Schneider Sustainability Impact report sees targets exceeded
Schneider Electric has published its fourth Schneider Sustainability Impact, which measures progress towards its sustainability commitments for 2018 to 2020, in line with the COP 21 and United Nations objectives.
With a total score of 6.10 out of 10 at end-December 2018, the Group exceeded its Schneider Sustainability Impact target of 5 out of 10 for the end of 2018. 2018 turnover of Schneider Electric's Energy & Sustainability Services is up 13.8% compared to 2017 and 45.7% of Schneider Electric's sales fall into its new Green Premium ecolabel. Meanwhile, 75% of Schneider Electric employees are covered by the Group's new Global Family Leave Policy
Commenting on the results, Gilles Vermot Desroches, Sustainability Senior VP at Schneider Electric said: "…the 21 objectives of our Schneider Sustainability Impact have demonstrated an excellent performance in 2018, we have decided to raise the level of our ambitions. Therefore, we will accelerate the implementation of our action plans on key challenges such as climate change, biodiversity, development or health. Recognitions we received (*) in 2018 all incite us to continue our efforts and to drive the sector forward in picking up those challenges".
Schneider has also been featured among the World's Most Admired Companies by Fortune magazine, as part of the CDP Climate A list for the 8th consecutive year and also ranked in the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World by Corporate Knights for the 7th consecutive year.
- Read the latest edition of CSO Magazine, here
Breakdown of the Schneider Sustainability Impact report
The "CO2 efficiency in transportation" indicator registers a CO2 emission increase by 1.8% in 2018 compared to the -1% target. This is mainly due to an increase in air freight in Q1 2018 in our ITD business, and an increase of CO2emissions in North America in Q1 and in Q2 due to a high level of domestic air freight.
The "increase in turnover for our Energy & Sustainability Services" indicator shows very strong performance at +13.8% in 2018. The high growth is boosted by the energy efficiency business with the public sector in the US, and by key wins in the cleantech business. The energy sourcing business is contributing to the growth as well. Energy & Sustainability Services targets a 25% increase in sales in 2020 compared to the 2017 baseline.
The "sales under our new Green Premium program" indicator's result was 45.7% for the fourth quarter of 2018. Schneider Electric's Green Premium ecolabel was upgraded in 2018 to be more customer focused. By adding environmental claims and through collaboration with external organizations, Schneider Electric is able to deliver value propositions that support its customers' own sustainability goals. With the environmental information available through its Green Premium ecolabel, Schneider Electric has helped customers to achieve Green Building certifications. After products, the scope of the ecolabel will be extended as of 2019 to include services and software.
Health & Equity:
The "employees working in countries that have fully deployed our Family Leave policy" indicator's result is presented for the first time this quarter. 75% of the Group's employees are covered by the new Global Family Leave Policy. 59 countries, including seven of Schneider Electric's top ten operating locations (China, France, India, Mexico, Spain, the UK, and the US) fully implemented this policy within its first year of deployment. The Global Family Leave Policy is industry leading in its scope and supports the Group's employees worldwide by providing paid personal time during moments when it matters the most, enabling them to better manage their unique life and work. The policy features global minimum paid leave standards for primary and secondary parental leave, care leave for a family member that either needs elder care or care for a serious health condition, and bereavement leave for a death of an immediate family member. The Group has actively chosen to define "leave" and "family" in an inclusive way, recognizing that definition of family, life and work are changing every day.
The "suppliers under Human Rights & Environment vigilance received specific on-site assessment" indicatorreaches 155 audits at the end of 2018. In alignment with the Group strategy and vision, and to comply with the 2017-French law concerning the Corporate Duty of Vigilance, Schneider Electric committed to implementing a vigilance plan. This includes identifying and managing suppliers that are most exposed to risks in terms of labor practices, health & safety, and environment. In early 2018, a global supplier risk mapping has been performed with a recognized third-party expert mapping tool (Verisk Maplecroft) available through Schneider Electric's partnership with the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA). The Group's risk management process includes a number of prevention and control actions down to on-site audits for 300 of these suppliers in 3 years, chosen according to their level of risk and the procurement volume.
The "underprivileged people trained in energy management" indicator continues to grow with 196,162 people trained in more than 45 countries. The program started in 2009 and aims to reach an additional 150,000 people within 2 years and a total of 1 million by 2025. With the support provided, trainees can access a skilled job or start a business and improve their prospects in life, contributing to better access to modern and reliable energy in their community. Today, the major challenge of the program is to multiply the impact of actions by pursuing a long-term partnership policy with local and global players able to replicate the projects. Three priorities guide the coming years: entrepreneurship, the integration of women into the energy professions, and the training of trainers. One of the major partnerships is with IECD (European Institute of Cooperation and Development) which enabled the opening of training centers in Lebanon, Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Vietnam.
Carbon dioxide removal revenues worth £2bn a year by 2030
Carbon dioxide removal revenues could reach £2bn a year by 2030 in the UK with costs per megatonne totalling up to £400 million, according to the National Infrastructure Commission.
Engineered greenhouse gas removals will become "a major new infrastructure sector" in the coming decades - although costs are uncertain given removal technologies are in their infancy - and revenues could match that of the UK’s water sector by 2050. The Commission’s analysis suggests engineered removals technologies need to have capacity to remove five to ten megatonnes of carbon dioxide no later than 2030, and between 40 and 100 megatonnes by 2050.
The Commission states technologies fit into two categories: extracting carbon dioxide directly out of the air; and bioenergy with carbon capture technology – processing biomass to recapture carbon dioxide absorbed as the fuel grew. In both cases, the captured CO2 is then stored permanently out of the atmosphere, typically under the seabed.
The report sets out how the engineered removal and storage of carbon dioxide offers the most realistic way to mitigate the final slice of emissions expected to remain by the 2040s from sources that don’t currently have a decarbonisation solution, like aviation and agriculture.
It stresses that the potential of these technologies is “not an excuse to delay necessary action elsewhere” and cannot replace efforts to reduce emissions from sectors like road transport or power, where removals would be a more expensive alternative.
The critical role these technologies will play in meeting climate targets means government must rapidly kick start the sector so that it becomes viable by the 2030s, according to the report, which was commissioned by government in November 2020.
Early movement by the UK to develop the expertise and capacity in greenhouse gas removal technologies could create a comparative advantage, with the prospect of other countries needing to procure the knowledge and skills the UK develops.
The Commission recommends that government should support the development of this new sector in the short term with policies that drive delivery of these technologies and create demand through obligations on polluting industries, which will over time enable a competitive market to develop. Robust independent regulation must also be put in place from the start to help build public and investor confidence.
While the burden of these costs could be shared by different parts of industries required to pay for removals or in part shared with government, the report acknowledges that, over the longer term, the aim should be to have polluting sectors pay for removals they need to reach carbon targets.
Polluting industries are likely to pass a proportion of the costs onto consumers. While those with bigger household expenditures will pay more than those on lower incomes, the report underlines that government will need to identify ways of protecting vulnerable consumers and to decide where in relevant industry supply chains the costs should fall.
Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, Sir John Armitt, said taking steps to clean our air is something we’re going to have to get used to, just as we already manage our wastewater and household refuse.
"While engineered removals will not be everyone’s favourite device in the toolkit, they are there for the hardest jobs. And in the overall project of mitigating our impact on the planet for the sake of generations to come, we need every tool we can find," he said.
“But to get close to having the sector operating where and when we need it to, the government needs to get ahead of the game now. The adaptive approach to market building we recommend will create the best environment for emerging technologies to develop quickly and show their worth, avoiding the need for government to pick winners. We know from the dramatic fall in the cost of renewables that this approach works and we must apply the lessons learned to this novel, but necessary, technology.”
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and International Energy Agency estimate a global capacity for engineered removals of 2,000 to 16,000 megatonnes of carbon dioxide each year by 2050 will be needed in order to meet global reduction targets.
Yesterday Summit Carbon Solutions received "a strategic investment" from John Deere to advance a major CCUS project (click here). The project will accelerate decarbonisation efforts across the agriculture industry by enabling the production of low carbon ethanol, resulting in the production of more sustainable food, feed, and fuel. Summit Carbon Solutions has partnered with 31 biorefineries across the Midwest United States to capture and permanently sequester their CO2 emissions.
Cory Reed, President, Agriculture & Turf Division of John Deere, said: "Carbon neutral ethanol would have a positive impact on the environment and bolster the long-term sustainability of the agriculture industry. The work Summit Carbon Solutions is doing will be critical in delivering on these goals."
McKinsey highlights a number of CCUS methods which can drive CO2 to net zero:
- Today’s leader: Enhanced oil recovery Among CO2 uses by industry, enhanced oil recovery leads the field. It accounts for around 90 percent of all CO2 usage today
- Cementing in CO2 for the ages New processes could lock up CO2 permanently in concrete, “storing” CO2 in buildings, sidewalks, or anywhere else concrete is used
- Carbon neutral fuel for jets Technically, CO2 could be used to create virtually any type of fuel. Through a chemical reaction, CO2 captured from industry can be combined with hydrogen to create synthetic gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel
- Capturing CO2 from ambient air - anywhere Direct air capture (DAC) could push CO2 emissions into negative territory in a big way
- The biomass-energy cycle: CO2 neutral or even negative Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage relies on nature to remove CO2 from the atmosphere for use elsewhere