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AWARD: Schneider Electric wins global award for circular economy commitment



MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Schneider Electric has one The Circulars 2019 award in the Multinational category. The Circulars are an initiative of the World Economic Forum and the Forum of Young Global Leaders.

Jean-Pascal Tricoire (right), CEO and chairman of Schneider Electric receives the Multinational Circular 2019 award from Peter Lacy, senior managing director at Accenture Strategy. (Image: Schneider Electric)

The Circulars recognize private and public organizations and individuals who make a significant contribution to the circular economy. According to Wikipedia, “In a circular system resource input and waste, emission, and energy leakage are minimized by slowing, closing, and narrowing energy and material loops; this can be achieved through long-lasting design, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishing, recycling, and upcycling.”

Schneider Electric’s approach to the circular economy is a concerted move away from the wasteful linear system of “extract, manufacture, 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; and
  • 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.); and
  • 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 tonnes of primary resources and reduced customers’ carbon dioxide emissions by 30 million tonnes, primarily through 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.

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 and innovation, 12,000 services engineers, and 80,000 employees in 200 factories working daily to minimize waste while fabricating products of the highest quality.

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 tonnes of primary resources and to slash carbon dioxide emissions at customers’ end by 120 million tonnes. 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 (against 30% today), 100% of the waste will be reused and all packaging will be from recycled or certified sources.

Click here for more information about Schneider Electric’s approach to the circular economy. Or visit www.Schneider-Electric.ca/en/.


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