Our board of directors has benefited from a substantial renewal with 50% of its members having five years or less of tenure as directors of Schneider Electric. Our directors bring with them a wealth of relevant expertise, and our board also reflects a very good balance in terms of backgrounds, with nearly half of the board members having a non-French nationality. With five female directors, gender parity on the board has been greatly improved.
Year in review
2016 was the year of integration: The new members have joined the various study committees depending upon their experience and interests, and we have been working on improving the inter-committee relationships outside board meetings to provide the board with a multi-faceted view on the various topics faced by the company. Globally we have seen a positive relationship between the diversity of the board and the openness of the discussions. In its internal regulations, the board defined the functions, missions, and resources of its four review committees: the Audit and Risk Committee, the Governance and Remuneration Committee, the Human Resources and CSR committee, and the Strategy Committee.
Committee members are appointed by the board of directors on the proposal of the Governance and Remuneration Committee. Committees may open their meetings to the other board members. The Vice-Chairman independent lead director may attend any meetings of committees of which he is not a member. The committees may commission studies from outside consultants after having consulted with the Chairman of the board of directors. They may invite anybody they wish to meetings, as necessary. Secretaries of the board committees organize and prepare the work of the committees. They draft the minutes for the meetings of the committees which, following approval, are sent to all members of the board of directors. The secretaries of the committees are members of the company’s management teams and specialists in the subjects of competence of each committee.
Social responsibility remains a core value of Schneider Electric. This is clearly evidenced by many 2016 achievements for the company in the HR and CSR domains. In my first year as Chairperson of the HR-CSR Committee, it became clear that the Executive Committee values properly measured and analyzed programs that yield concrete results.
“Embedded within the company program Schneider is On is a clear People Strategy initiative (Step Up) that seeks to engage employees through stronger collaboration and training. With a sincere belief that each employee would benefit from a one-day training program in 2016, a target was set to train 85 percent of the employees. The final result delivered was 92 percent! Even more impressive is that our policies go well beyond the world of the company, focusing on having a positive impact on the planet. In 2017, our ambition is that 100% of the new developments comply with the EcoDesign Way. Sustainability is truly in the DNA of Schneider Electric,” noted Linda Knoll, Chairperson of the HR/CSR Committee.
To Schneider Electric, social responsibility is a part of every employee's mission through our people strategy, including learning initiatives.
As a global company, Schneider Electric believes that its responsibility goes beyond regulatory compliance. Both on a daily basis and within our bigger picture, we conduct business ethically, sustainably, and responsibly. Indeed, responsibility is at the heart of Schneider Electric’s corporate governance. From there, it cascades to all employees worldwide. We model and nurture this shared
sense of responsibility.
Across the value chain, Schneider Electric is committed to sustainable development. We’ve integrated sustainable components in personal performance incentives of executives and leaders to reflect the importance of this commitment to our employees, our company, and our planet. These components are defined as the Planet & Society Barometer score.
The heart of
In 2011, the United Nations issued the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, precisely defining the roles and responsibilities of states and businesses on that matter. As a business leader, Schneider Electric intends to follow and promote these principles.
Sustainability is at the heart of our company strategy, and we are convinced that energy access is a basic human right. With its new Human Rights Policy, Schneider Electric confirms its engagement to strive for the respect of all internationally recognized human rights, along its value chain. In order to improve the adoption of the U.N. Guiding Principles, Schneider Electric joined the French NGO “Entreprises pour les Droits de l’Homme” (Companies for Human Rights) in January 2017.
Since 2013, Schneider Electric chairs our French network and actively participates in its multiple initiatives. In 2016, we continued our best practices sharing sessions within the ‘Advanced Club,’ addressing topics around the 10 principles of the Global Compact and the new agenda of the United Nations with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Furthermore, Schneider Electric participates to our new working group dedicated to Business and Human Rights, created in September 2016. We count on Schneider Electric to pursue its involvement in our different programs.
Responsibility & Ethics Dynamics program
The Responsibility & Ethics Dynamics (R&ED) program includes organization, processes, and tools to foster employee compliance with Our Principles of Responsibility (PoR). The program provides a safe, welcoming way for employees to ensure that we’re all committed to upholding our core values. Regular communication lets employees and management teams know of priority actions to drive forward.
Let’s talk ethics:
This year, Learning Week included our annual R&ED Days. Learning Week is a global event organized in all the locations of Schneider Electric, both front offices and production sites. Employees participate in multiple training sessions, including webinars and in-person sessions led by HR BPs, Compliance Officers, and Principles of Responsibility Advisors.
The objective is to raise awareness on ethical challenges at stake in our company, both at global and local levels. To do so, we use a specific tool called “Educational Kits,” which introduce a real-life ethical dilemma faced by a Schneider Electric colleague. The intent is to create a space for discussions around ethics, integrity, and responsibility.
We believe that acting with the highest standards of ethics and integrity is the right choice. Corruption and fraud cannot be allowed to defeat fair play. Business competiveness is directly affected by corruption and that is why we apply a zero-tolerance policy at Schneider Electric. In South America, we were pioneers in organizing the ‘R&ED Week.’ Not only do all new employees sign the Principles of Responsibility Acknowledgement Letter; we also are formally extending the commitment to our suppliers and commercial partners.
After communicating 2016 Q3 results, the network of Principles of Responsibility contacted the process owners of each entity that was not compliant. Action plans were implemented, and those that were implemented before the end of the year have been taken into account to measure the Q4 results. In 2015, the difference between Q3 and Q4 was +16 points. In 2016, the difference is +14 points.