Treading lightly: Meet the sustainability champion who halved his carbon footprint

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In a world striving for sustainability, and as we get irremediably closer to the Earth Overshoot Day[1], there are individuals who stand out as beacons of inspiration. One such individual is Maxime Chapel, a remarkable advocate for a greener future. Join us on a journey to explore Maxime’s unique lifestyle, his passion for sustainable living, and the positive impact he has made on his surroundings.

The journey so far: From salesperson to sustainability champion

Meet the Sustainability Champion Who Halved His Carbon Footprint: Maxime

Maxime’s journey at Schneider Electric began 18 years ago when he joined the company fresh out of college. Little did he know that this would be the start of an incredible lifelong commitment to a single organization. Initially, he worked as a salesperson in the front office, immersing himself in customer interactions and gaining valuable experience. Over time, Maxime’s dedication and expertise propelled him to new heights, and he transitioned into the role of Go To Market Training & Competencies Team Leader and more recently as Channel Developer for the Residential market. Today, he is a respected figure, leading by example and inspiring others to embrace sustainability in their personal and professional lives.

Living with purpose: Sustainable choices and values

Approximately five years ago, Maxime embarked on a transformative journey when he realized the urgent need to reduce carbon footprints. As a father of two children, he became deeply concerned about the future. “It’s something I wasn’t aware of 10 or 15 years ago. But five years ago, I decided to make a change.” With unwavering determination, Maxime transitioned to becoming a true sustainability champion. From the moment he wakes up, his choices reflect this deep sense of purpose. He starts his day by taking the train to the office, consciously reducing his carbon footprint. At work, he fosters a sense of community among colleagues.

Meet the Sustainability Champion Who Halved His Carbon Footprint: Maxime

Outside of the office, Maxime’s love for nature and adventure takes centre stage. Sailing has become his sanctuary, a way to disconnect from everyday life and immerse himself in the tranquility of the open waters. Joined by friends and family, Maxime embraces the beauty of nature and gains a deeper appreciation for fragile ecosystems.

A shift towards sustainability: Going for big impact

Maxime’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond leisure activities; it permeates every aspect of his life. He has consciously made changes to reduce his carbon footprint, setting an example for others to follow. “I wondered what I could do, and I wanted to do more than just small things like switching off the lights or shutting taps to reduce water consumption,” he explains. “I wanted to understand my personal CO2 emissions and how my lifestyle choices impact the environment.” Maxime recommends using CO2 personal survey apps to get accurate results and identify areas where carbon emissions can be reduced. One notable change he made was eliminating air travel. For the past four years, Maxime and his family have chosen more sustainable alternatives like car or train travel, significantly reducing their carbon emissions. Aligning their lifestyle with their values, they have opted for vacations closer to home or travelled by train whenever possible.

“At the beginning of this year, and considering all these factors,” Maxime reflects, “I made the conscious decision to opt for a small electric car. It just didn’t feel right to go for one of those SUV-sized electric vehicles with a massive battery. Sure, it’s a step in the right direction, but personally, I wanted to go even further.” Maxime’s dedication to minimizing his impact on the environment was evident in his choice of a compact car with a smaller battery, reducing both the overall carbon footprint and resource strain. “This small car now serves me perfectly for all my short trips,” he explains. “Whether it’s commuting to the office or heading out for a weekend getaway within 100 to 200 kilometers, it’s ideal for covering those smaller distances. In fact, it caters to about 95% of my travel needs.” Maxime’s commitment to sustainable transportation shines through as he continues to make choices that align with his values, taking proactive steps to reduce his ecological impact.

But it doesn’t stop there. Maxime recognizes the impact of dietary choices on the environment and has made a conscious effort to reduce beef consumption, acknowledging the environmental toll of meat production. By adopting a more plant-based diet, Maxime demonstrates how individual choices can contribute to a greener planet.

Championing an urgent cause: Going further for a Sustainable Future

While Maxime has made significant strides in reducing his carbon footprint, he is acutely aware that there’s more to be done. He openly shares his journey of progress, acknowledging that his carbon emissions have reduced from 10 tons to 5 tons, with an aim of further reduction. Concretely, it’s like Maxime avoided to drive close to 20000 km of a fuel car. Maxime’s determination to align his lifestyle with this ambitious target serves as a call to action for everyone to reassess their impact on the environment.

The role of technology: Home energy management systems (HEMS)

As a forward-thinking individual, Maxime recognizes the importance of embracing technological advancements that support sustainability. One such innovation is Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS). The potential in such systems to optimize energy consumption, reduce waste, and contribute to a more sustainable future can be very valuable, especially for homes in which the energy consumption is skyrocketing. By integrating HEMS into our homes, we can prioritize energy usage, making conscious decisions that align with off-peak electricity rates and renewable energy availability.

Being a beacon: Showing the way to a sustainable future

“If you want to reduce your carbon footprint even further, you may need to consider making drastic changes, such as transitioning from a house to an apartment. However, this is something I’m not ready to do at the moment. I’m doing my best within my personal life, but there are limits to what I can change. Nevertheless, I would like to explore opportunities to make a difference in my job as well. I want to see how I can influence and work on sustainability topics, specifically in Schneider Electric. In my new role, I will actively seek ways to take action on this important issue.”

Maxime Chapel’s journey exemplifies the transformative power of individual actions in creating a sustainable future. From reducing his carbon footprint to embracing sustainable transportation and fostering a sense of community, Maxime leads by example. Maxime’s story reminds us that we each have the power to make a difference, to tread lighter on our planet, and to pave the way for future generations.

  1. Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. In 2023, Earth Overshoot Day lands on August 2.

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