The Fight Against Climate Change Makes Good Business Sense

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At the close of 2017, Schneider Electric began a new phase of its energy transition by joining RE100 and committing to source 100% of electricity from renewables by 2030. Our intermediary target is to reach 80% of renewable electricity supply by 2020, up from 2% in 2017.

This is proof that companies can be ambitious and aggressive in leading the way in the energy transition.

Shaping the future

We see many benefits from this commitment. First and foremost, going green is deeply aligned with our strategy. The buildings, data centers, industry and infrastructure markets are responsible for 70% of the world’s energy consumption, and show immediate potential for energy efficiency (82% in buildings and 79% in infrastructure) and for renewables. We want to be a corporate actor shaping the future energy landscape, our own sites acting as “Prosumers” in the electricity grid. At Schneider, we believe that this type of innovation is technologically possible today.

Second, renewable sourcing is an important pillar of our sustainability strategy, and goes hand in hand with the Schneider Energy Action, an energy efficiency program we launched over 10 years ago. Global energy demand is expected to expand by a factor of 1.5 over the next 40 years, driven by increased digitization, urbanization, and industrialization, therefore accelerating the need for efficiency and renewable energy. Our ambition is to drastically cut CO2 emissions from our operations, following a 2°C trajectory in line with Science-Based Targets.

Sustainability is business

The third benefit is that this just makes good business sense. Renewable supply enables us in many cases to deliver savings on our electricity costs. For instance, in China, our solar rooftop deliver 10% savings compared to the electricity grid. It’s also a way to diversify our energy supply risks, and reduce our exposure to the volatility of market prices. Finally, in some developing countries, microgrid technologies, coupled with renewables, can enable us to secure our power supply and reduce downtime risks.

And fourth, because we want to demonstrate the value added by our own technologies and solutions, by showcasing our IoT-enabled EcoStruxure architecture in our own sites. We install Schneider connected inverters, MCCBs and transformers to connect onsite solar panels to the grid, and use our energy and microgrid software to manage energy production and consumption.

We also leverage the expertise of ESS (Energy and Sustainability Services) consulting teams to deliver this transformation: we join hands on all topics, from designing new onsite solar rooftops, to sourcing renewable certificates, green tariffs and power purchase agreements (PPA). Like with many other companies, ESS teams act as our strategic partner to deliver our renewable ambitions, helping us leverage opportunities in all countries as they arise.

A transformative commitment

Within a few months, our 100% renewable commitment has already deeply transformed our electricity sourcing strategy. To reach our target, we will leverage 4 complementary tools: green tariffs, renewable certificates, power purchase agreements and onsite generation. National legislations and renewable markets differ, so to succeed it is critical to be proactive and flexible, leveraging each tool at the right time and in the right country. Environment, procurement and business teams are joining hands to capture these opportunities, with the support of ESS teams.

We are very proud to celebrate impressive success stories appearing in all geographies. In Q3 2018, our renewable electricity mix has reached 25%. In China, for instance, we have commissioned six new solar onsite capacities since the beginning of 2018 and these are expected to produce over 2,000 MWh of renewable electricity per year!

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