World Environment Day is held on June 5th every year as the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the preservation of our environment.
For the past seven years, Schneider Electric has celebrated this day in all countries where we operate; an annual milestone for us to recognize successes and identify new initiatives or focus areas. This year, managing through COVID-19, prioritization of environmental sustainability to mitigate and adapt to primary threats such as a pandemic or climate change resonates particularly strongly.
This year’s World Environment Day theme is biodiversity — a call to action to combat the accelerating species loss and degradation of the natural world. At Schneider, we are integrating biodiversity into our established environmental strategy, leveraging our existing initiatives and commitments.
Our Circular Economy initiatives encompass our action plan for offering products, services, and solutions with minimal environmental harm:
- Reducing the use of raw materials
- Reusing or increasing, when possible, the share of recycled raw materials
- Repairing by offering maintenance and modernization services for certain ranges of our products
- Recycling via the services we offer in the end-of-life phase of products
Our climate commitments aim to minimize carbon emissions for our customers and our own company. For Schneider, this means:
- The neutrality of our business-ecosystem by 2025
- Net-zero carbon from our operations by 2030
- Net-zero carbon of our end-to-end supply chain by 2050
- Doubling energy productivity
- Reaching 100% renewable energy
- Operating a 100% electric vehicle fleet
Climate and circular economy commitments have a recognizably positive effect on the preservation of biodiversity. At Schneider, these commitments are embedded in our 2018 – 2020 Schneider Sustainability Impact (SSI) that span 21 initiatives aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We join the global community in an effort to alleviate poverty, protect the planet, and bring about global peace and prosperity.
Following the negotiations that will take place during the Convention of Biological Diversity, Conference of the Parties 15 (COP15), we will look at articulating our specific biodiversity objectives around the achievement of “no net loss of biodiversity” which would be a trajectory to aim for, similar to how our carbon-neutrality goals align with a 1.5°C trajectory for the climate.
Tools are under development to assess the biodiversity impacts of businesses and financial institutions. A solution gaining momentum is the Global Biodiversity Score (GBS). Today, this tool helps us at Schneider understand how our activities and those of our extended ecosystem (such as suppliers and customers) have direct and indirect consequences on biodiversity, whether positive (such as saved CO2 emissions from our technologies, reduced land use, secondary raw materials use) or negative (impact of our operations and primary raw materials use).
In addition to the commitments embedded in our business model and operations at Schneider Electric, we recognize the individual commitments that impact biodiversity, such as water usage reduction and stopping single-use-plastics. On World Environment Day last year, we decided to ban single-use-plastics across all our operations.
At Schneider, we look forward to this year’s World Environment Day celebrations and playing our part to build momentum and unite the global community in actions for positive change.