As far as environmental performance is concerned, we see ourselves in a journey. We indeed aspire to a carbon-neutral world, and we believe it’s possible. It is a stretch target, but we want to start with ourselves, with our supply chain, and our products.

Xavier Houot

Xavier Houot

Senior Vice President, Global Safety, Environment, Real Estate
Schneider Electric

Our environmental strategy

Our 2020 environmental strategy is clear. We have defined 15 priority initiatives and related goals across six environmental domains. The initiatives are fully aligned to our Schneider is On company program and to the company’s sustainable growth strategy.

At Schneider Electric, environmental considerations go far beyond our efforts toward the sustained reduction of our footprint on the planet, as they really embed everything we do. From strategy and R&D … down to the value we bring to our customers. The tagline of our Global Environment Day on June 2, 2016, inviting all our employees to celebrate their achievements and innovations for the environment, was “A Passion for Green Growth.” It aptly summarizes how we see the environment at Schneider Electric.

Driving the six priorities

Schneider Electric is determined to play a vital role in driving climate-compatible global economic growth. We innovate to build an increasingly resource-efficient supply chain year after year, aspiring toward neutrality in the long term. We also relentlessly invent products, solutions, and services that help our customers do more with less, reducing their CO2, energy, and water usage.

1. Deploy low-CO2 and resource efficient strategies for planet-compatible growth path

In 2015, we defined a CO2 roadmap with a 2020 – 2030 timeframe. It identifies ways to remain “COP21 and +2° compatible” and decouples our activities, including our growth journey and supply chain transformations, from climate implications. Through R&D efforts and ecoDesign Way, we develop a broad range of products, services, and solutions that bring significant CO2 avoidance to our customers.

In 2016, we worked in line with our commitments to define CO2 quantification methodologies for our large projects, and piloted them in a set of concrete business cases and situations (medium-voltage substation, data center, solar farms, etc). Our commitments toward Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) allowed us to remain well-recognized in our efforts, and we drew a science-based downward path as far as our CO2 footprint is concerned.

Our CO2 roadmap drives our own efforts to remain “COP21 and +2° compatible” to ensure sustainability for all.

2. Building an increasingly green
supply chain

Resource efficiency and productivity are our mottos. We drive efforts toward energy efficiency, water efficiency, the reduction of transportation and manufacturing externalities, and the adoption of green best-available techniques in our plants and distribution centers. Additionally, key Schneider Electric processes embed environmental considerations, making environmental performance and resource productivity key dimensions of major decisions (e.g., through our SPS/Schneider Production System framework).

3. Considering waste
as worth

We drive an “obsession toward zero waste” across our 1,250 facilities globally. Waste minimization, reuse, recycling, and land avoidance have become an integral part of our plants’ and distribution centers’ performance scorecards, and we see constant progress. This year, we are proud to have had 99 plants receive the “Toward Zero Waste to Landfill” designation. We are successfully diverting thousands of tons of waste from landfill, year after year. Since 2014, we have seen a strong increase (+5 pts) of our waste recovery ratio globally. Our efforts in ecoDesign and industrialization space also add to our ability to generate less waste and be smarter with our resource use.

4. Promoting green attributes and value-adds

Our customers are central to the company’s environmental commitments. Today, more and more Schneider Electric customers keenly quantify our offers’ environmental credentials (e.g., reduction of kWh, CO2, water). We’ve invested significantly in designing, implementing, and further innovating our Green Premium ecoLabel (REACh, RoHS, Product Environment Profile, End of Life Instructions). For example, we’ve integrated to the label the mySchneider app with QR Code capacity. We also developed tools and communication materials for our customers as well as front-office teams to articulate in non-technical terms the value addition of our offers’ environmental differentiators.

Green Premium 2.0

We designed and piloted an even more customer-centric Green Premium 2.0 program, which will provide our customers additional information on the various forms of value-addition of our offers to their businesses and operations, across dimensions such as environmental, climate, health, safety, and circularity.

mySchneider app

The mySchneider app allows 24/7 QR Code to display all environmental data for ~150,000 SKUs. Customers easily can check REACh, RoHS, the product environment profile, and end-of-life/circularity instructions.

5. Implementing a circular economy

Schneider Electric circularity expresses itself in many ways. On the resource and waste sides, we work toward wasting less and reusing more, and progress is underway. On the offer side, we have innovated in a variety of ways. We grew our field services and Retrofit (ecoFitTM) revenues in 2016. Such services help us prolong the lifetime of our products, in turn helping our customers enjoy energy management and automation services using fewer resources: “Doing more with less.” We also grew our services related to the management of our products’ end-of-life, for lowand medium-voltage equipment, or UPS (Uninterruptible power supply) systems, for instance. We see circularity as based on common sense, as much as a fantastic lens to drive further innovation and value-addition for our customers and the planet alike.

6. Strengthening our environmental governance

Environmental stewardship is integral to our green growth and commitments. It guides how we select and grow our supplier base. Through more than 1,000 independent assessments, plus hundreds of field visits and audits, we review environmental risks in our supply chain and how we comply with changing regulations or report to a variety of external stakeholders and analysts. We also embed environmental considerations across other functions’ processes, such as purchasing, investment, manufacturing, logistics, acquisition, and human resources management. While improving the strategic alignment of our environmental journey with our corporate strategy and Schneider is On company program, we meanwhile strive to address key risks and changing expectations of our global ecosystem.

Our environmental strategy is deployed throughout the company via network of over 400 environmental leaders in charge of eco-designing offers, greening our supply chain, or inventing circular models.

The Global Supplier Day 2016 marketplace helps suppliers learn how to increase their business with Schneider Electric’s better contributing to future innovations.

Turning passion into action

This six-pillar environmental strategy helps us turn our passion for green growth into action. Together with our suppliers and customers, we can succeed in doing more with less in a sustainable way — out of shared concern for our planet. Indeed, with the right approach and commitment, global economic growth can be climate compatible.