Schneider Electric and Saint-Gobain, one of the world’s largest building materials companies and manufacturer of innovative material solutions, have announced a contract extension which builds on a 16-year partnership designed to optimize energy buying across sites in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. To date, the program has helped Saint-Gobain trim energy expenses by more than $50 million.
With the four-year extension, Saint-Gobain is adding more than 20 new properties to the portfolio that Schneider Electric analysts help manage, bringing the total to 144 sites. The analysts deliver a complete suite of procurement services that range from strategic sourcing and rate reviews to budgeting, and utility invoice collection and validation.
In addition, all data for the program, including details on contracts and pricing, and site-level energy use, flows into Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure™ Resource Advisor, a cloud-based enterprise software platform. This gives Saint-Gobain a single source to track performance and savings and benchmark facilities in order to identify efficiency opportunities.
“Purchasing utilities is complex in a large organization with energy-intense operations,” said Richard Brunel, Vice President of Purchasing in North America for Saint-Gobain.
“When we started the relationship, each site was handling the task on its own." Brunel continues, "There was no overarching strategy or measurement. So we began with 20 facilities, and through close collaboration and demonstrated success we’ve increased the scope and cut millions from our energy budget each year. These savings allow us to reinvest in innovation to better serve our customers and help build a more sustainable planet.”
To augment the day-to-day operations, the Schneider Electric team also provides long-term forecasting and risk management to help protect Saint-Gobain against pricing fluctuations, regulatory changes and other unexpected market movement.
“Buying energy in Ohio is drastically different than buying energy in British Columbia,” said Steve Wilhite, Senior Vice President of Energy and Sustainability Services, Schneider Electric. “An organization the size of Saint-Gobain is operating in regulated and deregulated markets, working with a set of utilities and power providers that operate under different rules, offer diverse incentives, etc. We’re able to complement the customer’s business expertise with our domain knowledge and experience that cuts across geographies. That synergy is the reason for the sustained results.”
Saint-Gobain works with Schneider Electric in several other regions around the globe as well, deploying innovative technology and services that allow the building materials expert to use energy efficiently and operate more sustainably. One particular area of focus is developing custom, repeatable solutions to improve plant performance.
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