It is crucial for the Schneider Electric Foundation to co-build projects with all the relevant stakeholders. Everyone lends their expertise and credibility to invent the best solutions for fighting the energy divide. Non-profit organizations and social entrepreneurs provide their excellent knowledge of the target populations, the Foundation contributes to the technical skills of employees from Schneider Electric with other companies, and institutions offer their powerful networks.

Patricia Benchenna

Patricia Benchenna

Foundation and Philanthropy Director
Schneider Electric

A source of betterment

The Schneider Electric Foundation historically has focused on providing energy training to help populations from modest backgrounds find jobs. Created in 1998 under the aegis of the Fondation de France, it gradually has expanded its scope to supporting social entrepreneurs and raising awareness of sustainable development. Since 2013, it also has turned its attention to energy poverty in more mature economies, promoting accessible and affordable energy as a universal and inalienable right. To carry out its work, the Foundation relies on a network of Schneider Electric’s employees, 130 delegates covering 80 countries who are in charge of managing its projects locally.

A source of betterment

Going beyond philanthropy to close the energy gap, we want to set up lasting solutions.

Tackling fuel poverty

Fuel poverty is a major concern in mature economies, especially in Europe. It refers to people being unable to heat their homes comfortably or affordably, whatever the cause (low income and/or high rent and energy bills). The Schneider Electric Foundation supports energy-poor families by setting up programs, including innovative social actions and new tailored solutions.

An ecosystem for every situation

Since 2013, Schneider Electric has committed to tackling fuel poverty in more mature economies. Drawing on the Schneider Electric Foundation, Schneider Electric has set up a program similar to its Access to Energy program, with three focus areas:

Raising awareness of energy management among energy-poor households and supporting experiments through partnerships with non-profit organizations fighting fuel poverty

Investing in social and charitable enterprises, particularly those focused on social housing for the most excluded populations, high-performance renovations, and circular economy

Developing social innovations and solutions suitable to help energypoor people reduce their bills and live more comfortably

We want to create an ecosystem that is suited to every situation, linking business and philanthropy with partners from non-profit organizations, companies, and the public sector.

13 social innovation projects

In September 2015, the Schneider Electric Foundation and Ashoka, a non-profit organization specializing in the development of social entrepreneurship, launched a call for projects. “Social Innovation to Tackle Fuel Poverty” was designed to support promising social innovations aimed at improving living standards in six European countries (Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Poland, and the United Kingdom). Some 200 projects were studied with a view to revealing new economic models and collaborative practices, and 13 were selected. One of the 13 is the Samenlevingsopbouw project, supported by Ashoka and Schneider Electric.

Each project received over 300 mentoring hours!

The Samenlevingsopbouw project hires out recent equipment to help people reduce their electricity bills and buy more energy-efficient appliances with the savings. We have worked for four months with Ashoka and Schneider Electric experts to accelerate the project and think about how it could be expanded throughout Europe.

Stefan Goemaere

Stefan Goemaere

Samenlevingsopbouw Project Manager

Awareness programs

Energy and climate change are among our greatest challenges. It is possible to do more with fewer resources, right now.

The Schneider Electric Foundation supports innovative, ambitious programs by offering financing support as well as its expertise through donation of equipment and skills.

Activating change through creativity

At COP 22, which was held in Morocco from November 7 to 18, 2016, the Schneider Electric Foundation was partner of BALAD_E, an event designed by Art of Change 21. BALAD_E joined forces with the renowned artist and “upcycler” Hassan Hajjaj to create an original program linking the fields of culture, sustainable development, and innovation.

Art of Change 21, Hassan Hajjaj, and the Schneider Electric Foundation welcomed 150 participants per day in the Riad Yima in the heart of the Medina. Talks, debates, workshops, concerts, art performances, and exhibitions were offered with two main objectives to co-create innovative solutions and raise awareness.

Co-create innovative solutions:

Caring about the planet
Caire Game is an interactive game that teaches players how to reduce one’s individual carbon footprint.
Take a turn at: www.cairegame.org/home

Innovation for the environment
Low-tech Lab promotes low-tech innovation that respects people and the environment. Its flagship project is the Nomade des Mers catamaran expedition, launched in February 2016. For three years, this floating laboratory will cross the oceans to meet local populations and co-build technologies to meet their energy needs. Supported by the Schneider Electric Foundation, the Nomade des Mers catamaran plans to stop in 15 different ports during the first 18 months of its expedition. At each destination, a workshop will be organized on a particular theme: desalination in Morocco, aluminum recycling in South Africa, biogas and wastewater processing using micro algae in Malaysia. Learn more at: lowtechlab.org

Raise awareness:

The many faces of change
Maskbook’s objective is to raise, through art and culture, people’s awareness regarding the impact of climate change on health. It aims to create a one-of-a-kind collaborative and worldwide piece of art that offers everyone a means of participating in the protection of the environment by promoting creative ecological ideas and solutions.
Discover more at: maskbook.org

A history of renewables
The Paleo-Energetics fresco traces the history of the discovery of clean and renewable energies across the globe. Did you know that the largest solar installation in 1913 was in Egypt?
Discover more at: paleo-energetique.org

Thanks to our efforts, thousands of participants were able to discover new synergies between innovation, art, and renewable energies, thereby having the chance to truly experience COP22.

Alice Audouin

Alice Audouin

President & Founder
Art of Change 21

All-aboard the learning train

A two-week journey throughout India is unlike any other for 480 entrepreneurial youths. Partnering with Jagriti Yatra, the Schneider Electric Foundation supported this unique program, which enables aspiring leaders to interact with and learn from the country’s exemplary social and business entrepreneurs how to develop sustainable solutions to India’s unique developmental challenges.

Entrepreneurial enterprises and startups are a key tool for moving India into a sustainable economic growth phase. Entrepreneurial youths travel up to
8,000 km to help.

I see the Jagriti Yatra as a critical catalyst in transforming aspiring entrepreneurs into future business leaders. The Schneider Electric Foundation is honored to be a part of this journey. This initiative provides the youth an opportunity to meet their role models, who can inspire them to take informed decisions for a better future for their businesses. With a hands-on learning approach, this 15-day journey across the country is expected to be an important milestone in achieving the goal of building India through enterprise.

Anil Chaudhry

Anil Chaudhry

Managing Director and Country President
Schneider Electric India

Schneider Electric Teachers

Through Schneider Electric Teachers NGO, employees apply for volunteer work to offer their skills and carry out trainings. They represent the link between the company, the Schneider Electric Foundation, and supported organizations in more than 70 countries.

Teaching at sea

Employee-volunteers contribute to training missions during their holidays, demonstrating their personal engagement. They have carried out missions worldwide, offering basic training in electricity, sales negotiations, industrial automation, communication, marketing, and more. Franck Serpollet from Schneider Electric France had the amazing opportunity to contribute to the Nomade des Mers journey by helping to build low-tech applications on board.

Engineers from Schneider Electric research centers in India, China, and France are contributing their skills to this cause.

On the Nomade des Mers expedition to Dakar, Senegal,
I helped design and develop a wind turbine from 100 percent reclaimed materials: PVV tubes, a printer motor, basic electrical components, and more. For under €10, we produced a wind generator that can recharge a mobile phone or motorcycle battery, or power a small irrigation system.

Franck Serpollet

Franck Serpollet

Project Coordinator
Schneider Electric Teachers Volunteer

Employees' engagement

A new multilingual platform will enable all employees to apply for volunteer work with the Schneider Electric Foundation partners, such as missions organized by Schneider Electric Teachers. The 130 Foundation delegates will manage the platform, focusing on vocational energy training, supporting energy-poor families, and raising awareness of sustainable development and entrepreneurship.