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Philippe Diez

Partner Europe, Sustainability Business, Schneider Electric

Global companies must now accelerate the race to reach their sustainability objectives and go beyond their own operations if they are to make any significant dent on their carbon footprints.

This year, there is no time to wait for action, and industry leaders must ensure they are working on developing ecosystems across their entire value chain to minimise impact.

Schneider Electric has been leading the advance on the climate crisis for 15 years and provides expert help and digital tools to its clients who want to make sustainable changes to their businesses.

Impact to action

Philippe Diez, Partner Europe, Sustainability Business, says: “The largest companies in Europe are pretty advanced in terms of objective setting, but they need to accelerate the race.

“Acceleration means understanding exactly the type of levers you need to activate and moving from impact to action involves bringing your suppliers along with you.”

Companies need to understand that sustainability is not a constraint.

He believes many companies are currently underusing the digital technologies available to increase operating efficiency while also cutting back on carbon to reach net zero goals.

“The most important first step is to move from strategy to action. You need to identify the right levers, or initiatives that are going to be meaningful for your company. That includes detailed mapping at site level and examining your processes,” he says.

“The second is to be innovative in how to maximise your levers or tools to decarbonise so, for instance, sharing best practice between different suppliers on digital platforms.”

Engaging suppliers

Diez points to a collaboration Schneider Electric spearheaded on behalf of 10 of the major pharmaceutical companies in the world who came together to engage hundreds of their shared suppliers on decarbonisation, to ultimately aim for a joined green power procurement via Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

“Companies need to understand that sustainability is not a constraint. It is the way you approach it and to survive you need to differentiate because at some point, if you are not following the trend, consumers will make their own choice,” he says.

“Another challenge facing us now is the lack of expertise in sustainability throughout industry. We need to collaborate across supply chains, segments and including education to amplify impact for net zero.”

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