As sustainability leaders from around the world gather at the One Planet Summit, we’re reminded of the urgency of the climate crisis and inspired by those who, together, are rising to meet the challenge head on.
Two years ago, the Paris Climate Agreement gave us all a clearer understanding of what’s at stake. Limiting global temperature rise this century to less than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels is essential if we are to avoid widespread, disastrous ecological problems.
It was at COP21 in 2015 where we first presented our 10 sustainability commitments in order to build carbon neutrality within Schneider Electric’s ecosystem and to accurately quantify the carbon impact of all our major customer projects.
So, as we meet once again to collaborate in the fight against climate change, I’m excited to provide more details about Schneider’s strategy to become carbon neutral by 2030.
- RE100: to use 100% renewable electricity by 2030 with an intermediary objective of 80% by 2020. This will be accomplished by increasing on-site renewable energy projects at more than 1,000 of our electricity-consuming sites around the globe, including 200 factories.
- EP100: to double energy productivity by 2030, against a 2005 baseline, setting an ambitious target to doubling the economic output from every unit of energy consumed.
In addition to this acceleration toward carbon neutrality, Schneider — together with Crédit Agricole, Danone, Firmenich, Hermès, Michelin, SAP, and Voyageurs du Monde — is launching a second impact investment fund, with a target of 100 million euros. The fund aims to improve the lives of two million people and avoid the emission of up to 25 million tons of CO2 over a 20-year period. The Livelihoods Carbon Fund will invest in ecosystem restoration, agroforestry, and energy with projects beginning next year in developing countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Since 2011, the first Livelihoods Carbon Fund has supported over 1 million beneficiaries in developing countries, planted 130 million trees, equipped 120,000 families with efficient cook stoves and will avoid over 10 million tons of CO2.
We’re also strengthening our commitment to measurable targets and transparency:
- Before 2020, Schneider, along with more than 400 other companies, will work with the Science-Based Targets initiative to identify and validate our sustainability goals based on the assumption that Earth will breach the 2 °C warming limit by 2050.
- As of this week, Schneider will provide full visibility and transparency for our sustainability targets through the quarterly publication of our Planet & Society Barometer.
In order to deliver on these promises, we will leverage EcoStruxure Power and EcoStruxure Grid. We’re already seeing significant success — according to our Planet & Society Barometer, which is audited by a third party, Schneider reduced energy intensity by 42% between 2005 and 2017, and carbon intensity by 35% between 2012 and 2017.
By developing affordable and reliable low-carbon solutions, we’ll also work to help the one billion people on the planet who don’t have access to energy and the 10% of inhabitants facing energy insecurity.
As I have said before, when it comes to the climate, I’m neither an optimist nor a pessimist. I’m an activist. This is because, in working for a more sustainable world, we not only ensure a healthier planet for future generations, we also promote innovation and prosperity here and now. What’s good for the climate is good for the economy. We must speed up the transition to a low-carbon economy as it promises to bring sustainable economic growth, employment, and better public health.
At Schneider, we’ll continue to actively participate in all useful initiatives to increase the low-carbon approach to the world’s economy and accelerate progress to a sustainable future. Finally, as we have done this week, we’ll continue to refine and strengthen our own commitments to sustainability to help ensure a healthier and more prosperous world for future generations.