Development Highlights

The past year brought a great emphasis on our Development goals. Development action is part of our 2018 – 2020 Schneider Sustainability Impact (SSI). The SSI covers 21 impacts that align with United Nations (U.N.) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Together with the global community, we are working to alleviate poverty, protect the planet, and bring about global peace and prosperity.

Learn more about the progress we made toward our Development goals in 2018, as we mobilize the resources needed to provide affordable, clean energy for all.

The decentralized renewable energy sector, including household solar and mini-grids, is entering a new phase — one that goes beyond access and focuses on the benefits of delivering electricity to 1 billion people worldwide living without it. These solutions satisfy consumer aspirations, power rural economies, create jobs, and better livelihoods to help empower unemployed or under-employed youth and women.

William Brent

Chief Communications Officer

Power For All

Energy for all
In pursuit of U.N. Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 7, we strive to ensure everyone has access to energy and lifelong learning.

Our development priorities

50M Created with Sketch. 50M

People we'll help access energy via our offers by 2025

24M

People we've helped access energy via our offers since 2009

400K

Underprivileged people we'll train in energy management by 2020

10K

Entrepreneurs we'll support by 2025

Access to energy

Schneider Electric's mission is to ensure that Life Is On everywhere, for everyone and at every moment. Our Access to Energy program is a key part of this promise, in which local stakeholders, residents, and customers bring safe, clean, and sustainable electricity to communities around the world. The program includes:

Villaya Community:

A solution to provide energy for off-grid areas

Offers and business models

Renewable off-grid products and solutions deployed commercially through adapted business models

In 2018, we presented Villaya Emergency for easier access to energy in emergency situations, with the ability to deploy on-site in less than 30 minutes. This is an important advancement for electricity in humanitarian emergencies.

The Homaya Solar Hybrid System ensures reliable access to energy through a hybrid electrification solution that draws from the grid, solar panels, or batteries, depending on availability.

We partnered with the Department for Rural Development of Myanmar on an initiative to bring electricity to 40,000 villages via microgrid. Delivering technology, design, and engineering services in the project’s first stages allowed Schneider to provide electricity for fishermen and farmers on Kenti Island.

Accelerating economic development

We joined with the French Development Agency and the European Institute for Cooperation and Development to provide access to electricity and support agricultural production in Donvagne, northern Côte d’Ivoire — the community of French President Emmanuel Macron. This project provided 100 solar kits and lamps to the area’s most vulnerable households. It also provided the local women’s cooperative with a mill, kneading machine, and refrigerators powered by a 25kW solar microgrid to accelerate economic development.

Impact investing

Innovative, local access to energy ventures and subject matter experts through impact investing funds

  • Within Access to Energy is the Schneider Electric Energy Access (SEEA) impact investing fund to support small and medium companies with compelling energy access solutions. We also support the Energy Access Ventures Fund, investing €60 million in Africa to provide electricity for a million people. The fund is jointly backed by Schneider Electric, CDC Group, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), European Investment Bank, FISEA-PROPARCO, OFID, and AFD-FFEM.
  • In 2018, we invested in Australian microgrid tech developer Okra Solar to expand its off-grid products into Southeast Asia and energize more off-grid households.

Training and entrepreneurship

Partnering with local and global not-for-profit education organizations to train disadvantaged people and support informal entrepreneurs in energy

  • Last year, Schneider Electric joined a coalition to drastically expand training in the energy sector through the Power for All #PoweringJobs campaign. Meant to address the skills gap in emerging countries, Powering Jobs also aims to speed up the deployment of decentralized renewable energy solutions.
  • We joined the Jesuits to launch two electricity training programs for underprivileged people in Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We have committed to designing instruction programs and providing equipment and training for 500 workers by 2020.
  • We teamed with Initiative France to launch a program supporting entrepreneurship in energy-related trades in Burkina Faso — an area that struggles to create sustainable jobs, particularly for women and young people. Four local platforms are being set up to develop an ecosystem by providing technical skills, financing solutions, and support for business creation. Schneider has committed to providing technical training and financing loans for 80 entrepreneurs by 2021.

Schneider Electric Foundation

The Schneider Electric Foundation (under the aegis of the Fondation de France) uses social innovation and community engagement to invest in education, reduce the energy gap, and increase sustainability awareness. The Foundation marked its 20th anniversary in 2018.

Foundation mission

In a world where social and environmental challenges are more widespread and more urgent than ever, the Schneider Electric Foundation supports innovative and forward-looking initiatives to give as many people as possible the energy they need to succeed. It is this pioneering spirit that the Schneider Electric Foundation is seeking to advance. We see our role as a catalyst for technological, social, and entrepreneurial innovation helping to close the energy gap and striving for a more equitable energy transition around the world. Ever optimistic, the Schneider Electric Foundation's aim is to help build a fairer, lower-carbon society to give future generations the keys to transform our world.

What do we offer?

  • Education: Ambitious vocational training programs in the electricity sector for underprivileged communities, providing access to energy in emerging countries
  • Social innovation: Impactful projects supporting low-income families, combating household energy poverty in Europe
  • Awareness: Future-thinking and inclusive initiatives, raising awareness about the challenges of climate change

How do we do it?

  • Meaningful actions: Local communities of volunteers to ensure that the initiatives take concrete shape in over 80 countries
  • Cooperation: Partnerships with businesses, associations, collectives, and state authorities to develop initiatives and create synergies
  • Advocacy: For initiatives driving impactful change to help close the energy gap

Foundation figures

With an annual budget of €4 million, the Schneider Electric Foundation contributes to the partnerships by giving more than €15.5 million in support from Schneider Electric entities; employees and partners are also involved in those partnerships. In total, more than €19.5 million has been invested to help local communities.

Addressing energy poverty

At COP24, the Foundation — together with social entrepreneurship organization Ashoka — launched a new call for the Social Innovation to Tackle Fuel Poverty program. It aims to identify innovative organizations working in energy poverty and energy sustainability, who will receive support through a fully-funded mentoring program to leverage their positive impact on society and the environment.

The Foundation supported #GivingTuesday 2018

Across 41 countries with actions including crowdfunding campaigns, collections, contributions of skills, concerts, and more.

We became the first corporate foundation to join the movement in France. More than 7,000 employees experienced the day, representing half of the Schneider workforce in the country.

VolunteerIn platform

Our VolunteerIn global platform aims to be the place where each Schneider employee can find a mission that suits his or her interests and skills. The platform empowers employees and retirees to connect with causes within their communities and contribute to projects that speak to them. Today, 7,000 employees are registered.

As part of #GivingTuesday 2018, the Foundation also launched a global call for projects through the VolunteerIn platform to support associations that matter to Schneider employees. Called the Heart to Heart contest, employees were given the chance to promote an association and collect votes to win additional support. Three winning projects per country were selected, benefiting 10 countries including Bangladesh, Brazil, France, India, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa.

COP24

We joined international stakeholders in the areas of social entrepreneurship, energy, culture and climate at COP24 — the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change — allowing us to raise awareness for sustainability. COP24 was held in Katowice, Poland, in December 2018. Highlights included a “Artists and the Climatic Challenge” conference with Art of Change 21, as well as two conferences and a workshop on fuel poverty in partnership with the international NGO Ashoka. Part of Art of Change 21, the Maskbook art project raises awareness on the high stakes of air pollution and climate change by transforming the dust mask into a symbol for positive action. These initiatives demonstrated that creativity and innovation are major levers of transition.

Our 2018 achievements
against our 2020 goals

SEE FULL RESULTS

DEVELOPMENT – IMPACT #19

x1.31

turnover in our Access to Energy program

DEVELOPMENT – IMPACT #20

196,162

people in underprivileged areas trained in energy management

DEVELOPMENT – IMPACT #21

5,691

volunteering days thanks to our VolunteerIn global platform

References

1 “#PoweringJobs Launched to Build Energy Access Workforce,” Power for All, 2018.

2 “Job creation and energy savings through a transition to modern off-grid lighting,” GOGLA, 2016.

3 “Greening India's Workforce: Gearing up for Expansion of Solar and Wind Power in India,” CEEW, 2017.

4 “A Bright Outlook for Employment in the Transition from Fuel-Based Lighting to Electrical Alternatives,” UNEP, Light and Livelihood, 2014.