Climate leadership builds on technology and empowering people: Together we go further

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Founded during the First Industrial Revolution, Schneider is eager to lead the global push to put sustainability at the heart of what the Word Economic Forum recently dubbed the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

For 180 years, Schneider has innovated and adapted across industries to become the leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation. We recognize that organizational change is key to our long-term success as a business and stakeholder in our shared democracy. With work spanning all continents and all-pervading commitment to positive environmental and social impact, Schneider is well-positioned to play a key role in the UN Secretary General’s Decade of Action to help achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the 2030s.

Electrification and digitization will define the next decade and will be key to achieving SDG7, access to affordable and clean energy, along with other SDGs such as climate action and gender equality. For the world to achieve a just transition away from fossil fuels that also empowers women, workers and youth, Schneider has identified three key action areas this decade: 1. transforming power systems to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050; 2. aligning our business and executive remuneration structure with sustainability metrics; and 3. empowering women and youth to own and manage clean energy power grids.

Transforming power systems

Climate leadership now means aiming for a global temperature increase of no more than 1.5°C, and companies are being called on by stakeholders and investors to be more aggressive, innovative and transparent in preventing climate risks. This is set against expectations that over 1 billion people globally still need access to energy.

Some companies see decarbonization of the energy system and electrification of everything as a challenge. For Schneider, an accelerated transition of the global energy system towards zero emissions is a great opportunity, as we lead the deployment of zero-emissions power systems while expanding access to energy around the world. From villages to entire countries, Schneider works at all scales to address the twin challenges of energy system decarbonization and access to affordable and clean energy.

Our Electric Energy Access Asia fund targets 350 million people without energy access in India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Indonesia and the Philippines. In Uttar Pradesh, northern India, a state where most households still need access to electricity,  we deployed our EcoStruxure system, an open architecture platform that improves profitability and efficiency of off-grid installations with data-driven analysis. We have installed almost 1000 microgrids in off-grid areas worldwide. All of these examples accelerate community economic development.

Ratcheting up internal transformation

The 21 objectives of the Schneider Sustainability Impact go well beyond the energy system to bring sustainability into the decision-making process. The 21 objectives in our business and internal operations cover five core themes: climate; circular economy; health & equity; ethics; and development,

This is important because we are committed to achieving carbon-neutral operations and using 100% renewable electricity by 2030. Our work with suppliers extends to human rights and we have already visited over 350 parties to assess their compliance with human rights standards.

Climate and human rights performance targets as well as other sustainability criteria matter for management and form part of the pay package. Sustainability indicators are incorporated into both annual and long-term performance metrics and remuneration formula for senior management and other employees. We are now having 20% of collective share based on Schneider Sustainability Impact Performance for 50,000 employees plus 30 percent of long-term Incentive Plan for top leaders.

These metrics are reviewed on a regular basis to align with progress towards the SDGs and associated operational sustainability targets across our global operations. As the world ratchets up ambition to achieve climate targets and the SDGs in 2030, we are doing our part.

Investing in the future of technology: People

Schneider is uniquely placed to lead transformative change at the intersection of universal energy access to clean energy (SDG7), gender equality (SDG5) and decent work (SDG8). Growing the decentralized renewable energy generation sector at scale creates new opportunities for training people in energy management.

To achieve SDG 7 by 2030, up to 20,000 new decentralized renewable energy companies running mini-grids will be required. The deployment of mini-grids will create over half of all jobs in the distributed energy system, with over 450,000 jobs expected to be created by . With this employment boom in mind, we have already trained hundreds of thousands of young people through our Access to Energy program.

As the global transition to distributed clean energy systems ramps up, Schneider is leading human capital development to enable this change with a focus on women and youth. Scaling this sector is critical to achieving both urban and rural electrification and universal energy access, and the emissions reductions agreed to in the Paris Agreement.

Women and youth will drive this transformation, as they are the largest populations with limited access to energy. From Nigeria to Nunavut, microgrids are the future of energy and human capital development. Schneider is leading the way.

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