|For many years, Schneider Electric’s North American Operating Division, through its Schneider Electric North American Foundation, has supported Habitat for Humanity and its affiliates through employee volunteerism efforts; house sponsorships in the U.S.; Canada and Mexico; and product donations. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 500,000 families by welcoming people of all races, religions and nationalities to construct, rehabilitate or rebuild homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions.
In 2001, the relationship between Schneider Electric and Habitat for Humanity International was formalized with a national Gift-in-Kind commitment - through the Schneider Electric North American Foundation. This commitment, as part of Habitat for Humanity’s ‘More than Houses Campaign’, earned Schneider Electric the distinction and recognition as a Habitat ‘Cornerstone Partner’ in the U.S., joining companies such as the Whirlpool Corporation, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and Dow Chemical Company as one of Habitat’s leading national corporate sponsors.
Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and in further response to Schneider Electric’s global focus on Planet and Society, the need for Schneider’s support took on added importance and urgency. In response to the renewed its national partnership with Habitat in the amount of $11 million every 4.5 years to supply Square D products in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
In January 2007 and January 2008, Schneider Electric held its North American Leadership Forum in Biloxi, Mississippi, to include a one- and two-day Habitat build event with 200 of its top leaders from across the Division. Our leaders helped to build nine homes in partnership with low-income families who had lost everything as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
To facilitate the involvement of employees across North America in their communities, the Schneider Electric North American Foundation launched the Schneider Electric/Square D Volunteerism website. The Foundation provides funding for full or partial sponsorship of Habitat houses throughout North America as well as one-day build events in various company locations.
Over the course of our partnership, thousands of our employees have dedicated their time to building houses with Habitat for Humanity through our established process for sponsoring homes through financial support, for engaging our people, identifying local communities in need of help and for partnering with local Habitat affiliates. An established order process is also in place that allows Habitat affiliates to order Square D brand product through a secure extranet site managed by Habitat of Humanity. Schneider Electric’s partnership with Habitat, its product order process and employee engagement initiative are often referenced as the benchmark by other companies across North America.
A GREEN PARTNERSHIP
Habitat’s modern strategy is to build homes that use green building techniques - recognizing the great need and urgency to be more energy-efficient in order to reduce operating costs for homeowners and to minimize the impact on the environment. As part of Schneider’s strategy to be the global specialist in energy management and drive energy efficiency in everything we do, a condition of our sponsorships moving forward is that Habitat affiliates utilize green building techniques on the homes we sponsor.
We have also partnered in Habitat’s "Partners in Sustainable Building Program" providing grants to Habitat affiliates to defray the cost of applying green building techniques. In addition to the grants, homeowner training in energy efficiency is provided under the program.
A GLOBAL EFFORT
Given the global footprint of Habitat for Humanity and our established partnership and processes within our partnership, the opportunity exists to expand our partnership on a global basis to improve the lives of millions around the world. Habitat’s mission is completely aligned with Schneider Electric’s – “to fight against exclusion.” Habitat’s mission also supports our Vision by building homes that are energy-efficient to reduce the impact on our common planet.
Through our partnership with Habitat for Humanity, Schneider Electric has helped create affordable housing for hundreds of families over the past several years in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Thousands more have been helped through lower housing costs due to the Square D brand products donated to Habitat for Humanity and the donations and volunteer efforts of our employees.