Recently at Fortune’s Brainstorm E event in Austin, I was asked about the upcoming United Nations COP21 summit. Should businesses worry about it? Can we ignore it?
My position on COP21 is well documented. I’m optimistic about it. I believe we should see it as an opportunity to take important actions. It may not be a perfect success – and the media loves to report the “failures” of a climate summit – but I see it as a milestone to a world which is more sustainable.
At every COP summit I’ve been to, I see that companies and countries are taking more commitments. In many geographies, I see how they are taking a very strong commitment to making the world more efficient, more renewable. The change in attitude from even five years ago is huge.
At the same time, technology is moving very fast. We are coming to the right point in time where it can help us fulfill our commitments.
How? I’ll give one big example – the internet of things. It is changing everything. Over the next few years the world will connect 40 billion machines to the internet.
When you connect machines together, what happens? You gain huge amounts of data and visibility. You can see where waste is happening. You can take action to reduce inefficiency.
Connectivity helps us save huge amounts of energy, simply by letting us automate lights and heating. It helps us to consume energy smartly – when energy is plentiful and cheap, which might be at night or when there’s sun or wind – for even more efficiency.
Let’s go a step further and talk about adding more efficiency into the machines and equipment that we’re connecting via the Internet of Things. Today we’re making machines more efficiently and making them more efficient to operate. We’re seamlessly integrating information and operational technologies, and helping businesses crunch the data to produce real-time operational intelligence. That makes decision-making easier for businesses. And smarter.
That’s the strategy we at Schneider Electric have embraced. We’re using our technologies to ensure that Life Is On everywhere, for everyone and at every moment. Sustainably.
Because if businesses and countries use technology like this, smart and connected technology, we can achieve the kind of efficiency needed to make a difference in the fight against climate change. And that will make all the difference in the world.