International. Schneider Electric published its Sustainability Research and called on governments and companies to accelerate their sustainability actions and increase investments in technologies that contribute to the reduction of their carbon emissions, as well as to strengthen their energy security.
The urgent appeal was made by the company in a "context of rising energy prices, energy supply crises and accelerating climate change, which pose significant challenges for businesses, economies and societies around the world."
These challenges are also addressed by the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 16-20, attended by senior executives of Schneider Electric.
Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and CEO of Schneider Electric, said: "The current climate and energy crises are an economic reality for an increasing number of people. As business leaders and policymakers gather in Davos, we must act in our own long-term interest, not the short term. We must not shy away from difficult decisions. There can be no long-term prosperity without a full energy transition."
In addition, he assured that in Schneider the focus is "Digitize, Strategize, Decarbonize", so he hopes that now it is the turn of companies, governments and societies who should fulfill the commitments they have acquired.
According to a statement from Schneider, 38% of global CO2 emissions from the built environment, and another 32% from industry. In this sense, the company highlights that its software products and services, in the areas of industrial automation and energy management, help companies, industries, building and home managers to decarbonize and digitize their use of energy.
Schneider Electric also provided detailed information on decarbonization trends and solutions, through surveys, research and detailed reports produced by the Schneider Electric Sustainability Research Institute.
"An independent survey of more than 500 senior executives commissioned by Schneider last year revealed that companies' commitments and investments in sustainability are often hampered by the complexity of decarbonization. On average, financial commitment to sustainability and decarbonisation initiatives in the companies surveyed was less than 2% of projected revenues for the next three years, even though such investments are typically efficient and profitable, with a return on investment often less than one to three years."
Schneider research respondents highlighted stakeholder alignment, budget, technology, competencies and regulation as challenges for implementing sustainability. However, "the majority noted that improving industrial automation and modernizing electrical infrastructure will form a fundamental part of their sustainability plan for the next three years."
In that sense, the document pointed out that "the acquisition of renewable energies is one of the main initiatives pursued from the point of view of supply, while electrification – a key measure from the point of view of demand – occupies a secondary place among the sustainability priorities of organizations. Along with electrification, increasing the efficiency of existing infrastructures through digitalization and automation will be one of the most important levers in the next decade."
According to another recent report by Schneider Electric (entitled Road to a rapid transition to sustainable energy security in Europe) that focused on the electrification potential of the European Union, "focusing on sectors where electrification is feasible and attractive could raise the share of electricity in the energy mix from around 20% to 50%. In turn, the share of natural gas and oil would be reduced by around 50%, which would contribute significantly to improving energy security."
Schneider Electric noted that the current European energy crisis comes after decades of secure, reliably available energy at relatively stable prices.
Finally, Tricoire stated that: "purpose and benefits must align to become powerful forces in the fight against climate change. We already have the technology to avoid the energy and climate crises, and to deliver safe, reliable and sustainable distribution and use of energy. Our data-driven approach, spanning industrial automation, digitalization and the digital twin technology of the enterprise metaverse, combines to unlock a brighter, more sustainable and more prosperous future. The urgency to act has never been greater than now."