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Net Zero in Water: Learnings from around the world

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Lisa Zembrodt is a Principal at Schneider Electric Sustainability Business and Bradley Yager is the water sector leader for Schneider Electric as well and we're talking today about learnings from around the world when it comes to Net Zero in water.

You’ve both been working with Schneider Electric for quite a while, 17 and 24 years, that's a lot of time by anyone's measure so how did you both find yourselves working there?

Brad: I actually started as a cadet engineer and worked on my very first job in the water industry so I've been playing in and around water in that control system space for that amount of time and why Schneider has kept me is I have a real core value alignment with their approach to innovation and then more recently around their sustainability and efficiency, so constant learning and it's just kept bringing me back to the water industry which is an industry that I love.

Lisa: I left one of the big four 17 years ago to move into the energy industry and as time has evolved and as Schneider has evolved, I found myself and my personal purpose completely aligned with the stated purpose of Schneider Electric.

You've both work across a whole bunch of Industries, not just the water industry, Lisa can you give us a little bit of some of the examples of things that you might do?

Lisa: Absolutely, across all Industries and segments of the economy, we help customers to set sustainability and decarbonisation strategies and through that work, we are able to demonstrate our capability of implementation of those strategies as well, because we do have the software and the hardware, as well as those consulting capabilities and the sustainability knowledge in order to write a sustainability strategy that is worth implementing and then using the product in order to implement that.

One of the things that I find really interesting over the last five or seven years is the acceleration across all industries of sustainability as a core risk to business so now when you talk to the C-Suites and we have these conversations about what's keeping you up at night, 10 years ago it wasn't sustainability, it wasn't climate change and now it is and this is not just a single segment but all segments and all Industries.

The interesting thing for the water industry is that it has such a big issue with both mitigations, so a lot of the things they need to do to mitigate climate change but also to adapt to climate change for the future and that combination is a very interesting but also very difficult and important task for us to solve.

You've said yourself that we need desperately need to accelerate the pace of which we decarbonise Brad, what are you seeing when it comes to the themes of our why, especially around water scarcity which you've been talking about?

Brad: You only have to see the reports from the World Health Organization on the UN that in only a couple of years’ time, half the world will not have reliable access to water. At Schneider, when I joined, we used to talk about reliable access to electricity has been an issue and it still is and being more energy efficient is required for that but not having reliable access to water is something if you ever had to turn a tap on and desperate for a drink of water not coming out you realise immediately.

Two billion people in the world live with that already today and that's dramatically increasing. I find that deeply scary and the incremental improvements that we're doing is not getting us there fast enough because the negative impacts of climate change are acting faster than our ability to adapt so we need to build the water security. We need to act a lot faster and what got us to where we are today isn't going to get us to where we need for further so dramatic disruption is required in the industry and I'm passionate at working at Schneider Electric to be a part of that disruption.

Find out more in the full episode.

Thank you to our guest speakers Lisa Zembrodt, Bradley Yager and our host Jo Taranto.

This is the final episode of the United by Water series but shortly we will be releasing our ‘Accelerating Action’ podcast series, recorded during Ozwater’24.

Season 7, United by Water is proudly sponsored by Schneider Electric.

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