Carmen de Miguel, Strategic Marketing Manager, Water & Wastewater Segment – Schneider Electric
The purpose of Schneider Electric is to empower all to make the most of our energy and resources, bridging progress and sustainability for all and acting as your digital partner for Sustainability and Efficiency. We drive digital transformation by integrating world-leading process and energy technologies, end-point to cloud connecting products, controls, software and services, across the entire lifecycle, enabling integrated company management, for homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure and industries.
As a founding member of SWAN, what do you see as SE’s role in advancing the smart water/wastewater industry?
Schneider Electric holds innovation in its DNA and sustainability at the core. When we co-founded SWAN back in 2010, we had the vision that technology was the way for the water industry to address its present and future challenges, and now more than ever we believe that the future for sustainable and resilient water is digital. We work with our customers and our partners to drive digital transformation towards decarbonisation, electrification, efficiency, and circularity in water. Our approach is focused on combining energy and process to decarbonise water infrastructures, enabling end-to-end asset management and optimised operations through our simulation-based digital platform and services, and achieving full management of water resources by unified operations solutions.
What was the motivation for SE’s new joint venture with SUEZ and how will this impact the water sector?
The motivation for the JV creation was to provide complementary expertise, strengthen agility and leadership in this fast-growing digital water market. This was communicated in March 2021 by executives of both companies:
Diane Galbe, SUEZ Group SEVP, Smart & Environmental Solutions global Business Unit and Strategy: “The creation of this joint venture is fully in line with the SUEZ 2030 strategic plan which aims to use cutting-edge technologies in order to offer all of our customers’ digital solutions that are 100% sustainable in terms of their impact on health, quality of life, environment, and climate.
Peter Herweck, EVP Industrial Automation at Schneider Electric: “…we are creating new solutions and services to empower our customers with actionable information to manage their process and assets more efficiently. With this joint venture, we look forward to becoming the digital partner of water cycle players, enabling them to reach true resiliency and sustainability.”
SE has received several ‘Sustainability’ accolades, including recently being listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI). How does this influence your work, especially in emerging markets?
Being recognised as a world leader and trusted advisor in sustainability is a tremendous honour that makes all of us in Schneider Electric proud and even more committed to our job, since we have a clear purpose and we see a positive impact in what we do. Water is right at the centre of sustainability and having worked in the water industry for 25 years gives me some perspective about the role of our sector in life and environment preservation, as well as in the economic and social development. I am truly passionate about my job and about the opportunities that technology brings to improve the way water is managed. Since my role is globally positioned, I get the chance to see the impact in emerging economies, and how technology paves the way for the sustainable development of cities and communities. That makes me proud of our customers and my SE colleagues.
Looking back over your career in the water sector, what is the most important piece of advice you received and how can young professionals apply it today as they begin their career journey?
There are several of them from different people. If I had to pick one, it would be what my younger sister told me when I had to decide about a quite challenging job opportunity at the beginning of my career: “Whatever you decide, do not look back and rethink since you will always find reason to regret, just make your decision and go ahead”. This is applicable to all facets of life and I recognise I have followed that advice and never regretted a decision. Lastly, I would like to dedicate another one to young professionals, who are the future of our industry. The phrase is not mine, but I entirely subscribe to it: The future belongs to those who prepare for it!