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Schneider Electric Lexington Smart Factory Among First in the World to be Named a Sustainability Lighthouse by World Economic Forum

Boston, MA, USA

09/28/2021

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  • Lexington, Kentucky facility recognized as a Lighthouse in 2020, now one of only three worldwide recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Sustainability Lighthouse
  • Optimizing facility energy costs led to 26% energy reduction (GWh), 30% net CO2 reduction, and 20% water use reduction

Schneider Electric, the leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, today announced that its Smart Factory in Lexington, Kentucky was recognized as a Sustainability Lighthouse – one of only three worldwide – by the World Economic Forum (WEF).   

The WEF’s Sustainability Lighthouses recognize that by realizing the potential of Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies in manufacturing, companies can unlock new levels of sustainability in their operations and explore a win-win solution: greater operational competitiveness while simultaneously making commitments to environmental stewardship, leading in a cleaner, more sustainable future as a result.

In order to capture greater energy consumption granularity, when and where it happens in the plant, the Lexington smart factory leveraged IoT connectivity with power meters and predictive analytics to optimize energy cost, and as a result this led to 26% energy reduction (GWh), 30% net CO2 reduction, and 20% water use reduction and certification by the U.S. Department of Energy as Platinum Superior Energy Performance 50001.

 “We continue to place an emphasis on sustainability – both in the products we offer our customers and in the way our facilities operate to produce those products,” said Kenneth Engel, Senior Vice President, Global Supply Chain, North America, Schneider Electric. “Our Lexington Smart Factory is an example to manufacturing facilities around the country that sustainability needs to be part of their operational model and that smart, connected technologies can drive efficiency, profitability and sustainability together.”

In 2020, the Lexington Smart Factory earned the status of end-to-end Advanced Manufacturing Lighthouse for adopting 4IR technologies to transform factories, value chains and business models. Lexington has embraced Schneider Electric’s 4IR-based EcoStruxure technology to rebuild its end-to-end value chain. Using the latest digital tools like automated supply chain management, 5G supported flexible production, augmented reality, and digital twins to improve flexibility to improve flexibility, efficiency, time to market, and sustainability.

In collaboration with McKinsey & Company, WEF began the Global Lighthouse Network initiative in 2018 to recognize manufacturers leading growth of the 4IR.  Lexington is among a list of 90 sites in the Global Lighthouse Network who create innovation in business models and increased customer value through 4IR technologies. These companies demonstrate how digital operations create productivity and efficiency gains to enable sustainable growth in the face of pervasive disruptions and challenges.

Smart Factory and Tailored Sustainable Connected 4.0 Supply Chain Programs

The Lexington factory is part of Schneider Electric’s global smart factory and distribution center initiative encompassing nearly 300 factories and logistics centers in more than 40 countries. This initiative – part of the company’s Tailored Sustainable Connected Supply Chain 4.0 program – aims to address the fundamental challenge of sustainability while increasing profitability and efficiency.

The global smart factory and distribution center initiative is part of Schneider Electric’s vision that electrification and digitization are inextricable tools in the fight against climate change. This vision has led to the company’s recent ranking as #4 in the 2021 Gartner Supply Chain Top 25, as well being named the world’s most sustainable corporation by Corporate Knights in 2021.

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