A New Year’s Reflection (and some musings on a smarter greener future)

This audio was created using Microsoft Azure Speech Services

Thanks for stopping by…. and happy 2012.  Here you will find a myriad of thoughts and ideas from just a few of the committed, smart people working for Schneider Electric on a smarter greener buildings mission.   You will get a mix of content, as our green buildings bloggers share their personal passions and professional initiatives that contribute to this global industry transformation that we are all part of.

For this inaugural post, I captured a few “new year’s thoughts” to share with the human beings that are privileged to work in this green/smart buildings space and whomever else that might ramble through this blog out of curiosity.

As 2011 took her last steps, I slowed down, and allowed quieter thoughts to bubble up to the surface. This is a healthy practice that I aim for to do more frequently, but somehow the world seems more indulgent this time of year. In fact, it almost begs us to spend time in quiet meditation – even if only briefly after everyone else has gone to bed, or during an early morning cup of coffee… The news shows talk about “the year in review,” we prepare for 2012 “kickoff meetings” and we wonder– what was 2011 all about? What will be important in 2012? What is really happening in our world? And for the deeply introspective, who am I, and what is my role in this changing world? 

So I tried to answer the question: What was 2011 about?  In my role as VP of Green Buildings Solutions at Schneider Electric, 2011 was about growing our global team of smart green building experts, and sharing the work we have been doing in this space with the world for the first time. It was about articulating an aspirational vision, and also about building a stronger foundation and solution architecture that we can leverage as we go to market around the world, from Dallas to New York, to Paris, to Beijing, from Sydney to Manchester to New Delhi, and places in between.  It was also about listening to our customers and partners – real estate developers, management companies, building owners, and company leaders that lease or own small and large portfolios of buildings. We partnered with construction companies, contractors, and technology and solution providers. We spoke with leaders committed to corporate social responsibility, and facilities and financial executives that simply must reduce their energy and facility costs, and address an aging portfolio in a fiscally responsible way. We also witnessed the excitement and commitment of customers and partners with whom we are engaged to create better high performance buildings: greener, smarter, safer.

I turned my musings to the future. As I thought ahead to what’s important in 2012, it seems clear that we must continue the drumbeat of partnership, innovation and collaboration to create better, greener, smarter spaces to live and work. We at Schneider Electric must partner with other leaders and with our customers to continuously raise the bar on the buildings, campuses and cities of the future – to make them more efficient, safe and productive, green and livable than ever before. One important focus stands out. In order to deliver on the promise of smart green buildings, we must design formeasure and manage performance within our buildings. We support this not only through better building technologies and design and operational practices, but also by emphasizing building performance metrics, labels and certifications that help building owners and occupants to choose these “better buildings.” We must make it easy to recognize “high performance buildings” and make it easier to build, retrofit, lease, and buy these “better buildings.”  All of this will occur within a collaborative drumbeat of progress, where public and private sector leaders come together to remove barriers and also to celebrate successes.

So, what else does the world need from you and me (and our companies/organizations) in 2012? I can’t answer this question for you, and I will ponder this a bit more for myself. We all have personal strengths, talents and passions that can be applied at work and at play… So I will be looking for ways to bring my unique strengths forward, and to leverage the unique strengths of Schneider Electric and our growing network of alliances, partners and customers. I hope to hear from you on how we might work together to accelerate sustainable progress – to create the high performance buildings and cities of the future.  

As a fellow human being playing in this innovative space, I encourage you too to sit quietly and allow these musings to weave their way from your sub-conscious to your conscious thought… Be curious, and open, and wonder at the possible answers. Listen to small voices of wisdom that whisper to you in the early mornings as you wake, or during long car drives to visit friends and family, or even in the words of a song that resonate in a particular way.  When we are busy going from meeting to meeting, call to call, and task to task (not to mention the incessant demands of e-mail and all the content on TV and the web), these voices of wisdom, these moments of intuition, or even brilliance can be missed or dismissed.  Here, in this dawning of a new year, when so many of us are emerging from quieter vacation days, indulge for just 30 minutes more.  Postpone the clutter and hustle of a normal workday briefly, and tune into your inner wisdom – even for ten minutes.  And by all means, please share…

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