Schneider Electric Energy Access is an innovative first for a major industrial company in the area of corporate social responsibility
Rueil-Malmaison (France), September 25, 2009 - Schneider Electric announces the creation of a global socially responsible venture capital fund called Schneider Electric Energy Access, with an initial capital of €3 million.
The fund's mission is to support the development of entrepreneurial initiatives worldwide that will help the poorest among us obtain access to energy. Created with the backing of Crédit Coopératif, Schneider Electric Energy Access will finance projects designed to:
- Help jobless individuals create businesses in electricity,
- Promote the development of businesses that provide energy access in rural or suburban areas,
- Support the deployment of innovative energy access solutions that use renewable energies for the bottom of the pyramid.
"The Schneider Electric Energy Access fund intends to bring together different stakeholders by encouraging Schneider Electric's employees and business partners around the world to play an active role making this commitment a reality," explains Gilles Vermot Desroches, Senior Vice President Sustainable Development, Schneider Electric. "The structure of this fund, which we designed to promote responsible development, represents an original and innovative response to the latest legislation on employee savings. This a new societal commitment shared with our entire corporate community."
Access to energy is a major concern for the 1.6 billion people worldwide who currently live without electricity. Access to energy not only improves quality of life, but also facilitates access to healthcare, education and development for those who need it the most. As the world's energy management specialist, Schneider Electric has a major role to play in bringing electricity to people at the bottom of the pyramid.
In early 2008, Schneider Electric launched the Business, Investment and People for the Bottom of the Pyramid (BipBop) program to provide safe, green energy to disadvantaged individuals. The program covers three strategically related areas:
- Business - Build and deliver electrical distribution solutions for people at the bottom of the pyramid, particularly in renewable energy and solutions for electricity grid.
- Investment - Create an investment fund to develop electrical businesses
- People - Help provide electrical training for young people looking to enter the workforce. Philanthropic, it has the commitment of the Schneider Electric Foundation and its employees, often contributors.
By supporting the development of businesses involved in electricity and renewable energies, Schneider Electric Energy Access reflects Schneider Electric's commitment to creating a virtuous circle combining business, innovation and social responsibility.
About Schneider Electric
As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in energy and infrastructure, industrial processes, building automation, and data centres/networks, as well as a broad presence in residential applications. Focused on making energy safe, reliable, and efficient, the company's 114,000 employees achieved sales of more than 18.3 billion euros in 2008, through an active commitment to help individuals and organisations “Make the most of their energy™”.