Schneider Electric triumphs at Gigaton Awards ceremony during UN climate change talks

The Carbon War Room, The Gigaton Throwdown, and the World Climate Summit today awarded Schneider Electric Gigaton Awards for outstanding business leadership in action to reduce carbon usage, along with Suntech, Tesco, Phillips, Swisscom, and Centrica.

December 7, 2011

The Carbon War Room, The Gigaton Throwdown, and the World Climate Summit today awarded Schneider Electric Gigaton Awards for outstanding business leadership in action to reduce carbon usage, along with Suntech, Tesco, Phillips, Swisscom, and Centrica. The Gigaton Awards are designed to inspire and challenge businesses to run their business in the most carbon efficient way possible.

“We applaud Schneider Electric, 2011 Gigaton winner, for its outstanding efforts that will set the industry standard in corporate carbon reduction and sustainability,” said Jigar Shah, CEO, Carbon War Room. “Carbon War Room looks forward to seeing the ripple effect the winners’ efforts will inspire.”

As 2011 Best-In-Class Gigaton Award winner, Schneider Electric was recognized for its leadership in energy efficiency and the development of the smart grid.

“Carbon is not only an environmental issue but a business imperative. As the global specialist in energy management, we have been focusing on fostering energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions for our customers, whilst walking the talk by using these solutions in our own sites,”  says Gilles Vermot Desroches, Senior VP Sustainable Development for Schneider Electric. “Not only is it a good thing for the planet but also a fantastic business opportunity. We are honoured that the Gigaton Award Academy recognizes our day-to-day efforts towards more sustainability.”

For Schneider Electric, there are two key solutions to tackle the energy challenge:

–        First, energy efficiency is nowadays universally accepted as the quickest, most economic, and most efficient method for reducing CO2 emissions and slowing down increasing energy demands. Products, systems, and services that currently exist can improve the energy efficiency of our houses, buildings, and industrial sites – and other solutions are being developed for the future.

–        Second, the electrical network faces many constraints: energy demand continuously increases, infrastructures are ageing or lack capacity, installations must become more environmentally friendly, renewable energy sources are expanding but remain intermittent and scattered… Therefore, the network must evolve into a high-performance electrical infrastructure combined with an intelligent IT infrastructure. This is the intelligent network or ‘Smart Grid’ that will continue to ensure the balance between energy production and consumption in a more complex environment. On the demand side, both citizens and businesses are becoming more energy efficient; on the supply side, utilities (transmission and distribution) are developing automation and control systems; and between the two, new ‘demand-response’ mechanisms are being implemented for capacity aggregation and peak shaving, optimization of renewable energy sources, financial rewards for changing usage habits, etc.

Twenty-five companies were nominated for awards, based on an assessment of performance on a range of metrics, including disclosure, and reductions in the volume and intensity of emissions over the last year. Company data was taken from the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Global 500 Report, which examines the carbon reduction activities at the world’s largest public corporations. This information was then analysed by the CWR and its partner, Greenstar, along qualitative and quantitative criteria specific to their sector. The winners were then selected by the 21-seat independent Academy – including Yvo de Boer, former director general of the UNFCCC; Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC); Sir Richard Branson, President of Virgin; Kevin Conrad, Special Envoy and Ambassador for Environment & Climate Change, Papua New Guinea and Prof. Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency, as well as senior executives from top global companies, politicians and NGOs.

The 2011 Gigaton Awards were powered by Carbon War Room, The Carbon Disclosure Project and Greenstar; presented by The Gigaton Throwdown, The World Climate Summit and Greenbiz; and sponsored by Siemens, Ernst & Young and NedBank.