Global energy management and automation specialist, Schneider Electric, has released its financial and non-financial results for the third quarter of 2016.
Schneider Electric uses 16 indicators from the 2015-2017 Planet & Society barometer to measure its ambitious commitments to sustainable development on a quarterly basis. Schneider Electric has exceeded its 2016 target by achieving a total score of 7.65/10 at the end of September 2016.
Schneider Electric is the only company in its sector to get an A grade every year for six years.
Gilles Vermot Desroches, sustainability senior VP at Schneider Electric, commented:
“This quarter, Schneider Electric’s sustainability performance was greatly rewarded by the community of non-financial raters. We are first in our industry in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the fourth consecutive year, and once again in the highly recognised “Climate A list” of CDP. Schneider Electric is the only company in its sector to get an A grade every year for six years. Our group is also ranked fourth in the Carbon Clean 200 list, the list of companies contributing to the energy transition, and for the first time is named among the Fortune magazine’s Companies That Are Changing the World. This convergence of positive opinions on our non-financial performance echoes our proactive commitment to sustainability and the benefit of the planet. This performance is naturally reflected in the Planet & Society barometer this quarter which, at the end of September 2016, exceeded its year-end target”.
In Q3 2016, 15 out of 16 indicators have been published, and 14 indicators boosted the overall barometer score.
Highlights of this quarter
On the Planet pillar:
– The indicator “10% CO2 savings from transportation” shows 8.5% CO2 savings since early 2015. In Q3 2016, all transportation modes contribute positively to the result. Long-distance freight is the largest contributor to this performance, with 23% of CO2 savings from the transition from air to sea. Short-distance freight, on the road, recorded a 1% reduction. This indicator includes emissions from the transport of goods purchased by Schneider Electric. The data is corrected for activity in tons transported;
– The indicator “100% of products in R&D designed with Schneider ecoDesign WayTM” shows a strong increase in the third quarter of 2016 from 20.8% to 46% of products in R&D designed with Schneider EcoDesign WayTM. The objective of this program is to embed a methodology within the Group to develop new products for a better environmental footprint. The approach is to measure improvements regarding: the impact on climate change including CO2 footprint; the consumption of raw materials; the reduction of chemicals that are hazardous to health; energy efficiency; the serviceability of the product (repair, recycling, reuse, etc.); the circularity for recyclability at end of life; and product packaging. The weight of these different aspects on the environmental performance of the product is customised for each product based on their appropriateness.
On the Profit pillar:
– The indicator “75% of product revenue with Green PremiumTM eco-label” posted a performance at 66.3%. This result is slightly below the expected performance to be achieved in 2017. This is partly explained by the inclusion of Invensys in the results, which was acquired by Schneider Electric in January 2014 and which must integrate the Green Premium criteria since 2015 in the qualifications of its products. Indeed, all activities involved in energy management are included in the Green Premium programme for 2015-2017: Industry (including former Invensys), IT, infrastructure (including former Areva) and oartner (including North America offerings – NEMA);
– The indicator “100% of our recommended suppliers embrace ISO 26000 guidelines” displayed a performance of 72%, 6 per cent higher than the previous quarter. This indicator relies on a supplier’s third party evaluation. Since 2011, sustainability has become one of the seven pillars used to measure supplier performance, allowing the highest-performing suppliers to become “recommended” suppliers.
On the People pillar:
– The indicator “One day training for every employee every year” reached 83% of employees who received at least one training day, the equivalent of seven hours, on a rolling year. In the third quarter of 2016, the third Leaning Week was held in all group sites. More than 30,000 learning hours in classroom and more than 20,000 learning hours in webinars were provided;
– The indicator “1,300 missions within Schneider Electric Teachers NGO” already shows
1,203 missions at the end of the third quarter of 2016, with a target of 1,300 at the end of 2017. The Schneider Electric Teachers missions are performed by Schneider Electric employees and retirees around the world, on a voluntary basis, in vocational or educational NGOs, in NGOs fighting fuel poverty and in companies supported by the Schneider Electric Energy Access Fund.
Is Wood Burning Sustainable For Your Home?
Wood is a classic heat source, whether we think about people gathered around a campfire or wood stoves in old cabins, but is it a sustainable source of heat in modern society? The answer is an ambivalent one. In certain settings, wood heat is an ideal solution, but for the majority of homes, it isn’t especially suitable. So what’s the tipping point?
Wood heat is ideal for small homes on large properties, for individuals who can gather their own wood, and who have modern wood burning ovens. A green approach to wood heat is one of biofuel on the smallest of scales.
Is Biofuel Green?
One of the reasons that wood heat is a source of so much divide in the eco-friendly community is that it’s a renewable resource and renewable has become synonymous with green. What wood heat isn’t, though, is clean or healthy. It lets off a significant amount of carbon and particulates, and trees certainly don’t grow as quickly as it’s consumed for heat.
Of course, wood is a much less harmful source of heat than coal, but for scientists interested in developing green energy sources, it makes more sense to focus on solar and wind power. Why, then, would they invest in improved wood burning technology?
Solar and wind technology are good large-scale energy solutions, but when it comes to small-space heating, wood has its own advantages. First, wood heat is in keeping with the DIY spirit of homesteaders and tiny house enthusiasts. These individuals are more likely to be driven to gather their own wood and live in small spaces that can be effectively heated as such.
Wood heat is also very effective on an individual scale because it requires very little infrastructure. Modern wood stoves made of steel rather than cast iron are built to EPA specifications, and the only additional necessary tools include a quality axe, somewhere to store the wood, and an appropriate covering to keep it dry. And all the wood can come from your own land.
Wood heat is also ideal for people living off the grid or in cold areas prone to frequent power outages, as it’s constantly reliable. Even if the power goes out, you know that you’ll be able to turn up the heat. That’s important if you live somewhere like Maine where the winters can get exceedingly cold. People have even successfully heated a 40’x34’ home with a single stove.
Benefits Of Biomass
The ultimate question regarding wood heat is whether any energy source that’s dangerous on the large scale is acceptable on a smaller one. For now, the best answer is that with a growing population and limited progress towards “pure” green energy, wood should remain a viable option, specifically because it’s used on a limited scale. Biomass heat is even included in the UK’s Renewable Heat Initiative and minor modifications can make it even more sustainable.
Wood stoves, when embraced in conjunction with pellet stoves, geothermal heating, and masonry heaters, all more efficient forms of sustainable heat, should be part of a modern energy strategy. Ultimately, we’re headed in the direction of diversified energy – all of it cleaner – and wood has a place in the big picture, serving small homes and off-the-grid structures, while solar, wind, and other large-scale initiatives fuel our cities.
7 Benefits You Should Consider Giving Your Energy Employees
As an energy startup, you’re always looking to offer the most competitive packages to entice top-tier talent. This can be tough, especially when trying to put something together that’s both affordable but also has perks that employees are after.
After all, this is an incredibly competitive field and one that’s constantly doing what it can to stay ahead. However, that’s why I’m bringing you a few helpful benefits that could be what bolsters you ahead of your competition. Check them out below:
One benefit commonly overlooked by companies is offering your employees financial advising services, which could help them tremendously in planning for their long-term goals with your firm. This includes anything from budgeting and savings plans to recommendations for credit repair services and investments. Try to take a look at if your energy company could bring on an extra person or two specifically for this role, as it will pay off tremendously regarding retention and employee happiness.
While often included in a lot of health benefits packages, offering your employees life insurance could be an excellent addition to your current perks. Although seldom used, life insurance is a small sign that shows you care about the life of their family beyond just office hours. Additionally, at such a low cost, this is a pretty simple aspect to add to your packages. Try contacting some brokers or insurance agents to see if you can find a policy that’s right for your firm.
Dedicated Time To Enjoy Their Hobbies
Although something seen more often in startups in Silicon Valley, having dedicated office time for employees to enjoy their passions is something that has shown great results. Whether it be learning the piano or taking on building a video game, having your team spend some time on the things they truly enjoy can translate to increased productivity. Why? Because giving them the ability to better themselves, they’ll in turn bring that to their work as well.
The Ability To Work Remotely
It’s no secret that a lot of employers despise the idea of letting their employees work remotely. However, it’s actually proven to hold some amazing benefits. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 95% of employers that allow their employees to telework reported an increased rate of retention, saving on both turnover and sick days. Depending on the needs of each individual role, this can be a strategy to implement either whenever your team wants or on assigned days. Either way, this is one perk almost everyone will love.
Even though it’s mandated for companies with over 50 employees, offering health insurance regardless is arguably a benefit well received across the board. In fact, as noted in research compiled by KFF, 28.6% of employers with less than 50 people still offered health care. Why is that the case? Because it shows you care about their well-being, and know that a healthy employee is one that doesn’t have to worry about astronomical medical bills.
Unlimited Time Off
This is a perk that almost no employer offers but should be regarded as something to consider. According to The Washington Post, only 1-2% of companies offer unlimited vacation, which it’s easy to see why. A true “unlimited vacation” program could be a firm’s worse nightmare, with employees skipping out every other week to enjoy themselves. However, with the right model in place that rewards hard work with days off, your employees will absolutely adore this policy.
A Full Pantry
Finally, having a pantry full of food can be one perk that’s not only relatively inexpensive but also adds to the value of the workplace. As noted by USA Today, when surveying employees who had snacks versus those who didn’t, 67% of those who did reported they were “very happy” with their work life. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference this could make, especially when considering the price point. Consider adding a kitchen to your office if you haven’t already, and always keep the snacks and drinks everyone wants fully stocked. Doing so will increase morale tremendously.
Compiling a great package for your energy company is going to take some time in looking at what you can afford versus what’s the most you can offer. While it might mean cutting back in other areas, having a workforce that feels like you genuinely want to take care of them can take you far. And with so many different benefits to include in your energy company’s package, which one is your favorite? Comment with your answers below!