Supply chain initiative of the year: Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric says its 'Zero Carbon Project' will help reduce the carbon dioxide footprint of its top 1,000 suppliers by 50% by 2025.

When the initiative was announced in 2021, Olivier Blum, the company's chief strategy and sustainability officer, said: "Schneider aims to reduce Scope 3 emissions by 35% by 2030, but we can't make this journey alone and we encourage suppliers to join us as they are an integral part of our ecosystem."

It said the 1,000 suppliers together represent about 70% of Schneider's carbon emissions. Its entire supplier network accounted for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of about seven million CO2 tonnes per year.

Schneider Electric specialises in digital automation and energy management. The company is a staple of several 'sustainability'-themed investment funds.

It said the initiative will see it provide tools to help suppliers quantify their CO2 emissions, and set goals for emissions reductions. The 'Zero Carbon Project' was also designed to share best practice among suppliers and Schneider Electric.

The company said it has previously partnered on similar supply chain decarbonisation initiatives with its corporate clients, including Walmart, GSK, and the global Sustainable Apparel Coalition.

Mourad Tamoud, chief supply chain officer at Schneider Electric, told Environmental Finance the company was "humbled" by the Awards win.

"Many organisations find reducing their supply chain emissions to be one of the most challenging parts of decarbonising. It's also the most important aspect, as the majority of an organisation's emissions come from the Scope 3 category," Tamoud said.

"70% of the 1,000 suppliers who have signed up to The Zero Carbon Project are at the beginning stages of their carbon reduction journey. These suppliers are leaning on us to provide support as they work to set and achieve their own carbon targets." This includes through Schneider's sustainability consulting services and its digital 'EcoStruxture' tools and resources.

He added that other initiatives the company is taking include designing products that embed from their origin sustainability and circularity aspects, working with its raw material suppliers to develop green plastics and green metals, and developing a "circular supply chain, recovering products from the field and giving them a second life".