Energy Action: We reduced our energy consumption, but how?

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This blog series is about the Energy Action Program through which Schneider Electric has reduced its energy consumption by 9.2% since 2011. The blog series will focus on the energy efficiency solutions and the delivery model that were implemented in order to achieve these savings.

So we’ve driven energy efficiency practices and connectivity to our energy management solutions in 300+ Schneider Electric sites across the globe and in doing so we’ve reduced our energy consumption by 9.2%, but how has this worked? What structure, measures and activities did we put in place in order to achieve these savings?

Executive and leadership sponsorship – believers in energy efficiency with influential voices
We strongly believe that leaders, those that have the influence, authority and pull to impact how money is invested (in energy efficiency projects and solutions, or not) played a critical role in the energy savings we have achieved. Having a leadership team that believe in the importance of driving energy efficiency practices and the long-term savings such practices bring really helped us drive the Energy Action Program forward. Obviously when a leader doesn’t understand this, they won’t be inclined to invest, financially or emotionally, in this direction. The Energy Action Program was backed by leadership since inception; the leaders cared, they had a voice and they drove investments in the idea – driving energy efficiency in our own sites, with our own energy management solutions.

Global Contract – Engaging our sites like we do our external customers
The global contact between Energy and Sustainability Services and Global supply Chain (who are the owners of Schneider Electric real-estate) really helped to hold the team accountable and provide a foundation of engagement. The formal contract negotiations allowed us as an organisation to spend time thinking about and planning for what was feasible in terms of investment in energy efficiency projects and how this investment aligned with the change to energy landscape and usage we were working to achieve.

Strategic importance – Shared view of criticality of the Energy Action Program
The Energy Action Program formed a part of the three year company program called Connect. This in itself sent a message to the organisation: we think this is so important it will be one of the highest level strategic priorities. The Energy Action Program was backed by a set of key performance indicators that were aligned across the globe. Each Schneider Electric region had an energy savings target, a target for connectivity to our energy management solutions and a target that drove ISO 50001 certification. Some say ‘what gets measured gets done’; in this case we think it’s both the belief and support of the program and the importance of energy efficiency and the shared performance measures that drove success. Without the belief it is hard to achieve long-term cultural change; performance measures just drive a (temporary) change in focus and activity.

Local Focus, local engagement – connecting the expert and site energy managers
Our Energy and Sustainability Services organisation is truly global. We have expert energy consultants based around the globe who are available and engaged in the Energy Action Program to carry out workshops and audits at a site level with internal customers. Having the luxury of a native-speaking energy consultant walking into a plant or site and connecting with site-based decision-makers about their specific energy challenges has formed a unique and powerful part of the program. It is often on site where most of the magic happens: site based contacts are the people that know the site and really feel the day-to-day energy challenges. Having our energy consultants connect at this level provides the opportunity and forum to have a large impact locally. In addition to this very local presence and focus we have also created a global network of regional Energy Action Program owners who interface with sites. These regional program owners are a cornerstone to the Energy Action Programs success and form a global network through which best practices, support and ideas are shared.  See below a figure which displays the network and operating model we’ve set up that supports the Energy Action Program.

Energy Action Program blog pic

Energy management solutions – providing intimacy to the energy landscape
In my previous post I mentioned the two core energy management solutions that the Energy Action Program drove connectivity to – StruxureWare Resource Advisor and StruxureWare Energy Operation. Really simply these solutions help our site and energy managers organise, understand, track and monitor site energy performance. This was an ‘easy sell’ when it came to convincing investment in and integration of the solutions. Site managers were looking for a way to understand and get connected to their energy landscape and these solutions have provided them that intimacy. In addition to these energy management solutions our sites have tapped into the Schneider Electric product and solution portfolio in order to help them optimise their energy usage. Some of the solutions and products leveraged at a site level include:

We feel these dynamics of the Energy Action Program have contributed to our success in deepening our ‘energy IQ’ as an organisation and achieving a 9.2% reduction in energy consumption since 2011.

Energy Efficiency is in our DNA.



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