Ksenija Karić, General Manager, Schneider Electric In Serbia And Montenegro

A Sustainable Future Is Attainable

It was in 2005 that Schneider Electric introduced its first sustainability barometer, as an early adopter of ESG matters. The company has set ambitious targets, such as reaching carbon neutrality in its operations by 2025, while up to 72 per cent of its revenue today is green

Our company celebrates the 20th anniversary of its successful operations in Serbia next year. 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 – says Schneider Electric General Manager for Serbia and Montenegro Ksenija Karić, speaking in this CorD interview.

Sustainability has been one of the hot topics in recent years. How does Schneider Electric, as the world’s most sustainable company, view the tackling of this challenge?

We strive to help others participate actively in resolving such an important issue by using adequate software and solutions. This means that we don’t only tend to be a role model in the manner we run our operations, but that we are also part of the solution for many of our clients, and that is the model everyone should follow.

We plan to enable 1,000 companies – our major suppliers – to cut GHG emissions by 50 per cent by 2025, using our EcoStruxure platform. Over the past 15 years alone, we have saved 120 tonnes of CO₂ emissions and provided access to energy for about 30 million people worldwide.

Energy demand is ever-increasing and will be up to 40 times higher a century from now. Is decarbonisation the way to reach a sustainable supply system? Where can one start?

We believe that a more electric and digital world is key to a sustainable and resilient future. It is estimated that energy demand for cooling will increase threefold over the next 30 years, and that overall consumption will rise by up to 62 per cent by 2050. The way to meet these growing needs is to use energy in a better-quality and more rational manner. Innovation today relies heavily on both electric and digital. From gadgets that make our lives better, via digital home-working, to e-mobility. And Schneider Electric is helping drive change in the world to make our customers and partners’ operations more sustainable.

Over the past 15 years alone, we have saved 120 tonnes of CO2 emissions and provided access to energy for about 30 million people worldwide

For businesses and consumers, renewable energy sources represent a fast-track to fulfilling decarbonisation-related pledges. However, it is necessary to point out the need for an integrated approach to improving energy productivity, including the decarbonisation of cities, which account for nearly 70 per cent of global CO₂ emissions today and consume 78 per cent of energy around the planet, as well as the necessity for transport electrification, the decarbonisation of heating and cooling systems and enabling flexible demand, combined with providing specific recommendations and sharing experiences regarding these concepts.

Can digitalisation and investments in Industry 4.0 contribute to further economic development? How does Schneider Electric participate in this process?

We strive to be a role model and play an important role in creating a carbon-free world, while helping clients to operate more sustainably with significant cost-cutting. This means that digitalisation and Industry 4.0, coupled with Electricity 4.0, contribute to improving economic competitiveness.

The latest addition to our portfolio is SM AirSeT, our green and digital SF6-free medium- voltage switchgear. SM AirSeT is a leap forward for sustainability, using pure air and vacuum switching technology, instead of SF6 gas, and allowing users to take full advantage of digital features to unlock the value of data. By introducing the new SF6-free technology, we have taken a crucial step forward in power grid decarbonisation. Such medium-voltage switchgear has already been installed in the substations of users across Europe, including E.ON, Sweden, and GreenAlp, France.

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