As climate change consistently dominates headlines, a growing call-to-action to decarbonize businesses and industries continues to gain momentum. Throughout the USA alone, many local, state, and federal laws, standards, and building code updates have been passed that support electrification and decarbonization in buildings, even in places previously hesitant to act.
As an electrical contractor, you play a key role in the industry’s value chain. With this comes the responsibility of decarbonizing your own operations and the opportunity to support decarbonization efforts for your customers. By partnering for sustainability, you open a new door to differentiate yourself in the market and become well-positioned and prepared to help your customers succeed on this transformative journey.
Making this societal shift towards a sustainable future starts with a collaborative approach amongst all stakeholders in our ecosystem. To reach our goal of reducing carbon emissions quickly and effectively, electrical contractors need to build trusting partnerships with upstream and downstream players in the value chain. This partnership ecosystem helps you provide long-term value to your customers while utilizing the support and resources of your strategic suppliers. I’ll highlight several tools and programs to enhance your business while positioning yourself to help your clients achieve sustainability goals through effective and mutually beneficial relationships.
Digitalization and electrification are key to sustainability
The building and construction sectors accounted for 37% of energy and process-related CO2 emissions in 2021, and it’s been no secret that this space needs to do all it can to become more efficient with its resources and energy.
“Digitalization and electrification are key elements for better optimization in buildings and facilities. Their convergence is what drives energy efficiency and sustainability wherever energy is consumed, and electrical contractors play a major role in deploying the solutions that enable both.”– Kapila Mehta, Sustainability VP – Power Products
Governments worldwide are implementing regulations to decarbonize their electrical grids meaning that electricity will be produced from a growing portfolio of renewable energy sources. “By 2026, global renewable electricity capacity is forecast to rise more than 60% from 2020 levels to over 4 800 GW – equivalent to the current total global power capacity of fossil fuels and nuclear combined,” states the IEA, with more robust government policies and raised climate goals being the driving factors. Digitalizing brownfield (through retrofitting) and greenfield (during design) facilities help collect and communicate essential information about electrical infrastructure so operational teams can make more informed decisions regarding energy consumption. The data collected due to increased connectivity can be monitored, analyzed, and strategically acted upon to optimize electrical systems. The digitalization benefits for a facility owner and operator are multi-faceted, going beyond financial cost savings to strategic planning and preventative maintenance, enabling organizations to take tangible steps to meet sustainability goals.
Two ways electrical contractors can provide long-term value to their clients
To deliver long-term customer value, today’s contractors and third-party service providers must collaborate more with customers. As a trusted partner, you must be able to demonstrate your knowledge of the solutions you’re designing and installing.
But how can you start this new approach?
There are two key steps to position yourself for long-term success with your clients while supporting their sustainability efforts.
Step 1 – Understand each solution’s sustainability benefits
A significant first step is to offer training and enablement services that help your customers unlock the full potential of the products and solutions they’ve already implemented.
While this may seem like universal knowledge, an IDC partner survey indicated that 44% of partners (across multiple partner types) were not doing this. Through our partner portal, we offer unlimited and free access to training specific to your business needs. Our self-paced courses enable you to fully understand the potential of IoT and EcoStruxure, and how our innovative solutions support your clients’ sustainability goals.
Step 2 – Utilizing energy and electrical data to kick-start sustainability efforts
A unique opportunity exists to fully utilize the energy and electrical management systems you install. Energy consumption, management, and efficient use are primary tactics for reporting and creating sustainability frameworks within organizations.
As a service provider, you can help customers easily identify improvements in their electrical systems that have a quick ROI and reduce energy consumption while simultaneously laying the groundwork for sustainability KPI development. The cost savings can be re-invested in electrical system improvements, which will continuously deepen the partnership between you and your client.
A collaborative partner approach between suppliers and contractors
On the other side of the partnership ecosystem, you need to work with strategic suppliers that provide innovative resources, tools, and platforms to help deliver long-term value to your clients.
Our Partnerships of the Future initiative and the mySchneider Contractor program provide our partners access to an innovative portfolio of tools, like EcoStruxure Power Design – Ecodial, a user-friendly software helping you optimize equipment and costs while managing operating specifications. EcoStruxure Power Build – Rapsody supports panel builders and electrical contractors with configuring and quoting solutions for non-critical buildings.
The Exchange platform provides a digital marketplace where all partners can capitalize on EcoStruxure-compatible IoT innovation, collaborate with communities and other partners, and share ideas with industry peers.
Our new sustainability school for partners will be released this year to help partners learn how to become more sustainable.
Two decades of collaboration show proven success
The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Australia exemplifies how a collaborative approach between suppliers, contractors, and the end-user client has resulted in a relationship spanning over two decades with consistent noteworthy results.
The Cricket club chose AZZO, a critical power EcoXpert™, who partnered with Schneider Electric to deploy a hybrid IoT cloud-hosted solution to monitor energy consumption and meet sustainability goals.
With the help of AZZO, the Melbourne Cricket Ground found up to 5% energy savings from real-time monitoring. Plus, the increased visibility of their operations helped:
- Drive down energy costs
- Reduce their carbon footprint
- Become a more environmentally friendly stadium
Climate change continues to impact all organizations and industries, requiring them to look for innovative solutions and trusted partners to help them consistently adapt their operations and adhere to regulations.
You play a key role in the value chain for enabling your customer’s sustainability programs and shifting society towards a sustainable future. To gain more insight, visit our dedicated mySchneider Contractor Program website to register today or contact your local Schneider Electric account representative.