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Sustainability to Benefit Organisations and the Earth
November 23, 2021 News

Written by: Nur Atikah Yusri, Journalist, AOPG.

“If a virus could threaten our lifestyle, climate change could destroy it,” stated Jean-Pascal Tricoire, CEO and Chairman of Schneider Electric, in his keynote speech for the Schneider Electric Innovation Summit World Tour 2021. Recently, the summit was brought to the people of Malaysia and Singapore in a two-day event broken down into three major tracks. On the first day, the conference focused on “Buildings of the Future” while the second day had two separate tracks revolving around “Industries of the Future,” and “Data Centres of the Future.

All attendees, no matter the tracks, were greeted with the same keynote by Schneider Electric’s CEO. This year, Jean-Pascal Tricoire’s keynote and overall focus of the summit centred around the pressing need to address climate change. Climate change is not a hoax, nor is it a conspiracy and socially responsible organisations worldwide have taken it upon themselves to remedy the situation in some ways. Tricoire believes that though society has created this problem, we can also be the ones to cure it.

Looking at the horizon, Schneider Electric believes that efforts must be made to reduce the world’s carbon output by the year 2030 if we want to stand a chance in the coming years. There is no need to plan for 2040 or 2050 if the earth has no chances of recovery. Sharing research results from Schneider Electric’s Sustainability Research Institute, Tricoire emphasised the need to increase carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions saving for the world to meet the 1.5°C trajectory and urged governmental and corporate bodies to up their game by increasing their earth-saving efforts.

The keynote went on to further explain how humans can fix things, and the answer is technology. To reach the objectives laid out, Tricoire shares that the technologies have to be implemented in three directions: Through electrification, decarbonisation of electricity production, and efficiency.

Hand of a businessman reach out towards hand of the nature

In line with being named the world’s most sustainable corporation in 2021 by Corporate Knights, Schneider Electric has committed to contributing to the earth reviving efforts. Their efforts have revolved around four dimensions of integration:

  • Ensuring energy and automation are closely integrated.
  • Ensuring everything is connected from the endpoint to the cloud.
  • Enabling customers to operate their own installations from design, build, operate and maintain.
  • Introducing efficiency management through integrated company management.

Tricoire went on into breaking down each of these integrations with an exploration into some of the newer solutions from Schneider Electric and its partners. Among the integrated solution providers discussed were EcoStruxureETAPPlanon, OSIsoft and Larsen & Turbo’s Electrical & Automation.

The second session of the “Industries of the Future” track contained a strategy talk by Sebastien Ory, Vice President of APAC Operations Business at AVEVA and James Chae, the Vice President of Industrial Automation. In the 20-minute discussion, the two explored the topic of software-centric industrial automation in future industries, emphasising sustainability as an enabler of profitability.

Chae stated, “To make a successful and viable future, we have to find a way to make our operations more efficient, resilient and sustainable. It clearly implies we have to rethink and reinvent how we approach our industrial operations. In today’s world, that means making them more intelligent and more automated. And also, it must be more people-centric so that our people can reach their potential.” During the session, the two elaborated on the interconnection of three elements known as the industrial sustainability triad, which encompasses energy optimisation, software, and automation.

Ory expands on the four dimensions mentioned in Tricoire’s keynote to elaborate further on the role of software and data in sustainability, touching on process optimisation and management to lower energy consumption.

The sessions, apart from the keynote, were made to cater to the region with industry leaders within Southeast Asia and APAC. This included a panel session with Bob Gill, Southeast Asia General Manager at ARG Advisory Group; Rob Veldhoen, Principal Consultant of Digital Transformation Consulting at Schneider Electric; Anthony Loy, Vice President of Industrial Ecosystem Transformation at Schneider Electric; Bo Huan, Expert Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company and Sivasuriyamoorthy Sundara Raja, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Investment Promotion & Facilitation at the Malaysian Investment Development Authority.

The overall theme that resonated throughout the sessions hosted by Schneider Electric was the need for organisations to adopt digital solutions to better the earth’s ecosystem.