Schneider Electric CEO: Regarding Climate, I Am Neither Optimistic Nor Pessimistic; I Am An Activist

Envisioning a sustainable future through innovation
Aug 25, 2017 8:30 AM ET

The big picture is clear. It is our corporate duty to fight climate change brought on by carbon emissions. But we are running against the clock and we must act now. As the Paris climate agreement maps out, we must limit global warming to 2°C above preindustrial levels.

Globally, that means cutting emissions in half by 2050. During the same period, as world energy consumption will go up by almost 50%[1], we must become three times more energy efficient to steer the course towards a better climate outlook. We’re all energy stakeholders. We are in this together so future generations can enjoy a clean planet.

As a technology company, Schneider Electric brings to the table solutions that drive energy efficiency and long-term sustainability. We’re committed to ensuring that Life Is On™ for everyone, everywhere, and at every moment. This corporate promise also means helping the 2.3 billion people worldwide who do not have access to reliable electricity.

Innovative technologies will lead the way

Climate leadership is a great opportunity for innovation. Technologies enable us to rethink the way the world traditionally has dealt with energy and greenhouse (GHG) gas emissions. For example, we have helped AEG, one of the world’s leading sports and entertainment presenters, cut GHG emissions by 14% over its 2010 baseline.

Even energy-intensive industries such as cement play a role, too. China National Building Material Group (CNBM) improved its overall energy efficiency by ten percent.

EcoStruxure™ is the common thread across our main markets. This architecture combines energy, automation, and software to accelerate efficiencies. It leverages Internet of Things advancements such as mobility and sensing to meet the demand for more sustainable and connected energy. It is our technological answer to the global call for climate action.

We must be a model for our customers and other companies. Our commitments are taken from our 2015-2017 Planet & Society barometer, Schneider’s internal sustainable development scorecard. It highlights three-year commitments to specific objectives to keep our stakeholders informed of the company’s progress each quarter. Schneider’s latest Strategy & Sustainability Highlights report shows how we’re doing.

The report also illustrates ways we are closing the energy gap. To date, 4.2 million households at the base of the pyramid have access to energy thanks to our solutions and programs. We also have facilitated training in the electricity trades in emerging economies. We have trained more than 120,000 people in more than 20 countries since 2009. And this year, we expanded our Access to Energy training program to include entrepreneurship, including mobilization for female entrepreneurship in Brazil.

Download our report here.

Read our Sustainability Blog.

IMAGE CAPTION: We must be a model for our customers and other companies. In December 2015, we pledged to become a net-zero company by 2030. Our 10 COP21 commitments guide our efforts that can be fully viewed at Schneider’s latest Strategy & Sustainability Highlights report

[1] McKinsey Energy Outlook, 2016; IEA WEO 2016, Current Policy Scenario (Business as Usual)