Schneider Electric wins ‘Outstanding Contribution to Diversity, Equality and Social Responsibility’ and ‘Data Centre Consolidation/ Upgrade Project of the Year’ at the DCS Awards 2024

Schneider Electric™, the leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, has received double honours in two categories at the DCS Awards 2024. The first saw Schneider Electric awarded for the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Diversity, Equality and Social Responsibility’ category for its continued commitments to providing equitable opportunities for everyone, everywhere, and ensuring a safe, inclusive working environment. 

In collaboration with its UK Elite Data Centre Partners, on365 – a specialist in physical IT and Data Centre infrastructure services, Schneider Electric also won the DCS Award for ‘Data Centre Consolidation/Upgrade Project of the Year’ for the second consecutive year. The award was given for a major modernization project undertaken at Loughborough University, the world’s leading university for sport-related subjects, and saw Schneider Electric and on365 modernize the university data centers with new energy-efficient and resilient technologies to support new breakthroughs in sporting research.

“I’m delighted to accept these awards on behalf of Schneider Electric, which are a testament to our ongoing commitments to diversity and inclusion, and our work to address both the sustainability and talent challenges across a host of critical industries”, said Mark Yeeles, Vice President, Secure Power Division, Schneider Electric UK&I. “The data center sector has become a fourth utility on which all of us depend, and it’s a great honour to be awarded alongside our longstanding partners, on365, for our work together at Loughborough – one of the world’s leading universities.” 

Outstanding Contribution to Diversity, Equality and Social Responsibility

Schneider Electric’s commitments to diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) earned it the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Diversity, Equality and Social Responsibility’ award for the companies continued work to provide offer equal opportunities to everyone everywhere, and its ambition to make employees — no matter who they are, or where in the world they live — feel uniquely valued, and safe to contribute their best.

It’s action-driven and strategic DEI efforts are evident through various initiatives, such as doubling the number of opportunities for early-careers and apprenticeships as part of its mission to develop a new generation of talent, while building leadership communities, and implementing inclusive recruitment initiatives, which have been instrumental to its UK operations. 

Furthermore, active work has taken place to work on building a sense of community and belonging by creating spaces for sharing, exchanging, and fostering connections through its Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), Women’s Leadership Cohorts, Military Ambassadors, dedicated initiatives for employees on late stage of their career, and others. Additionally, inclusive policies and flexibility have played a pivotal role in supporting employees on different career and life stages.

Ensuring employees are also able to contribute to society showcasing collective impact is represented with Schneider Electric’s Volunteering Day on 12th July 2024 which runs for a second year. Last year employees from across the UK and Ireland united with a shared purpose: to give back to their communities and make a positive difference in the world with activities like litter picking, gardening, and beach clean-ups, showing dedication to community engagement and sustainability.

Schneider Electric’s sustainability efforts also exceeded expectations during the last twelve months, with 112 million tonnes of CO2 saved and avoided in 2023 alone. Great strides were also made in transforming its supply chain, and carbon emissions from Schneider Electric’s top 1,000 suppliers fell by 27%, while 21% of the company’s most strategic supply chain partners met Schneider Electric’s decent work standards.

By the end of 2023, 63% of Schneider Electric’s product packaging was free of single-use plastic and made of recycled cardboard. The company’s long-standing commitment to close the energy gap also advanced at pace, with 46.5 million people now accessing clean and reliable electricity around the world. 

Data Centre Consolidation / Upgrade Project of the Year

In 2023, Schneider Electric and its Elite Data Centre Partners, on365, partnered to deliver a comprehensive modernisation project at Loughborough University, a world-leader in sports related subjects. For the university, IT operations are fundamental to its student experience, providing High Performance Computing (HPC) servers which support analytical research projects, and a highly virtualised data center environment for critical applications, including finance, administration, and security. 

To overcome a series of challenges including a redesign and upgrade of its legacy cooling systems, and the need for improved cooling efficiencies, Loughborough worked with the companies to undertake a major modernisation project at its Haslegrave and Holywell Park data centers. Delivered in two phases to avoid the threat of downtime, on365 deployed Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure™ Row Data Center solution.

The row-based data center solution is a pre-engineered, modular, scalable and highly-configurable system, which includes integrated power, racks, cooling and management software. The deployment of this solution has enabled the data center to become more effective, decrease risk, operate with more resilience and enables greater efficiency. It also leveraged Schneider Electric InRow DX (direct expansion) cooling units to deliver improved reliability, providing the university with both greater cooling control and the ability to cope with unplanned weather events, such as heat waves. 

Further improvements in resilience and efficiency were also achieved by replacing legacy UPSs with new Galaxy VS UPSs’, and DCIM EcoStruxureTM IT software, providing Loughborough with enhanced levels of visibility and data-driven insights which quickly help it to identify and mitigate potential faults before they become critical. 

This, in conjunction with a new three-year Schneider Electric services agreement has provided the university 24×7 access to expert maintenance support, reflecting its ongoing commitment to protecting its IT investments, and ensuring the equipment is fully operational, reliable, and quality maintained.

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