Climate Week NYC: Schneider Electric launches new initiative around UN SDOs and strengthens and accelerates its commitment to a carbon-neutral world (#ODD13)

  • #ODD13
  • #Schneider Electric
  • Schneider pushes ahead with its commitments by making SDOs the compass of its sustainable development strategy
  • The Group adds a bold carbon neutrality target for 2040 across its entire value chain
  • Schneider joins "The Climate Pledge" coalition with global partners to push the world towards carbon neutrality, 10 years before the 2050 milestone of the Paris Accord.
  • The Group clearly details the key milestones by 2030 to achieve its validated science-based 1.5°C targets
  • Schneider Electric will phase out SF6 gas from its products by 2025, saving the equivalent of 4 million tonnes of CO2 per year.

At Climate Week NYC 2020, Schneider Electric, leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, is accelerating its commitment to carbon neutrality in 2040, ten years ahead of the 1.5 degree climate trajectory. These commitments will be supported by working with companies such as Amazon, building an extensive network of suppliers and designing innovative low-carbon solutions. The Group is constantly innovating to have a greater impact on its customers, for example by phasing out the powerful SF6 greenhouse gases from its products by 2025, saving around 4 million tonnes of CO2eq per year. On the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the United Nations SDOs, the Group is mobilising all its teams to innovate and progress in its SDOs. It is also appointing SDO ambassadors and teams to promote change from within.

These announcements take place at the beginning of Climate Week NYC, the annual climate summit held in coordination with the United Nations and the city of New York (USA). The summit will take place virtually between 21 and 27 September, with the participation of Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and CEO of Schneider Electric, who will discuss how the Group is strengthening its commitment to carbon 2019 with its customers and partners.

Schneider Electric accelerates and details its 2019 carbon commitment and adds a bold carbon neutrality target for 2040

Schneider Electric is accelerating and detailing its 2019 carbon commitment, first of all by reaffirming its desire to achieve carbon neutrality in its activities (scope 1 and 2) by 2025 (by allowing offsets), and zero net CO2 emissions by 2030, without offsets. Achieving this goal will require taking advantage of energy efficiency, electrification of fossil fuel-based processes, renewable energy and electric vehicles. From 2017 to 2019, Schneider Electric has already reduced its operational emissions by 260,000 tCO2eq, an absolute reduction of 37%.

The Group is detailing clear steps towards its 35% reduction in indirect emissions (scope 3) by 2030, in line with its validated 1.5°C targets based on scientific data. The CO2 intensity of purchasing will be progressively reduced by actively engaging suppliers to accelerate their climate strategy and by sourcing more environmentally friendly materials (such as organic, recycled and certified products). Schneider Electric is also committed to reducing emissions from its offerings for its customers by 40% by 2030, in line with the 1.5°C climate trajectory.

In addition, Schneider Electric is adding a bold step forward to its carbon commitment for 2040 and is committed to becoming carbon neutral across its entire footprint by 2040 (perimeters 1, 2 and 3), 10 years ahead of the 1.5°C climate trajectory. This means that all Schneider products will be carbon neutral by 2040.

Finally, Schneider Electric reiterates its commitment to operate in a CO2 emission-free supply chain by 2050, i.e. over the entire life cycle.

In order to meet this commitment, strategic supply chain and R&D decisions will include a carbon price of between €30 and €130/tonne depending on the time horizon.

Phasing out SF6 will save 4 million tonnes of CO2eq per year

Schneider Electric will also continue its efforts to demonstrate the positive impact of energy efficiency and renewable technologies on the climate. Before 2025, Schneider Electric will demonstrate its positive carbon footprint with its customers and partners, thanks to the CO2 savings achieved by EcoStruxure.

To achieve carbon neutrality, innovation is the key to change. Schneider Electric is the pioneer of SF6-free technology that replaces gas with clean air. The Group recently launched an innovation in switchgear combining clean air and vacuum technology. The first range of environmentally friendly switchgear, SM AirSeT, has already been recognised by industry experts in the "Energy Savings" category of the Industrial Efficiency Awards at the 2020 trade fair in Hanover and received the prestigious iF Design Award at the beginning of the year. By phasing out the powerful greenhouse gas SF6 from all its products by 2025, Schneider Electric will avoid the equivalent of around 4 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

SF6 is commonly contained in electrical equipment used to power the grid and industrial electrical installations, but because of its global warming potential (GWP), it has been listed in the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty committing UN parties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and is increasingly the subject of climate-friendly regulations and efforts.

Collaboration at the heart of the strategy to achieve carbon neutrality

By combining technology, commerce and collaboration, Schneider Electric joins global partners such as Amazon, Infosys and Daimler to contribute to carbon neutrality by 2040 as part of the Climate Pledge program, an initiative created jointly by Global Optimism and Amazon. The Climate Pledge was founded on the belief that global companies are responsible and must act together to tackle the climate crisis. It is set ten years ahead of the pledge made in 2015 by all UN member countries at COP 21 in Paris, an annual meeting held to discuss each nation's progress in tackling climate change. At the time, the goal was clear: to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius, the level that most scientists believe is the critical threshold. In order to limit global warming, the world needs to reach a global level of "zero carbon emissions" and to achieve this goal, emissions will have to be halved between 2020 and 2030.

ODD Ambassadors Network, innovating change from within

These announcements coincide with the fifth anniversary of the United Nations' SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) on 25 September, at a meeting where 193 countries approved 17 SDGs aimed at achieving sustainable development for all by 2030. With only ten years left until the end of this period and the global economy being hit by the impact of the VIDOC-19 pandemic, Schneider pledged to join forces with governments, businesses, international organisations and NGOs to meet these goals and prioritise sustainable action in all areas.

Since their launch in 2015, SDOs have been fully integrated into Schneider's sustainable development strategy and to take this ambition one step further, the Group has announced the launch of a new "SDO ambassador network". The aim is to contribute to raising awareness, by empowering our employees and partners to take action, to generate innovative ideas so that the company's managers can take into account and also challenge their overall objectives and indicators. It will be composed of a network of ambassadors within the Group (an executive director at Schneider) and a working group of 5 to 10 experts and internal staff (including young corporate talent) for each of the 17 UN SDOs. This reinforces Schneider's strategy in which employees have always been at the centre of sustainable change and this new initiative will empower them to contribute #ODD4.

In this way, the Group confirms that the global pandemic will not jeopardise the achievement of its 2020 sustainability objectives and that it will keep the bar high for its 2030 commitments: to engage in the global ecosystem to fight climate change and assume its responsibilities towards inclusive growth.