodied carbon impact of different fixtures. Industry-wide standards are needed for consistent analysis. Referencing international developments, the session will conclude with a forum to outline industry participation in such research.

Learning Objectives
1.Gain an introduction to concepts of embodied carbon, life cycle assessment and the circular economy as they relate to lighting fixtures.
2. Appreciate the need for industry standards to allow comparison and provide transparency on the embodied carbon impact of different fixtures.
3. Provide an overview of some data gaps in current lighting metrics that demand further research to enable the industry to measure embodied carbon of key fixtures within the Life Cycle Assessment methodology.
4. Provide insight into international progress on the lighting circular economy including recent action in Europe and Canada


Leela Shanker
Founder, The Flint Collective NYC

Leela Shanker is a lighting designer whose practice focuses on the positive impact of light for people and communities. Having completed a Master of Architecture and Master of Fine Arts Lighting Design at Parsons School of Design, Shanker founded the Flint Collective NYC, a local art and design collective that works with light to enhance the experience of public space in New York. In 2018, Shanker joined WeWork’s in-house global lighting design strategy team. While in this role, she led a sustainability initiative to understand the embodied carbon associated with key lighting fixtures. Shanker has guest lectured at Parsons School of Design and Syracuse University, is a member of the Carbon Leadership Forum NY and is contributing editor of digital lighting publication, illumni.

Elaine Cook
Moxie Lighting

Elaine Cook joined Moxie Lighting in the Fall of 2019 within their Specification Sales department after graduating from Western University in London, Ontario, Canada with a bachelors in Mechatronic Systems Engineering and an HBA in Business Administration. Cook is an active member within the NYC Lighting Design Community. She is a member of the Membership and Digital Communications & Archives Committee of the IESNYC, the Carbon Leadership Forum sub-committee of the AIANY and the co-founder of Equity in Lighting Design NYC.