What are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?
The Sustainable Development Goals are a United Nations initiative that sets 17 goals for 2030. The idea behind these goals is that we can’t save the planet and society by focusing on only one issue, like climate change, for example. We also need to take action in such areas as health and well-being, gender equality, biodiversity, the marine environment and partnerships between different types of organizations, such as companies, governments and NGOs. The SDGs help foster dialogue among all stakeholders, so that we can make the progress necessary for the changes ahead.
How important are the SDGs at Schneider Electric?
For businesses, each SDG opens a window of awareness, offers a new way of thinking about the actions we take, and serves as a source of innovation. Schneider Electric’s approach to driving progress on sustainability and development goals is relatively simple. Every five years, the whole company reflects on the key challenges and how we can effectively turn them into opportunities for progress. For Schneider Sustainability Impact, our impact measurement program for 2021-2025, we decided to examine these challenges through the prism of the 17 SDGs and then convert them into specific objectives that we can track worldwide on a quarterly basis to help us make real progress.
Each company is free to decide that they'll stick to two or three SDGs because they can’t achieve them all. Schneider Electric, and others, have opted for a different approach, which involves finding ways to address all 17 goals. Because if Schneider Electric focused solely on the goal of energy efficiency and access to energy for everyone, it would simply be sticking to the company’s historical area of action – and that’s not enough.
What is the impact on Schneider Electric employees?
Schneider Electric employees need to understand that the action plans in place – which we’ve defined collectively, particularly the Schneider Sustainability Impact – are aligned with the expectations of our environment and are part of Schneider Electric’s contribution to the social and environmental changes necessary. That contribution is important for employees these days. It fosters pride but also validates their own initiatives in these areas. And being able to align the company’s progress with the SDGs is also important for attracting new talent.
What are the opportunities provided by the SDGs for TotalEnergies and Schneider Electric?
The great thing about the SDGs is that everyone works together. By that I'm referring to collaboration between governments, NGOs and the corporate world, of course, but also to cooperation between companies. Schneider Electric and TotalEnergies have been partners for many years: Schneider Electric provides the technological building blocks that enable TotalEnergies to run its operations. Sharing the SDGs will help us innovate – both separately and collectively – to develop a myriad of solutions for the future. Most of the means and methods we'll use in the coming decades to travel, work and live our lives have not yet been invented. Innovation is central to the changes ahead. The SDGs are there to impel all stakeholders to innovate, so that collective progress can be achieved by 2030.