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TAIPEI, Taiwan -- More than 1,600 7-Eleven outlets here will turn off their exterior lights at night, followed by additional outlets nationwide later this month, in an effort to combat global warming, reported the Taipei Times, citing President Chain Store Corp., operators of the locations and the world's third largest 7-Eleven franchise.

As the nation's first large-scale corporate power-saving initiative, the "lights out" campaign will continue throughout the summer when electricity consumption is high, the company stated.

"By spearheading the campaign to conserve energy, we hope to motivate more people to join the ranks of those who love the Earth," company president Hsu Chung-jen said at a press conference.

Beginning 1 a.m. yesterday, 7-Eleven outlets in Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Kaohsiung and Tainan will shut off the lights on their horizontal signboards.

For some stores where lighting is necessary for safety reasons, outlets will not participate in the campaign. More than 4,000 stores nationwide would participate in the initiative, according to the company.

As a result of the campaign, the company expects to save 770,000 kilowatt-hours in electricity per month, and more than $70,500 on monthly energy bills, the report stated.

The program could help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 408.1 tonnes of per month, which is equal to the amount of pollution produced by 27,206 vehicles in one day, according to the Times.

The firm will survey customers to determine whether to continue with the campaign in the winter, as some executives worry it could adversely affect sales or raise safety concerns, Hsu said.