We are at a critical juncture between the energy crisis and the climate crisis. Climate change continues to cause unprecedented challenges such as extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and water scarcity. Simultaneously, geopolitical tensions have led to an energy crisis, resulting in fuel shortages, soaring costs, and potential threats to business continuity. The challenges posed by these crises are immense, leaving businesses struggling to find effective solutions.
The good news is that Schneider Electric can help businesses develop and implement strategies to decarbonize, improve energy security, and increase resiliency, providing solutions to both the climate and energy crises.
Understanding the Challenges
At Schneider Electric, we have experience working with a wide range of clients from various geographies, industries, and segments on their sustainability strategy. Climate action is a challenge, even for ambitious companies. In fact, fewer than 12% of companies are achieving the climate goals they have set for themselves. In a survey of 540 global companies with an annual turnover of $1 billion or more, we identified the main challenges faced by enterprises and site-level operations:
- Stakeholder alignment
- CO2 science understanding
- Budgeting and financing
- Data collection, reporting, and transparency
- Technology and workforce skills
- Roadmap execution
We understand these challenges and have developed solutions that simplify the process of achieving meaningful outcomes. We have found an integrated approach, which turns strategy into action, is crucial for success. Let’s explore the three key elements of this approach.
1. Governance: Effective governance goes beyond top-down directives. It must be brought into the DNA of the organization to sustain success. By involving the right stakeholders from the start, we can anticipate the needs at all levels, fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing. Keeping sustainability initiatives closely aligned with the core business strategy makes it easier to drive meaningful outcomes.
2. Data: Data is the foundation for delivering results. Without the right data, it is nearly impossible to implement effective solutions and make impactful decisions. As the saying goes, ‘You cannot improve what you don’t measure.’ By measuring the right data, companies can streamline reporting, identify opportunities beyond basic solutions, and unlock more complex strategies like process and energy efficiency, electrification, and grid flexibility. Consistently tracking progress and optimizing further becomes possible when we anticipate the required data streams.
3. Solutions: The final piece of the strategy map is to identify and plan implementation for the best-fit solutions in areas of energy efficiency, electrification, and renewables. Implementing all three of these strategies is what truly accelerates progress. The best outcomes of these solutions are delivered when they are explored together so we can plan for interdependencies.
To effectively address decarbonization and support your ambition to reduce cost and increase resiliency, we must act on three levers at a site level…
Lever 1: Reduce
The reduce lever revolves around conducting operations more efficiently. Often the unsung hero of decarbonization, reducing your energy consumption through improving processes can help fund future decarbonization efforts with savings. To ensure this, Schneider can:
- Help you identify Energy Efficiency Potential
- Develop Efficiency Projects and Programs
- Digitization & centralization of energy data
- Deliver Onsite Projects through different schemes (such as Turnkey projects, EPC, EAAS)
- Deliver Continuous Performance Optimization & Validation
- Assist you in following up on performance, with the right expertise and technologies
- Deploy cutting-edge Microgrid Technology on your premises to take advantage of technical and market opportunities.
Lever 2: Electrify
The second lever, electrification involves replacing fuel-based process heat and machine drive with electricity. Once our operations are as efficient as possible, we can look at replacing fuel-based processes with electricity to increase resilience and source stability at the same time as decarbonizing. To ensure electrification is the best route for your business we can:
- Assess technology for fuel switch potential
- Conduct a financial assessment to ensure the best savings and model the future cost of electricity
- Conduct detailed design to ensure all electrical infrastructure is up to date and able to manage the new load
Lever 3: Replace:
Now that we have prioritized energy efficiency and electrified the operations, we need to make sure our energy source is green, so we’ll move to the third lever, replace.
This means switching from carbon-intensive to low-carbon sources. To ensure this, Schneider can:
- Assess renewable energy opportunities in the markets where you operate
- Develop and deliver onsite renewable energy project
- Source offsite renewable energy (PPAs, vPPAs, Biogas, Biomass)
- Address corporate mobility and identify renewable solutions in that area
- Provide Operational Services to ensure the performance of your agreements
Let's look at these 3 levers in practice. Below are two examples of how we have delivered sustainable outcomes for our clients.
A Berlin City District partnered with Schneider Electric to meet its climate targets. We achieved this through solar PV, wind power, E-mobility, and more. For more information on EUREF, click here.
IntenCity is Schneider Electric’s new net-zero energy Building of the Future in Grenoble, France. IntenCity’s operational carbon emissions are 60x lower than an average new European building due to the electrification of HVAC systems and vehicles. It also relies on renewable energy through PV panels and wind turbines. For more information on IntenCity, click here.
The moment is now
The moment is now for all of us to develop and implement comprehensive sustainability plans that accelerate both decarbonization, as well as business performance.