Rueil-Malmaison (France), August 29, 2013 – Schneider Electric and the Philippine NGO Gawad Kalinga announce today the signing of a partnership agreement aimed at increasing access to electricity for rural communities in the Philippines.
51% of people in the Philippines live in rural areas. Although only 10% have no access to electricity, rural communities often need a reliable power supply for medical facilities, and for entrepreneurial and agricultural activities.
Schneider Electric and Gawad Kalinga have teamed up to address these issues. Gawad Kalinga will provide social expertise, thanks to its knowledge of the region, the needs on the ground and of local stakeholders, and will be able to build social models adapted to the Philippine reality.
Schneider Electric will contribute with its technological products and solutions (developed specifically to meet the needs of disadvantaged populations), technical expertise and experience in providing access to energy gained since the launch of its BipBop program in 2009.
"Within the framework of our BipBop program to increase access to reliable, affordable and clean energy, we're always looking for innovative partnerships with actors who can offer us a clear vision and detailed knowledge of the needs of populations. The aim is to help people through a business creation process" explains Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and CEO of Schneider Electric. "We're joining Gawad Kalinga in its mission to create models for sustainable communities based on lasting economic development where access to electricity is essential".
"Having been invited by the President of MEDEF to close its summer university, I am delighted to sign, with Schneider Electric, a partnership agreement that is particularly close to my heart," says Tony Meloto, Founder and Chairman of Gawad Kalinga. "We're keen to draw on the expertise of Schneider Electric in innovative, sustainable, affordable and high-performance solutions that provide access to solar energy to the most deprived, to the farmers and social entrepreneurs that we support. It's a very ambitious project that has high potential to create jobs in our communities. We also want to contribute to the training of a number of solar energy technicians and raise the awareness of thousands of students, GK volunteers and beneficiaries to a sustainable development approach. In Gawad Kalinga, Schneider Electric now has a high-profile partner to expand its activities in the Philippines, achieving greater economic growth and joining our dream of giving dignity and hope to 5 million families at the base of the pyramid by 2024."
In line with the themes for French business trade association MEDEF's summer campus, this partnership illustrates Schneider Electric's capacity to mobilize its know-how and global presence to effectively tackle development challenges, in partnership with NGOs and other relevant stakeholders.
There are four aspects to the partnership between the two organizations:
Support for farmers, particularly through solar water pumping solutions, electrification of installations and adapted economic models;
Electrification of isolated villages, cooperatives and installations that have a continuous need for power;
Production and smart management of energy for Gawad Kalinga's Enchanted Farm, its new platform for developing the rural economy around three areas: social entrepreneurship, social tourism and social education;
Training and support for local entrepreneurs to ensure the maintenance, development and sale of products and solutions in the long term.
The first year of the partnership is intended for field studies and initial tests to fully grasp and model the needs of the communities and local entrepreneurs, to then define a specially adapted deployment plan in the course of 2014.
From the left to the right, Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and CEO of Schneider Electric and Tony Meloto, Founder and Chairman of Gawad Kalinga.
About Schneider Electric
A global specialist in energy management, with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments. The Group is the market leader in sectors such as Public Administration and Infrastructures, Machine Industries & Manufacturers, both non-Residential and Residential Buildings, and Data centers and Networks. Dedicated to producing safe, reliable, efficient, productive and clean energy, its more than 140,000 employees realized sales of €24 billion in 2012, working alongside individuals and organizations to help them make the most of their energy.
About Gawad Kalinga
Gawad Kalinga is a Philippine non-profit foundation established in 2003, which aims to develop communities to help improve the quality of life of poor people and those in difficult circumstances. Its holistic community development program encompasses refuges, healthcare, education, food and housing. It is a response to the call of nations wishing to build and develop solidarity and promote volunteering and public-private cooperation. Gawad Kalinga aims to help lift 5 million families out of poverty by 2024. Today, it is the largest NGO in the Philippines, having set up more than 2,000 villages housing some 1 million people, with the help of around 1 million volunteers.
With its social enterprise GK Enchanted Farms Inc., the organization is adding another dimension to sustainable development by supporting 500,000 social entrepreneurs. The aim is to create enterprises that can compete in the global market and sustainable economic models for long-term wealth creation in partnership with large multinationals.