Select your country/region in the menu or by clicking on the world map *
Country Selector Alternate Image

Sustainable Development & Foundation


Circular economy


10 countries set up a recovery process for SF6 gas


3 countries set up a recovery process for SF6 gas from January 1st, 2009: France, Australia and Sweden.


Schneider Electric’s ambition is to reduce the Group’s carbon footprint at our products’ end of life in developing recycling businesses to “close the loop”. The Group’s objective is to develop services offer to recover SF6 gas in 10 countries. The Group directly treats medium voltage devices or subcontracts to waste management companies.

Sulphur hexafluoride or SF6 is a gas used for breaking and insulation. Schneider Electric has been using an average of 400 grams of SF6 per product since 1973 in its medium-voltage devices such as circuit breakers and switches. SF6 has the following advantages:

  • excellent gas for quenching the electrical arc that occurs when contacts open at medium voltage;
  • very good insulator: SF6 is twice as effective as air, which makes it possible to reduce the size of devices;
  • colorless, inert, non-toxic, non-flammable. It poses no danger to employees;
  • it does not contribute to the destruction of the ozone layer.

However, if SF6 gas is not recovered at end of life, it may escape into the atmosphere and contribute to climate warming: its contribution to the greenhouse effect is 24,000 times more powerful than CO2.

Hermetically sealed SF6 mainly poses an environmental risk at end of life, when the devices containing it are no longer used. Although the Group is not obliged by the regulations to treat this waste, it offers its customers a solution for neutralizing the SF6 in devices sold between 1975 and 1985.
The first countries to launch such a proposal were Australia and France.


Power Business
Medium Voltage Manager
Scope Sales representatives and services managers in 10 countries
Calculation Number of countries with a recovery process.
Reporting Biannual
Related Content

Related Content 

Media library