Companies reduce emissions by up to 19% through digital tools: Schneider Electric and CNBC report

Companies reduce emissions by up to 19% through digital tools: Schneider Electric and CNBC report
  • 70 per cent of emissions reduction are achievable with existing, proven and competitive technologies[1]
  • Swire Properties, IBM, Jacobs, IHG Hotels, and Tata Power share benefits of digital innovation
  • Artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and 3-D modeling are key to supporting existing transformations as viable solutions to overcome climate challenges

Schneider Electric, the global leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, today released a new report analysing the essential role that digital innovation can play in advancing sustainability and efficiency.

Created in partnership with CNBC Catalyst, Unlocking a sustainable future: Why digital solutions are the key to sustainable business transformation outlines how companies and institutions leverage digital technology to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, transition to renewable energy, and build more transparent supply chains.

Notable insights in the report include:

  • How IBM deploys AI and blockchain-based solutions to build a more transparent and low-carbon supply chain.
  • Intelligent lighting, rainwater collection and energy derived from cooking oil reduce 19 per cent of GHG emission across Swire Properties’ portfolio.
  • Engineering firm Jacobs helps the city of London analyse billions of data points to model a transport system with 80 per cent of trips using zero-carbon modes.
  • How Tata Power’s rooftop solar monitoring and management system helps customers in over 90 Indian cities produce the equivalent of 258 barrels of oil through renewable energy.

The commitments made during the November UN COP26 climate change meeting will reshape the agenda for global business. An expected acceleration of activity to address climate points toward net-zero emissions as an organising principle for business. The scale of the climate emergency requires organisations in every industry to mobilise now to boost efficiency. Digital technology presents the straightest path to achieve the ambitious targets outlined in the COP26 agreement.

“The outcomes of COP26 underline the urgent need for businesses to take ownership of sustainability and work towards becoming more energy efficient now,” says Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and CEO of Schneider Electric. “The next decade will be the one where digital technology puts sustainability ambition into action. With 70 per cent of emissions reduction achievable with existing, proven and competitive technologies, this report is testament to how organizations can apply the digital tools of today to help us arrive at the net-zero future the planet depends on.”

Advanced Artificial Intelligence and machine learning bolster sustainability

Unlocking a sustainable future: Why digital solutions are the key to sustainable business transformation features useful case studies from businesses and institutions, including Swire Properties, Equinix, IBM, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Jacobs, Singapore Management University, Tata Power, and the University of Oxford. It illustrates how these organizations have broken ground on digital efficiency, with key stakeholders relaying their digital sustainability experience.

By integrating human and machine intelligence, the companies featured have capitalised on the ability of algorithms and high-powered computing to create change in essential areas such as energy use, city design, resource consumption, supply chain efficiency, and power generation.

Businesses view digital solutions as crucial in balancing environmental and societal responsibilities

Increased expectations to achieve tangible sustainability gains has raised the bar for businesses. With COP26 emphasizing the need for governments and businesses to be held accountable, progressive companies are fast recognizing that a more sustainable future is crucial to ensuring the long-term viability of their business.

For example, Swire Properties embarked on a long-term decarbonisation trajectory focused on reducing the intensity of GHG emissions within its portfolio. Achieving this entailed investment in digitally efficient measurement tools and a partnership with Schneider Electric to model the energy efficiency of its buildings, resulting in a 19 per cent GHG reduction across their portfolio.

Companies stand to gain by viewing sustainability and digitalisation as connected transformations

Digital technology investments can create significant business value when deployed with the right partner to drive momentum. With the pandemic confirming the importance of digitisation for business continuity, the need for a robust, energy-efficient future has never been more apparent.

This is also signified by companies such as IHG Hotels & Resorts, who supports its franchise partners around the globe to measure and manage their environmental impact using an innovative online platform. Going a step further, the company now has two hotels making strides to decarbonise, with a clear roadmap helping them navigate toward net-zero based on modeling and carbon impact assessments.

Ranked the world’s most sustainable corporation by media and research organization Corporate Knights in 2021, Schneider Electric has played a leading role in developing energy-efficient digital solutions for its customers, including the case studies described in this report. Connected, open and digital technology creates business advantages and provides tangible gains in efficiency and business resilience. This helps customers jointly address their twin mandates to deliver for the environment and shareholders.

Schneider’s top thought leadership content, including reports like Unlocking a sustainable future: Why digital solutions are the key to sustainable business transformation, can be found on the newly launched Schneider Electric Insights website.


  1. ^ [1] Schneider Electric Sustainability Research Institute, International Energy Agency

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