Schneider Electric is a leading specialist in energy management and automation. Schneider Electric creates value and achieves growth by saving money for its industrial, commercial, and residential customers. It is able to achieve these savings by using building management systems (BMS) to reduce clients’ energy consumption.

“One of the things that was very important to me when I joined Schneider Electric two years ago was that a commitment to innovation and sustainability in all its forms was at the core of the company’s DNA and culture,” says Schneider Electric Canada President Juan Macias. “We are committed to driving the company forward with a strategy that in a very significant way centres on helping our customers improve the reliability and efficiency of how they consume energy, which in turn has a direct effect on lowering overall energy demand.”

And there are plenty of customers out there. It is estimated that residential towers, data management centres and industrial sites, all areas in which Schneider Electric is a global leader, account for 70 percent of the world’s electricity consumption. The most exciting part, according to Macias, is the substantial future potential for savings — in both operating and energy costs.
“It’s estimated by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that 82 percent of efficiencies remain untapped in buildings, while in infrastructure it is 79 percent and in industry it is 58 percent,” says Macias. “So in general, there is still a lot of untapped potential to improve how we consume energy.”

Schneider Electric is dedicated to growth through innovation

Schneider Electric is dedicated to helping customers improve the efficiency of their energy consumption by achieving innovation at all levels. This dedication to innovation, and in turn sustainability, is also at the heart of the company’s internal strategy. In pursuit of maximum efficiency, Schneider Electric created the Planet & Society Barometer, which uses 26 indicators to measure the company’s commitment to sustainable development on a quarterly basis. By the end of 2016, the company had already surpassed their internal 2017 sustainability goals.
“We are actually increasing some of our initial targets because as we build momentum we are making more progress than we originally expected to,” explains Macias, referencing a current push for zero waste at their top 100 facilities. “The company’s commitment to sustainability and strong leadership team have allowed us to go faster and do more.”

It is this same inherent desire to go faster and do more that led to EcoStruxure, Schneider Electric’s next generation of active energy management and automation architecture. EcoStruxure makes it possible for IT-enabled solutions to seamlessly connect, collect, analyze and act on data in real time, delivering enhanced safety, efficiency, reliability, and sustainability while realizing significant energy and cost savings.

"When a customer first comes to Schneider Electric, their main focus is typically the desire to reduce their energy spend,” says Richard Henzie, Marketing Director of EcoBuilding at Schneider Electric Canada. “However, once we get to the source of the issue we often identify inefficiencies in the operations of the building and equipment, that once solved, will have a direct impact on cost savings.”

Putting the Schneider Electric touch on a local legend

Schneider Electric is a global company with €24.7 billion in revenues (2016), with 28 percent of their business right here in North America. One of the most challenging and exciting projects they have worked on is Winnipeg’s Fort Garry Hotel.

The project is a perfect example of what Juan Macias refers to as Schneider Electric’s “focus as a company on helping our customers by automating their processes, measuring energy use, and doing everything we can to help them improve the efficiency and reliability of their systems.”

Facing pressure from rising energy costs, increased regulation, and the need to improve operational standards in order to address a rising number of guest complaints, the Fort Garry Hotel was in need of both increased efficiency and reliability. As a century-old heritage building, the hotel was very energy intensive and not insulated to modern standards. Seeking a complete systems overhaul designed to improve operational efficiency and reduce labour costs, Richard Bel, the owner and operator of the hotel, contacted BARCOL, a Certified Schneider Electric Building Controls Partner.

“Overall this was a three- to four-year process,” says Henzie. “In the end we were able to complete all the upgrades with minimal disruption to the hotel, while ensuring the maintenance staff were completely versed and comfortable with operating their new Schneider Electric Building Management System.”

Through the work done by Schneider Electric and BARCOL, energy use at the hotel was reduced by an astounding 20 percent. Even more incredible was the 25 percent reduction in maintenance staff hours, a significant cost savings for the hotel. Most importantly, by having a centralized and fully integrated system, the maintenance staff had the visibility to better manage and control the overall operation of the hotel, and the time to proactively address guest concerns, thereby eliminating the problem of systems-related guest complaints.

“I have worked with a number of building control companies over the years and without a doubt, BARCOL and the Schneider Electric Building Management System are far ahead of the other companies I’ve used,” says Bel, who, with partner Ida Albo, took over ownership of the hotel in 1996. “We now have a modern hotel in a historic building — an old system with new brains.”
But the true value of future-proofing buildings like the Fort Garry Hotel is not just to the owners of the hotel, or even its clients, but to all of us as Canadians.

“The key is in reducing overall consumption,” says Juan Macias. “That has a direct impact on how much energy is required in the system, which in turn has a direct impact on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and the overall health of our environment.”

With sustainability and efficiency at the core of everything it does, Schneider Electric is one of the rare companies that is concerned not only with its profitability but also the bottom line of the world around us.