Today almost 1.1 billion people live without access to energy, which poses a major constraint on the way individuals build and operate their respective communities. For Schneider Electric, global access to sustainable energy is one of the core pillars driving innovation, product development and investment. The company has developed a strategic commitment to create energy solutions that are safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable. With heavy emphasis on education and entrepreneurship, Schneider Electric has brought energy to over 5 million people, and trained more than 100,000 individuals in skills relevant to gaining employment in the energy industry. The company has also committed to a goal of providing energy to an additional 50 million people by 2025, as well as providing over one million people in underdeveloped economies with vocational training in energy-related fields.
Schneider Electric is committed to designing products that foster safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable energy in developed, as well as in off-grid communities. In 2016, the company released The Homaya Solar Home System, a portable solution with solar panels, lamps, and a battery, which can be used to power a variety of home devices. Priced affordably at only $100 per package, these systems provide a crucial source of electricity in remote communities which operate without support of sufficient infrastructure. By utilizing solar energy, these products further the company’s mission to foster the use of renewable energy sources, as opposed to relying on non-renewable systems.
To invest further in closing the gap in global energy access, Schneider Electric has established The Schneider Electric Energy Access (SEEA) fund. The SEEA is a social welfare investment which aims to integrate the company’s stakeholders and ensure global access to sustainable energy. Aided by both internal and external donations, the SEEA continues to fund community development, training, and entrepreneurship in underprivileged areas globally. Schneider Electric continues to involve organizations, governments and companies from all over the world in the fund’s mission. In fact, in 2017 alone, over 5,300 employers in France donated a total of €16.8 million in support of the SEEA.
The SEEA initiative has contributed to a wide range of improvements in developing economies. In Vietnam, for example, Schneider Electric established a partnership with local Women Unions, and an organization called Green ID, in order to support and train female entrepreneurs in remote areas to bring sustainable energy to their communities. In addition, the fund established an educational lab in Ho Chi Minh City, which provided assistance and resources to train over 600 students from underprivileged areas in industrial and residential electricity. The initiative resulted in 100% of student participants receiving a job after graduation. Schneider Electric aims to provide similar training for 1,000 to 1,500 additional individuals in 2018.
With a combination of financial investment, vocational training, and product development, Schneider Electric is committed to dedicating time and resources to ensure that life is on for everyone, everywhere.