Schneider Electric has announced the launch of its Pacific Foundation, that will offer financial and advisory support to charitable foundations across the Pacific region to address the basic human right of accessing energy.
Four foundations have been selected as the initial recipients of the Foundation’s support, sharing in more than $550,000 of funding over two years, as well as hands-on specialist support from Schneider Electric employees in Australia and New Zealand.
Sustainable environment educator, Live & Learn; national anti-poverty organisation, the Brotherhood of St Laurence; volunteer groups, Engineers without Borders Australia and New Zealand; and independent conservation group World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) will be the first four recipients of the foundation’s support.
Specialising in digital transformation of energy management and automation, Schneider Electric will offer the organisations specialist support ranging from electrical and building expertise, to pro-bono work in sales and management. This practical support is made possible through the 21 hours of paid volunteer leave Schneider Electric offers its employees each year.
Gareth O’Reilly, Pacific Zone President, Schneider Electric, said the Schneider Electric Foundation is a global initiative that aims to give everyone access to safe and reliable energy, combat energy fuel poverty, and build a sustainable future for our planet.
“Over the last few years, the global foundation has done amazing work like backing the development of short- and long-term vocational training for disadvantaged youths in Cameroon and an entrepreneurship program for women in Bahia, one of the poorest states in Brazil,” he said.
“The launch of the program in the Pacific is focused on improving the wellbeing of our local communities in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Our Foundation’s partners were selected because they have shown in their experiences that they listen to people and empower them to grow in a way that suits their local culture and needs.”
Eleanor Loudon, CEO, Engineers without Borders Australia, said the partnership with Schneider Electric Foundation would help the organisation in developing clean energyn solutions across the Pacific region.
“Engineers without Borders has been focused on clean energy, and we believe the Schneider Electric Foundation is the perfect partner to leverage its wealth of expertise in energy, and help us think from a technical perspective, what it means to foster clean energy development in indigenous communities across the Pacific,” she said.
Damian Sullivan, senior research manager, Brotherhood of St Laurence, said working in partnership, the Brotherhood of St Laurence and the Schneider Electric Foundation will be able to help lift low-income and vulnerable households out of energy poverty.
“We’ll be looking to develop opportunities to reduce these households’ energy bills through renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades.”
Christian Nielsen, executive director, Live & Learn International, said the partnership would brings together Schneider Electric’s technical skills across innovation and technology.
“We are scoping a project in New Ireland to see how we can bring solar power and business opportunities to communities that don’t have easy or affordable access to energy.”
Reece Proudfoot, innovation strategist, WWF, said the collaboration would help WWF to work with businesses to develop sustainable solutions, particularly in clean energy and sustainable supply chains.
“We look forward to work with everyone from the Schneider Electric Foundation to help maintain a sustainable future,” he said.