The power of local impacts to accelerate sustainable transformation

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Sustainability is at the center of Schneider Electric’s purpose, business priorities and commitments. Our Schneider Sustainability Impact Program was launched in 2018 as a holistic action plan serving to mobilize company-wide efforts and concrete initiatives that contribute to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) progress and support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Alongside our long-standing commitments to Climate, Resources, Trust, Equality, and Generations, in 2021, we added new targets to address local challenges and opportunities because we believe the most meaningful ideas and biggest impact come from people on the ground. Nothing is stronger than the power of people to inspire a culture with IMPACT at its core.

Going local for greater impact

Change starts by empowering local communities. That’s why in 2021, we asked our local leaders, representing more than 100 regional or country markets, to identify and initiate local impact programs to complement our global targets. And they rose to the challenge!

We also nominated local sustainability leaders and teamed up with local employees to launch more than 200 grassroots initiatives designed to address the environmental and social needs of their local communities and ecosystems. The many positive impacts delivered since then have maintained incredible momentum so that our people are now ready to work on an entirely new set of local initiatives to help fulfill our purpose of bridging progress and sustainability for all.

Image: Axel PIC, Territory Sustainability Leader for Canada, shares what motivates him personally to have a positive impact everyday.

Every impact matters

This local impact is brought to life every day through the efforts of individual employees and partners who stay mobilized, innovating and collaborating everywhere for sustainability.

For example, our volunteering initiatives offer our teams an opportunity to support women and future generations with training and education to unlock a faster and fairer energy transition. Thanks to delegates from the Schneider Electric Foundation over 58,000 volunteering days have been used for this since 2017, already exceeding the initial goal of 50,000 by 2025.

Thanks to regional Schneider Electric programs focused on giving access to the future through energy solutions, impact investments, and education and entrepreneurship, we’re also well on our way to reaching two of our main ambitions for 2025. providing access to clean and reliable electricity to 50 million people, and training 1 million people in energy management.

We’re also creating local impact in Schneider Electric’s sites and premises. Our Safety, Environment, and Real Estate (SERE) teams work day in and day out to minimize carbon emissions across our facilities, tapping into the expertise and solutions that we offer to our customers. A prime example of this is IntenCity in Grenoble. This 26,000-square meter, state-of-the-art office building houses 1,500 staff and exemplifies sustainable design and operations while maintaining a cumulative carbon footprint five times lower than the average European building over a 60-year life cycle. The measures taken proactively by SERE teams here and elsewhere significantly contribute to meeting our broader environmental goals. Today, 101 Schneider Electric sites generate zero CO2 emissions, 66% of Schneider sites have implemented biodiversity conservation and restoration programs, and 73% of sites in water-stressed areas have deployed water conservation plans.

People behind the impact

All in all, our impact comes down to the personal and professional choices of our people and their efforts to drive meaningful change. We recognize and value this and will continue to empower every local initiative that generates sustainable impact.

Investing in resources such as our Sustainability School helps to empower employees and partners, giving them the tools they need to better understand today’s ESG challenges and educating them on how smart energy solutions and best practices can make a real difference. As meaningful impact starts and ends with people, let’s accelerate this transformation together. Because local impact matters.

About the author

Author Profile

Xavier DENOLY, SVP Sustainability Development

Since 2021, Xavier Denoly has been Schneider Electric’s Senior Vice President Sustainable Development and Corporate Sustainability Officer. 
In this role, his mission is to lead the establishment of the Schneider Electric’s Sustainable Development Strategy and to ensure we deliver our medium-term Schneider Sustainability Impact commitments. He is also directly in charge of the global Environment strategy and follows the execution of our CO2 commitments defined in our Net-Zero commitments. His other responsibilities involve the development of our ‘Access to Energy’ inclusive & social business, and the management of all ESG disclosures required by different rating agencies and standards

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