Photo: Schneider Electric

The requirement to move to a sustainable business only a few years ago did not have the same value and importance as it does today. During the height of the energy crisis and with clear indications that more stable solutions must be sought, the transition to sustainable business becomes a true imperative.

Schneider Electric has been on this path for many years, and that’s why we are talking to Ksenija Karić, director of Schneider Electric for Serbia and Montenegro, about whether the transition to sustainable business can be accelerated and to what extent such a transformation can affect the near future.

EP: Given that time plays a key role, in which segments/industries would it be most rational to switch to sustainable processes?

Ksenija Karić: If you consider that buildings and industries are the biggest consumers of energy, the fastest progress can be achieved with digital efficiency, both in buildings, by introducing sensors and systems for monitoring and control and in the industry with energy management systems. As the biggest consumers of energy, buildings and industry could save incredible amounts of energy, up to 30 per cent, with a quick return on investment of around 5 years. The installation of energy-efficient solutions in office buildings should also not be a matter of long deliberation because all technologies are already available and can be implemented quickly. According to the data we have for the retail establishments that already use such solutions in Europe, the savings were 23 per cent, and the return on investment was 2—4 years.


EP: Sustainable business has long become a measurable category. How do you measure performance in that field?

Ksenija Karić: According to the SSI program 2021—2025, we committed ourselves to action, divided into six segments which are followed by adequate metrics. Since sustainable business cannot be viewed in an isolated context but must refer to all spectrums: social, environmental, corporate and financial, we have divided the operation into six segments. These segments include: acting for a climate-positive world — by continuously investing in and developing innovative solutions that deliver immediate and lasting decarbonization in line with our carbon pledge; developing resource efficiency by acting responsibly and making the most of digital technology to preserve our planet; affirmation of living following our principles of trust by supporting all around us for high social, management and ethical standards; creating equal opportunities, ensuring that all employees are uniquely valued and work in an inclusive environment in order to develop and give their best; harnessing the power of all generations by encouraging the learning, improvement and development of each generation, paving the way for the next generation and empowering the local community by promoting local initiatives and enabling individuals and partners to make sustainability a reality for all.

EP: Is this enough, and does the timing work for us?

Photo: Schneider Electric

Ksenija Karić: Although we are extremely proud of being a recognized leader in sustainable development, these last years have been a reminder that none of this is enough. The goal of reaching zero emission of harmful gases by 2030 is a race against time. According to our company’s research, as a basis for staying on track and limiting global temperature rise below 1.5°C, carbon dioxide emissions must be reduced by 30 to 50 per cent in this decade compared to current levels. Without such engagement, it becomes almost impossible to limit global temperature rise below 1.5°C, as presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The only realistic path to success is the application of proven digital technologies with increased electrification as the fastest way to decarbonize buildings, transport and industry. The advantage of this approach over others is that it buys time to deal with sectors where these changes are more difficult to introduce. All other strategies would overburden consumers and not have a positive effect in an adequate period.

Despite the importance of the current moment in which the importance of sustainability is recognized and the fact that an increasing number of companies are adopting ambitious goals in terms of combating climate change, the need for acceleration is more than clear. At Schneider, we strive to be part of the solution and to support organizations in their pursuit of gradual decarbonization and the fulfilment of climate change strategies. We are accelerating the expansion of our consulting services globally to respond to the growing need for significant progress in the energy transition and climate change goals. We have made big changes with our wide network of partners and this experience tells us that many companies are ready for new industries and positive changes. However, they need a trusted partner who combines strategic planning and goal setting in accordance with proven results in the implementation of solutions to achieve faster and more visible results.

Interviewed by: Milica Marković

Read the story in the new issue of the Energy portal Magazine RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS