The One Planet Summit: Collective action makes a positive impact

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At Schneider Electric, we understand that we must work together today to co-create a more sustainable world. We believe in making a low-carbon economy a reality now, both for businesses, and the world’s most vulnerable populations alike. One in seven people still lacks electricity, and most of them live in rural areas of the developing world.[1] We look to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals for inspiration to do our part in ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy access for all.

Schneider Electric is committed to accelerating the global transition to a low-carbon economy. That’s why we’ll be participating this year’s One Planet Summit — an event under the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) from March 11 – 15 in Nairobi, Kenya. The One Planet coalition is a forum for mobilization and action that brings together state and non-state stakeholders on all continents, on terms specific to each UN initiative. One Planet is an initiative of France, the UN, and the World Bank. Their focus: ACTION.

According to a recent study led by Schneider Electric, more than 50 percent of companies that have set public sustainability goals are more likely to adopt innovative solutions, more successful in securing project funds, and more likely to have greater results. We monitor 21 commitments for 2020 on a quarterly basis. As global activists, we’re taking concrete actions to tackle climate change on behalf of our company, our customers, and society, by affirming our public commitments to our different networks:

1. On behalf of our customers, helping them save 100 million tons CO2 emissions by 2020

  • Between 2016 and 2025, digital transformation can help the electricity, logistics, and automotive industries alone avoid 26 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions — the equivalent of Europe’s emissions over the same time period.
  • Today, around 50 percent of our solutions (via EcoStruxure) are connectable, helping our customers to save 100,000 million tons of CO2 by 2020. We help customers achieve sustainability goals — profitably.

2. On behalf of society, by making technology to provide access to energy, and partnering with qualified workforce to make it possible

  • According to IRENA, the direct job potential for “off-grid” or decentralized renewable energy solutions worldwide is 4.5 million by 2030, including entrepreneurs, technicians, installers, and distributors. In sub-Saharan Africa, between 100,00 – 200,000 clean energy mini-grids have the potential to serve 450 million people.[2] This data shows the opportunity to create business models combining technology and social skills — such as vocational training — that makes a positive impact. Our Access to Energy program aims to provide energy access to 80 million people and train 350,000 people in energy management by 2020. Fortunately, progress in four key areas— government regulation, financing, technology, and training—have now opened the doors to accelerated rural electrification, especially through microgrids. A key driver for accelerating Access to Energy, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7), serves as a guidepost for ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. You can download the paper about how new regulatory, financial and technology can grow access to energy

3. On behalf of communities, thanks to carbon compensation of the Schneider Electric Paris Marathon

  • Carbon compensation enables us to provide financial support to a project fighting climate change and improve living conditions. The Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris is the second most popular marathon in the world (after New York), with 58,000 runners. Some 93 percent of event-related CO2 emissions (26,000 tons) come from air transport. All emissions need to be offset for the event to become completely carbon neutral. The use of biomass fuel for cooking has reduced Kenya’s forest cover by almost 10 times in the last 50 years, and associated smoke is a cause of death of women, children, and families. Through marathon-related efforts, Kenyan company Climate Pal has distributed 80,000 low-CO2 output stoves, while creating 130 jobs in distribution and maintenance. This prevents forests in Kenya from disappearing and keeps families from inhaling harmful fumes from existing stoves.

The first regional edition of the One Planet Summit will highlight the unique role of Africa as a global partner. While the continent is responsible for only four percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, 65 percent of the African population is considered to be directly affected by climate change.

At Schneider Electric, our mission is to ensure that Life Is On for everyone, everywhere, at every moment. The time to act is now, and we’re honored to join key global players in taking concrete measures to strengthen #OurImpact on our planet. We look forward to seeing you in Kenya!

[1] United Nations Development Programme Facts and Figures, 2019

[2] International Energy Agency

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