How we treat others defines us

For Schneider Electric, being sustainable doesn’t just mean helping the environment; it means doing what’s right for people, too. We’re committed to preserving peoples’ dignity, advancing the communities in which our influence is felt, and ensuring these values are shared across the industries of which we’re a part.

Companies that respect human rights are sending a signal to consumers, investors, and the public at large that they are a brand that is trustworthy and serious about sustainability. Beyond managing risk, businesses that proactively invest in human rights can contribute to a peaceful society and help create the conditions for inclusive prosperity.

Lise Kingo,

CEO and Executive Director,

United Nations Global Compact

Though a more globalized and connected world provides higher standards of living for many1, there are old, systemic problems that may seem shocking in the 21st century. Right now, more than 25 million people are victims of forced labor2, and corruption currently accounts for approximately 5% of global GDP3. Some crimes are gaining traction because of technological advancement — for example, cybercrime is expected to account for $6 trillion in damage by 20214. It’s no surprise, then, that customers and stakeholders increasingly demand integrity and transparency from their business partners. For Schneider, our actions are guided by a framework of values that goes beyond compliance to inform our ethical business philosophy.

As a global company operating in more than 100 countries, we deploy diverse practices in pursuit of responsible action. Our Principles of Responsibility (PoR) have helped guide this ethical pursuit since 2002. In 2019, they were reimagined to meet the challenges in the decade ahead. Our PoR encompasses human rights, ethical business conduct, digital ethics, environmental protection, and responsible corporate citizenship. 

This ethical framework was prepared in compliance with the 10 principles of the United Nations Global Compact, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and standards issued by the International Labor Organization and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Our Principles of Responsibility

The PoR is a simple but important statement that explains what our company stands for. It's a charter of values that guide our actions and decisions, and empowers employees to take ownership. Our PoR pushes us to continually ask:

  • Am I respecting people and their human rights?
    This question encourages us to always consider the human element, and is instrumental in everything from advancing diversity and safety at work to taking action against forced labor in the global supply chain.
  • Am I conducting business ethically?
    Similarly, reflecting on our business conduct helps us identify and resolve corruption and conflicts of interest while ensuring fair competition.
  • Is my behavior digitally secure?
    Cybersecurity is everyone's responsibility, and this principle helps us protect data, ensure privacy, and enhance our contributions to fields such as Artificial Intelligence.
  • Am I acting for a positive environmental impact?
    In the climate crisis every impact matters, and so we urge everyone to contribute their expertise and creativity to efforts that reduce CO2 emissions, advance the circular economy, and preserve the environment.
  • Are we engaging as corporate citizens?
    By asking ourselves this question, we evaluate what we're doing to support communities and enhance access to clean energy.

The PoR inspires every one of our policies. This document is crucial in our relationships with suppliers and subcontractors, as these entities are historically more vulnerable to human rights abuses. We strive for complete transparency and are vigilant in controlling our supply chain; if we detect that something doesn’t adhere to our principles, we resolve it — because when facing an ethical dilemma, doing nothing means doing the wrong thing. We adhere to our PoR not just because it’s the right thing to do, but to support an environment that actively empowers people within our company and throughout our ecosystem.

References

1 Seven Reasons Why the World is Improving, BBC, 2019. 

2 Global Estimates of Modern Slavery, 8.7 Alliance, 2017. 

3 The Costs of Corruption, The United Nations, 2018. 

4 2019 Official Annual Cybercrime Report, Cybersecurity Ventures, 2019.