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Schneider Electric Canada launches smart buildings division

Division to focus on energy efficiency, automation, data analytics for greener buildings

Schneider Electric Canada has launched a division for smart buildings, where the Mississauga-based company will explore solutions for sustainable buildings using data and technology.

The addition to its Digital Buildings business is geared toward helping building owners and operators achieve their decarbonization and sustainability goals, the company said in a release.

"Through our SMART Buildings division in Canada, we're set to enhance efficiency, sustainability and occupant comfort," Emily Heitman, president of Schneider Electric Canada, said. "Our goal is to empower building owners and operators to create smarter, more efficient spaces for a sustainable future."

Headquartered in France, Schneider is an international automation and electrification company that provides a range of services for buildings, infrastructure, data centres and homes.

The SMART Buildings division

The new division will offer tools, guidance and expertise covering:

  • enhanced energy efficiency;
  • automation of lighting and building systems such as HVAC and security;
  • proactive maintenance using predictive analytics and remote monitoring to extend building lifespans;
  • settings, indoor air quality monitoring and interfaces to boost occupant comfort; and
  • data analytics to improve building performance.

“By implementing smart building technology, commercial real estate owners can optimize energy use, elevate tenant experience and enhance asset value,” Schneider said in the release.

Schneider references a report from the UN Environment Programme stating buildings account for over a third of global energy demand and produce 37 per cent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Taking action on buildings is crucial to meeting global climate targets, the company adds.

Schneider’s green buildings background

Schneider has a 2050 net-zero plan certified by the Science Based Targets initiative that includes reducing the emissions of its top 1,000 suppliers by 50 per cent by 2025.

The company has a history of promoting sustainable buildings in Canada. 

In November 2023, it opened a laboratory in Montreal to develop and test smart technology that addresses the climate impact of buildings. An example is its Internet of Things sensors which can detect whether a room is occupied and turn off systems if it is empty.

At Toronto Metropolitan University’s Centre for Urban Energy, Schneider has its Smart Grid Lab. It supports private-public partnerships on sustainability, such as projects for renewable energy, smart loads and energy storage, by simulating the substation and feeders of a local distribution company or microgrid.

Under a partnership with Woodbridge, Ont.-based Country Homes, Schneider had its Wiser Energy Smart Home Monitor installed in Country Homes’ buildings. The monitor tracks energy consumption of household appliances, HVAC systems and electronic devices.

Schneider was also just listed as the top international corporate citizen of 2024 by magazine Corporate Knights.

In its 2023 Sustainability Report, Schneider reports helping to reduce 553 million tonnes of CO2 emissions from its customers with the goal of reaching 800 million tonnes reduced by 2025. It has also helped to cut the operational CO2 emissions of 27 per cent of its top 1,000 suppliers.

Most of its electricity (88 per cent) is renewable, and the company is near its target of improving the energy efficiency of its sites by 15 per cent by 2025, standing at 13 per cent as of 2023. From a baseline of 30 sites in 2020, Schneider has decarbonized operations at 101 locations in 2023, with the goal of 150 sites by 2025.

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