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Schneider Electric accelerates sustainability strategy, comes on top in Corporate Knights ranking

A jump from 29th position the previous year, the top ranking for 2021 represents an important external recognition of Schneider Electric’s early and sustained commitment to ESG issues. It also highlights the company’s transformation into a leading provider of digital solutions that facilitate energy efficiency and sustainability.

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Schneider Electric, a player in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, doubled down on its strategy to embed environmental, social and governance considerations into every facet of its activities – and to assist its customers and business partners in achieving their own sustainability objectives. 

The announcement coincided with the news that Corporate Knights, a Canadian media and research company producing rankings and financial product ratings based on corporate sustainability performance, has for the first time recognized Schneider Electric number one of its annual index of  “the Global 100 most sustainable corporations in the world”.

A jump from 29th position the previous year, the top ranking for 2021 represents an important external recognition of Schneider Electric’s early and sustained commitment to ESG issues. It also highlights the company’s transformation into a leading provider of digital solutions that facilitate energy efficiency and sustainability.

“The core of our strategy is to build a sustainable business and company. Customers, employees, partners and investors have never been more focused on ESG considerations than they are now. Schneider has long embraced those issues, and we keep raising the bar for ourselves, and for our customers and partners,” says Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Schneider Electric’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “When we introduced our first sustainability barometer in 2005, we were an early adopter of ESG matters. But ESG commitments cannot just be a one-off, and we have reinforced ours every three years. All of us – companies, governments, individuals – can contribute to make the world greener and more inclusive. Our new commitments define the next steps of our contribution.”  

The new Schneider Sustainability Impact (SSI) program will span 2021-2025 and amounts to a significant acceleration of previous targets. It is built on six long-term commitments, which are set to deliver on each of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. These commitments are to act for a climate-positive world; to be efficient with resources; to live up to its principles of trust; to create equal opportunities; to harness the power of all generations; and to empower local communities.

“The ability and willingness to make the world greener and more equitable is not just a moral responsibility – it makes good business sense too,” said Olivier Blum, Schneider Electric’s Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer. “The year 2020, marked by COVID-19, a string of climate-linked disasters, and the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement on climate change, reinforced the urgency for action. It has also intensified the appetite from our customers to accelerate their own transitions towards a lower-carbon world. Our solutions can help them achieve their goals, too.”

Eleven concrete targets, deliverable by 2025, underpin these commitments. And, for the first time, leaders of the more than 100 markets in which Schneider operates will set local targets to address grassroots-level needs in their communities. 

Repeatedly recognized in key rankings for its sustainability achievements, Schneider aims to continue to report on its extra-financial performance on a quarterly basis, as it has done since launching the world’s first corporate sustainability barometer in 2005. 

In just the past year, Schneider already stepped up on its own decarbonization roadmap and became a signatory of the Climate Pledge; was the first company to issue an ESG-linked convertible bond; was also ranked Corporate Disclosure Project (CDP) A-List for environmental transparency and action for the 10th year in a row; and was included in the Financial Times’ Top 50 Diversity Leaders ranking.

Ethical Biz

Teleperformance renews commitment to planet by pledging monthly switch-offs

Teleperformance Philippines renews its commitment to the planet as it pledges to do monthly switch-offs in all 22 of its business sites nationwide this 2021.

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Teleperformance Philippines renews its commitment to the planet as it pledges to do monthly switch-offs in all 22 of its business sites nationwide this 2021. 

The pledge was announced at its recent “Let’s Change the World” Citizen of the World (COTW) Meet-up, which shared updates on current advocacy projects of Teleperformance. The townhall, also held in celebration of Earth Hour, included special guest World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines Ambassador Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski. 

The WWF Philippines Climate Change Solutions Steward and the first female Earth Hour Ambassador, Cojuangco-Jaworski shared practical ways for Teleperformance employees and their friends and family to contribute to sustainability and climate change solutions for a cleaner and greener planet.

“Ultimately, it’s the things we do when nobody’s watching that matters the most. It’s about what we do as individuals, which was what we do in our own homes, what is our lifestyle and what are our habits. The biggest problem is the carbon footprint we leave on this earth,” shared Cojuangco-Jaworski.

Among some of the tips Cojuangco-Jaworski shared was reiterating the importance of the three R’s – to reduce buying what you don’t need, to look at what we can reuse and to recycle when we do our daily tasks. Another topic she touched on was plastic waste, hence, the importance of reducing consumption of single-use plastics, which could be ingested by animals, and then by people.

Teleperformance is committed to creating a positive impact on our local communities around the world through Citizen of the World, a charitable initiative to help the world’s most vulnerable infants and children meet basic survival needs and ultimately reach their individual potential. This effort is joined by the Citizen of the Planet program, a global corporate initiative implemented in 2008 aimed at ensuring that Teleperformance operates in an environmentally friendly and responsible manner.

Going beyond Earth Hour, Teleperformance employees are encouraged not only to volunteer for Citizen of the World activities but can also contribute by donating pre-loved items, purchasing items in the COTW store, donating part of their monthly salary, and participating in the monthly Earth Hour pledged by Teleperformance Philippines in all their sites across the country. 

“As we work to help bring awareness around environmental sustainability and, in addition to this commemoration this month, we at Teleperformance also commit to have an Earth Hour every single month. So for one hour every single month, we will switch off our lights for the rest of this year. We hope this will help continue to bring awareness as this is such an important goal for humanity and the community,” shared Jeffrey Johnson, Senior Vice President for Human Capital Resource Management and Citizen of the World Foundation President. 

Among the other projects accomplished by Citizen of the World were donations of food packs and PPEs to frontliners of the Philippine General Hospital, Vicente Sotto Medical Center and Southern Philippines Medical Center. Bringing to life its commitment to children and education, Citizen of the World also gave medical and financial aid to 100 children and their families through Kythe Foundation, awarding of 2,000 school supplies to various elementary schools in Metro Manila and the provinces. 

The elderly in need were also not forgotten as Citizen of the World donated 1,200 grocery packs to White Cross, Mary Mother of Mercy Home for the Elderly and the Abandoned and Good Samaritan Nursing Home for the Elderly. TP’s Gawad Kalinga village was also supported during the pandemic with a feeding program, donations of disinfectants and face masks and the provision of cash allowances.  

To help the country in its fight against Covid-19, the Citizen of the World program also donated 8 e-bikes to the Department of Health and PHP 150,000 worth of medical aid to the Philippine National Red Cross. Altogether, the Citizen of the World Foundation was able to create an impact on the lives of around 28,000 Filipinos. 

For more information on Teleperformance Philippines and its Citizen of the World initiatives, visit http://teleperformance.ph/

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Ethical Biz

Smart teams up with SM Cares to boost e-waste collection program

Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) teamed up with SM Cares to encourage more Filipinos to properly dispose their electronic waste for a better world.

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Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) teamed up with SM Cares to encourage more Filipinos to properly dispose their electronic waste for a better world. 

Shoppers can bring their old gadgets — like mobile phones, chargers, computer wires, earphones, and other e-waste — to the collection hubs at SM Supermalls nationwide. To encourage customers to support the program, Smart will raffle off 22 units of the Smart Bro prepaid pocket WiFi devices to those who will participate in the Live Smarter Challenge at designated areas until May 22, 2021.

Last month, Smart launched its “Live Smarter for a Better World” campaign which puts the spotlight on its long-running community partnership and corporate social responsibility programs to inspire Filipinos to commit to “personal revolutions” to generate lasting positive impact to society.

“We are happy to have partnered with SM Cares as we enable people to pursue their passions and purpose, especially for the environment,” said Jane J. Basas, SVP and Head of Consumer Wireless Business at Smart. 

She further underscored that big and small efforts can contribute to making a better world, highlighting the importance of Smart’s network and services in keeping Filipinos connected and empowered. “This is the driving force that has kept us going. It has always been in our DNA to serve and improve the lives of Filipino people—not just our customers,” Basas added. 

Meanwhile, SM Supermalls, through the SM Cares Program on Environment, launched its Electronic Waste Collection (EWC) Program earlier this year.  

“This is just the beginning of our series of CSR programs with Smart, as we join hands in creating a better world for Filipinos. We at SM are committed to continuously look for ways and means to better care for the planet and to support the communities where our malls are present, including addressing the growing problem of e-waste,” said Liza B. Silerio, VP – Corporate Compliance Group of SM Supermalls.

Smart Communities

Smart is also continuously enabling communities with technology, particularly education and livelihood, with two of its corporate social responsibility programs: School-in-A-Bag and “Buy Local, Buy Smart.” 

The School-in-a-Bag is designed to provide access to technology, connectivity, content, and a disaster-resilient pedagogy even for schools in remote areas without electricity. Each water-resistant backpack carries a laptop and pocket WiFi for the teacher and 10-20 tablets for the students, all pre-loaded with interactive, multimedia content accessible even if offline.  

Meanwhile, the “Buy Local, Buy Smart” initiative enjoins employees of PLDT, Smart, and its sister companies to buy their produce directly from local farming communities. By providing a sure and direct market for their produce, Smart is helping small-scale farmers earn more. Through the program, a sustainability fund for farmers is also established. For every purchase of rice from store.cropital.com, up to Php100 goes to funding their next planting cycle.  

Smart’s other initiatives also include building a culture of disaster resilience among communities with its #SafePH campaign, enhancing tourism through digital innovation with its Digital Tourism efforts, and preserving nature through mobile and communications technologies with its various environmental protection programs.

Smart’s environmental stewardship programs are aligned with the company’s commitment to helping the Philippines attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG #13: Climate Action.

For more information, visit https://smart.com.ph/Pages/betterworld

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IBM study: COVID-19 impacted 9 in 10 surveyed consumers’ views on sustainability

Nine in 10 consumers surveyed reported the COVID-19 pandemic affected their views on environmental sustainability, and COVID-19 was the top factor cited in influencing their view – more than others presented such as widespread wildfires/brushfires, disasters due to weather events and news coverage on the topic.

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Photo by Mert Guller from Unsplash.com

The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated consumers’ focus on sustainability and willingness to pay out of their own pockets – or even take a pay cut – for a sustainable future, according to a new IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) survey of over 14,000 consumers in nine countries.

Nine in 10 consumers surveyed reported the COVID-19 pandemic affected their views on environmental sustainability, and COVID-19 was the top factor cited in influencing their view – more than others presented such as widespread wildfires/brushfires, disasters due to weather events and news coverage on the topic.

The survey also revealed differences in consumer opinion across geographies, with Americans surveyed reporting the least concern about sustainability topics. For example, only 51 percent of US consumers surveyed said addressing climate change was very or extremely important to them, compared to 73 percent of respondents from all other countries.

“The survey showed respondents worldwide are increasingly concerned about the global climate crisis, and we have also observed businesses in many industries looking to take action to meet their customers’ and investors’ expectations and manage their own environmental goals,” said Dr. Murray Simpson, global lead for sustainability, climate & transition, IBM Global Business Services. “We see many companies beginning to make strides to build transparent supply chains or improve energy management to reduce carbon emissions with the help of innovative technologies like AI and Blockchain.”

According to the survey, many consumers are increasingly willing to change how they shop, travel, choose an employer and even where they make personal investments due to environmental sustainability factors.

Many surveyed employees are willing to accept a lower salary to work at a sustainability-conscious employer

According to the survey, 71 percent of employees and employment seekers surveyed say that environmentally sustainable companies are more attractive employers. In addition, more than two-thirds of the full potential workforce* respondents are more likely to apply for and accept jobs with environmentally and socially responsible organizations – and nearly half surveyed would accept a lower salary to work for such organizations.

At the same time, 48 percent of consumers surveyed trust corporate commitments on sustainability, with 64 percent of respondents expecting increased public scrutiny in the year ahead.

Given that one in four employees surveyed in February 2021 plan to switch employers this year, companies could face a risk of losing top talent to more sustainability-conscious competitors.

Environmental sustainability is affecting personal investment decisions

Forty-eight percent of all personal investors surveyed already take environmental sustainability into account in their investment portfolios and a further fifth (21 percent) surveyed say they are likely to do so in the future. 59 percent of personal investors surveyed expect to buy or sell holdings in the next year based on environmental sustainability factors.

Many surveyed shoppers and travelers are willing to pay more for environmental sustainability

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s financial impact on many individuals, 54 percent of consumers surveyed are willing to pay a premium for brands that are sustainable and/or environmentally responsible.

In addition, 55 percent of consumers surveyed report sustainability is very or extremely important to them when choosing a brand – 22 percent higher than consumers surveyed pre-COVID-19 pandemic by IBM. Slightly more than six in ten consumers surveyed said they are willing to change their purchasing behavior to help reduce negative impact on the environment, with consumers surveyed in India (78 percent) and China (70 percent) being the most willing.

With regards to travel, almost one in three respondents strongly believe their personal travel habits contribute to climate change. 82 percent of consumers surveyed globally would choose a more environmentally friendly transportation option even if it costs more, but only 64 percent of American respondents agreed compared to 95 percent of Indian and 91 percent of Chinese respondents.

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