Schneider Electric Wins Award for Contribution to Circular Economy

Schneider Electric Wins Award for Contribution to Circular Economy
Peter Lacy, Senior Managing Director at Accenture Strategy, and Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and CEO at Schneider Electric, at The Circulars ceremony in Davos, on January 21, 2019.

DAVOS, Switzerland — Schneider Electric has won The Circulars 2019 award in the Multinational category. The Circulars, an initiative of the World Economic Forum and the Forum of Young Global Leaders, run in collaboration with Accenture Strategy, is the world’s premier circular economy award program. It recognizes private and public organizations, as well as individuals, who make a significant contribution to the circular economy.

Schneider Electric’s approach to the circular economy is a concerted move away from the wasteful linear system of “extract, manufacture, dispose” (or “take, make and dispose”) that is demonstrably damaging to the planet and climate. The Group’s approach to circularity, which reflects the principles of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, is to:

  • Preserve and enhance natural capital;
  • Minimize use of primary resources;
  • Foster new systems including leasing, extending product life, repair and reuse and finally recycling of materials, if all other options are exhausted.

The Circulars 2019 award recognizes Schneider Electric’s commitment to the circular economy everywhere and at all levels, as part of a universal approach that encompasses all of Schneider Electric’s activities:

  • Eco-design of products with minimum use of primary raw materials;
  • Circular Value Propositions (connected objects, services, leasing, repair, take-back etc.);
  • A circular supply chain (reverse logistics, repair centers, modernization and reconditioning centers etc.);
  • Corporate governance around four “circular economy” indicators in the quarterly non-financial Schneider Sustainability Impact barometer, which impacts remuneration of thousands of Schneider Electric managers.

All new products are eco-designed, which means they are created to be easily repaired, upgraded, and finally dismantled at end-of-life. Digital Product Environmental Profiles (PEP) give customers straightforward information on a product’s carbon footprint, environmental impact, as well as detailed end-of-life instructions that maximize products’ circularity after their “first life.” In 2019, Schneider Electric will make a strong effort to increase the use of recycled plastics in its products.

Furthermore, Schneider Electric continues to deploy a growing range of services to help customers extend the life of aging electrical equipment as well as to upgrade it to the latest technology. This is done, for example, through its ECOFIT™ program, thanks to a global network of refurbishment centers for low- and medium-voltage equipment circuit-breakers and UPS-es. Additional services exist to take-back and treat batteries and medium-voltage equipment at the end-of-life. In 2018, Schneider Electric’s circularity initiatives helped avoid consumption of 40,000 tons of primary resources and reduced customers’ CO2 emissions by 30 million tons, primarily through the renovation of existing equipment (buildings, industry, infrastructure).

Schneider Electric also applies circularity principles across its supply chain. More than 170 sites across the world have the TZWL (Towards Zero Waste to Landfill) label and currently reuse 94% of their waste.

The circular economy at the heart of Schneider Electric’s strategy

“The circular economy is a global strategic transformation and it is central to everything we do”, said Jean Pascal Tricoire, Schneider Electric Chairman and CEO. “It is essential for the planet, improves performance for our customers, helps governments and countries because of the local jobs it creates, and is strategic for us because it leads to sustainable relationships with our customers.”

Schneider Electric has been associated with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation since 2015, as a member of the
Circular Economy (CE100) program, and has co-created a circular economy e-learning program, which has
till now already been undertaken by some 4,500 Schneider Electric employees.

The whole Group is involved in the circularity effort, with 10,000 engineers in Research & Innovation, 12,000 Services engineers, and 80,000 employees in 200 factories working daily to minimize waste while fabricating products of the highest quality.

Ambitious goals for 2030

Schneider Electric continues to build momentum of its circularity efforts through a set of ambitious targets. By 2021, the Group intends to avoid consumption of 120,000 tons of primary resources and to slash CO2 emissions at customers’ end by 120 million tons. By 2025, the Group will double the amount of recycled plastics in its products and by 2030, 100% of the electricity for its sites will come from renewable sources (in comparison to 30% today), 100% of the waste will be reused and all packaging will be from recycled or certified sources.

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