Schneider Electric: Integrated Management System boosts business and supports sustainability
Schneider Electric’s mission is to empower the world to make the most of our energy and resources, bringing progress and sustainability for all. Present in over 100 countries with more than 135,000 employees, the French multinational provides innovative integrated solutions for homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure and industry.
Quality Management System Director, Olivier Martin, discusses Schneider Electric’s Integrated Management System as well as its commitment to sustainability, and Bureau Veritas’ role in supporting the company and its goals.
What does your Integrated Management System cover, and what is Bureau Veritas’ role?
Our Integrated Management System (IMS) includes ISO-certified systems for quality, environment, health and safety, and energy management at more than 200 of our global supply chain’s sites across the globe. We integrated these systems gradually, region by region – starting with China and ending with Europe - over a period of about four years. With each step, we took the time to ensure local teams were fully on board and could appreciate the benefits.
Bureau Veritas supports us on audits and certification. They perform ISO 9001 quality certification for all our sites, as well as ISO 14001 (environment), ISO 45001 (health and safety), and ISO 50001 (energy management) certification for relevant sites according to our specific needs. Around 230 supply chain sites in total benefit from the integration of our management systems, making Bureau Veritas an important partner for us.
What are the advantages of centralizing your audits and certifications with a single body?
The benefits of this approach are myriad. First and foremost, it is extremely helpful to work with a company that has a presence in all of the countries where we work. We benefit from a coherent, global approach in our collaboration, which makes it much easier to address and resolve difficulties and questions as they arise.
Secondly, knowing we are certified by Bureau Veritas can really make a difference to our clients, especially in countries where the name is well known.
And working with Bureau Veritas also means we reap the benefits of working with industry experts with years of experience. The non-conformities they highlight, and the knowledge they bring from other projects, enables us to improve continually.
Most recently, faced with the COVID pandemic, having a global partner enabled us to benefit from remote audits that proved highly effective and efficient. Our close, trust-based partnership allowed us both to be flexible and maintain our certifications despite travel restrictions.
What benefits do management systems and their certification offer Schneider Electric?
There are three main benefits. In many of our markets, certification by a recognized body is a non-negotiable client requirement and therefore an invaluable competitive advantage. Certification is also an excellent way to recognize the effectiveness of work done by our teams, and we are always very proud to achieve it.
It is also very important for our image to prove that we respect the sustainability principles which are deeply embedded in our business strategy. Our decision to implement ISO 50001 for energy management, for example, is completely coherent with the company’s values, demonstrating the depth of our commitment and enhancing our credibility.
What makes the Schneider-Bureau Veritas partnership successful?
The geographic reach and reputation of a world-renowned international company like Bureau Veritas is crucial to us. We trust Bureau Veritas to ensure our compliance and help us resolve issues, of course. However, our relationship with their teams adds value far beyond that. We have a real partnership with their people, and we know we can rely on them to help us improve by sharing best practices and working with us in close collaboration.