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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.

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OpenText announces $1M donation to fight food insecurity

These donations will help food banks provide up to 4 million meals to individuals and families in 21 countries worldwide, including the Philippines. More information and a full list of the organizations supported is available on the OpenText Voyager Fund page.

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OpenText, the Information Company enabling organizations across the globe to gain insight through its market leading information management solutions, recently announced a combined donation of $1 million to food banks in OpenText communities around the world. 

“The demand for food banks has never been greater, and we wanted to do our part to meet this heightened and historic need,” said OpenText CEO & CTO Mark J. Barrenechea. “This past holiday season, OpenText teams in 58 communities around the world supported local food banks to help ensure everyone had enough to eat. These communities support OpenText every day, and we are grateful to have been able to support them in turn.”

These donations will help food banks provide up to 4 million meals to individuals and families in 21 countries worldwide, including the Philippines. More information and a full list of the organizations supported is available on the OpenText Voyager Fund page.

“OpenText allocated US$100,000 for the Philippines – the largest donation the company made in the Asia Pacific region – given the magnitude of the challenges faced by our nation,” said Augie Mendoza Jr., Vice President and Site Leader – Philippines. “Besides the pandemic-related challenges, there are many communities here that haven’t recovered yet from the devastation caused by the recent typhoons.”

“We have received generous donations from food manufacturing companies, but we needed money to mobilize, store and distribute it to the places in need,” said Jomar Fleras, Executive Director of Rise Against Hunger, Philippines. “This is very opportune, as I kept on saying yes to food, but also hoping that others would help us to distribute these items. The $100,000 donation from OpenText will ensure that food reaches those in need, especially those who’ve been displaced by the recent typhoons and the pandemic.”

This is the first donation of the OpenText Voyager Fund, an extension of the OpenText Voyager Program launched in 2020 to strengthen the OpenText community of customers, partners, and employees. The OpenText Voyager Fund will identify critical needs in our communities and support local partners in addressing them. 

“The OpenText Voyager Fund will work with local partners to make a difference in the communities where we live and work,” continued Barrenechea. “We’re grateful that our first contribution will address the real challenge of food insecurity during this important time of year, and we look forward to continuing to work with our local partners in the months and years ahead.”

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Ethical Biz

Sustainability is core to Epson, with products made to be kinder to environment

Across the business today, Epson continues to leverage on its efficient, compact, and precise technologies to drive innovations that will make the world a better place. In fact, the company has taken their commitment to sustainability one step further to ensure that each new generation of core products are ever better for the environment.

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Over the last decade, we have seen a growing preference for products made by companies that have built purpose and sustainability into their business model.  Some of the world’s most successful and fastest growing companies have adopted care for the environment and a commitment to work to help solve some of society’s most pressing problems so that purpose and sustainability have become hallmarks of successful and respected businesses.

Research shows that consumers are willing to change their consumption habits to lessen their negative impact on the environment. In fact, millennials and Gen Z are especially willing to pay more for products that contain sustainable ingredients or products that have social responsibility claims.  

Harvard Business School Professor Rebecca Henderson explains it simply in her online course on Sustainable Business Strategy: “Doing well and doing good are intertwined, and successful business strategies include both”. 

Being able to communicate that your company does good in the world is a competitive advantage that attracts and retains employees, helps protect against issues, and creates trust so that people will choose your services and your products over others again and again.    

Epson had the foresight to create a company built on purpose from its early years as a watch manufacturer in the 1940’s. Guided by the keywords “integrity and effort”, and inspired by the character of Epson’s founder Hisao Yamazaki, the drive to innovate, the creativeness and willingness to take on challenges, and a strong commitment to both local and global environmental preservation took root throughout the growing organization. Beginning with a pledge to keep Lake Suwa in the Nagano prefecture clean, Epson later became the first company in the world to declare that it would eliminate ozone-depleting CFC’s from its operations, which it did across the group in 1993.  Epson joined the United Nations Global Compact in 2004, and later declared a commitment to contribute to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Products designed to be better for the environment

Across the business today, Epson continues to leverage on its efficient, compact, and precise technologies to drive innovations that will make the world a better place.  In fact, the company has taken their commitment to sustainability one step further to ensure that each new generation of core products are ever better for the environment. 

From conception to completion across the complete product range, products are designed to be more eco-friendly by eliminating hazardous substances. You will see this in the ‘heat-free technology’ employed by Epson printers to eliminate heat from the printing process, thus consuming far less electricity compared to laser printers.  You will also see this in high-capacity ink tanks which significantly reduce environmental impact while boosting operational efficiency.

“We are committed to transform the way businesses work and drive the circular economy,” explains Siew Jin Kiat, Epson SEA Senior Director for Regional Marketing.  “Within the office space, we designed our inkjet printing products to offer more cost-efficient printing that is better for the environment.  Our printers today offer one-tenth average printing costs, use one-eighth the average power consumption and can print 100 pages a minute. In the future, we will be able to provide an office-based paper recycling loop using our water-free dry fiber technology that can make new paper from used copy paper on the spot.” Epson’s revolutionary Paper Lab is the first office-based papermaking system that will shrink the office’s environmental footprint by repurposing used paper and using 60% less water in the process.

On the shop floor, products developed by Epson teams based on customer feedback are enabling better productivity, efficiency, and lower environmental impact.  Epson’s reliable robotics solutions are automating processes in labor-intensive industries to enable employees to leave behind harsh working conditions and long hours. Piezoelectric inkjet systems in digital textile printers are also driving a technology shift from analog, help textile manufacturers cut waste material by up to 95%, enable faster turnaround and the flexibility to run short-run jobs on a wide range of material.  

Purpose in the way teams work and the activities that we embark on 

This desire to make the world a better place is embraced and evident in the Epson work ethic which embraces the desire to build purpose and sustainability “into the details” of innovation and the “everyday”. Nowhere is this more evident than in Epson’s new office and solution centers where its own products are used to support a hybrid workplace while reducing power consumption, waste and caring for the environment. Workspaces are designed to be more energy efficient with layouts that allow resources to be better shared, enabling collaboration across teams that produce their best work.

Wherever they are in the world, Epson teams work to make significant contributions to global corporate climate change and social issues advocates championing human rights, environmental action, workforce diversity, and sustainable sourcing in supply chain management.  In Indonesia, for example, Epson launched an initiative that encouraged young students to take the lead in managing waste through the ‘3 R’s’: reduce, reuse, recycle. 

In the Philippines, partnered with the Rotaract Club’s ‘Juan Bottle at a Time’ project, Epson shared the basics of proper waste management and eco-brick making with the youth community of Santa Ana, Manila.

The Philippine office also partnered with the local Department of Environment and Natural Resources and its youth arm, GREENducation Philippines, for a film competition that aimed to raise public awareness on environmentalism.

In Thailand, Epson worked with the Better Thailand Foundation, to encourage underprivileged and disabled children to find self-appreciation through art.  

Says Siew Jin Kiat: “Our mission is to build stakeholder trust as we grow and prosper with communities and to help create a better world.  Aligned with our vision of a sustainable future, we are dedicated to laying the groundwork for a low-carbon society and will journey to keep educating the public and engaging the youth for longer lasting impact.”

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Visa, Shopee team up to launch ‘Where You Shop Matters’

The initiative is part of Visa’s broader small business strategy and follows commitments the company has made to support 10 million small and micro businesses in the Asia Pacific, and a global commitment from the Visa Foundation of USD210 million to provide COVID-19 emergency relief for the small business sector.

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Visa launched Where You Shop Matters to encourage consumers to support local businesses while helping SMEs to go digital following the onset of COVID-19. The initiative is part of Visa’s broader small business strategy and follows commitments the company has made to support 10 million small and micro businesses in the Asia Pacific, and a global commitment from the Visa Foundation of USD210 million to provide COVID-19 emergency relief for the small business sector.

As part of the Where You Shop Matters initiative, Visa has partnered with Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, to help support thousands of local small businesses who are selling on Shopee. Visa and Shopee will be creating campaigns to enable Visa cardholders to enjoy discounts when they shop at these local merchants.

“We introduced Where You Shop Matters to support our small businesses in the Philippines. The impact of COVID-19 for these businesses along with shifting consumer behaviors to eCommerce reinforced the need for Visa to launch Where You Shop Matters. Furthermore, the partnership with Shopee will help us support thousands of local businesses in the Philippines. We are confident that Filipinos will help support the local economy, especially since our study showed that 95 per cent of Filipino consumers will purchase from local retailers to support small business recovery,” said Visa Country Manager for the Philippines & Guam, Dan Wolbert.

“The pandemic has accelerated several years’ worth of change into the span of a few months, and this rapid acceleration of the shift to digital payments also means that businesses need to go through a digital transformation and adapt to changing consumers’ behaviors to do well.”

“We are happy to partner with Visa to launch the Where You Shop Matters campaign to help small business owners go digital. Shopee commits to offer our sellers and MSMEs a more secure, seamless, and rewarding way to do business online, and we will continue to explore new ways to help them succeed online” says Martin Yu, Associate Director at Shopee Philippines.

The Visa study also showed that 77 percent of Filipino consumers believe it is important for local retailers to have an online presence. To encourage SMEs to go digital, Visa will be providing them with a Visa eCommerce Starter Kit to help them start, manage, and grow their online storefronts. Visa is partnering with BigCommerce to provide onboarding support and special discount rates for SMEs to sign up and start selling online. SMEs can also benefit from a variety of offers, including Office 365 business packages and cashback on Google Ads to help them get their online business up and running. For SMEs with physical stores, they can order free Visa POS signage to build trust with consumers.

“The pandemic has accelerated several years’ worth of change into the span of a few months, and this rapid acceleration of the shift to digital payments also means that businesses need to go through a digital transformation and adapt to changing consumers’ behaviors to do well,” added Dan.

Said Jowee Alviar, co-Founder of Team Manila, one of the six marquee merchants in the Where You Shop Matters campaign, ” We’re happy to be featured among the local brands in Visa’s #WhereYouShopMatters campaign. It is vital for TeamManila to reach our customers wherever they are, be it through online shopping portals or our website. We can show them the new designs of our collection, answer their inquiries, and fulfil their orders easily and securely through card payments using Visa, at the convenience and comfort of their own homes.”

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