For several years now, Sonepar has prioritized sustainable development, with a primary focus on concrete action. The Group’s approach to sustainable development spans five crucial themes:
- Offering eco-efficient products and eco-efficient solutions through our consulting and customer services
- Reducing our environmental impact
- Promoting Corporate Social Responsibility
- Taking good care of the men and women who work for the Group
- Complying with all applicable laws
Sonepar encourages creativity, adaptability, and process improvement—without losing sight of specific local conditions—in order to support the transition to more sustainable energy opportunities.
Our family shareholders encourage these long-term visions by emphasizing the importance of universal respect for all human beings and healthy and sustainable growth across the globe.
Offering eco-efficient products and eco-efficient solutions through our consulting and customer services.
We seek out, encourage, and give precedence to “greener” technologies that help save energy and reduce environmental footprints. This also means developing a range of relevant consulting services, such as energy audits.
In the Netherlands, the Technische Unie Webshop strives to inform customers of a more eco-efficient alternative to every product on offer.
In France, Sonepar and partner firm Greenflex can offer customers such high-quality services as energy audits, modeling, and energy-use monitoring, and the provision of “eco-energy” equipment.
Inspiration Center · Technische Unie
The Inspiration Center is a showroom spanning solar panels, hybrid power systems, buildings that are practically energy-neutral, zero-energy homes, LED lighting and more. The goal is to guide installers through a complex maze of available options, and to be viewed as the place to start when they need to equip an eco-efficient or energy-neutral building. Energy neutrality is one of the biggest challenges we will face in the years to come, and we want to be at the forefront of the energy efficiency drive. At our Inspiration Center, we offer end-to-end, integrated solutions. It’s a place for gathering advice from experts who are independent of manufacturers. It’s also a training center with real solutions and products for our associates and customers. Last of all, it’s a showcase for all the technology available today for making buildings energy-neutral.
Limiting the Group’s impact on both the broader environment and its own environment.
This goal is addressed by providing training, measuring the impact of Group operations, and optimizing performance at facilities—not only large distribution centers—but also offices and branches. Many of the Group’s most recent buildings meet such demanding standards as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), while many of the older ones have been renovated to enhance energy efficiency or in some cases boost recycling.
For example, the new building for Sonepar Deutschland Information Services in Germany uses geothermal power to heat and cool office areas, while the IT servers have their own separate cooling system, and there are also systems for tracking all energy flows.
Going further, we organize tree plantings with our associates. In New-Zealand, 600 trees have been planted. In Mexico, even the families of our Vallen associates volunteered to assist in these “green” endeavors.
Being a socially responsible company.
This goal has characterized Sonepar from its inception. In day-to-day practice, it is reflected in our work to foster the inclusion of people with disabilities, as well as in countless initiatives carried out by Group subsidiaries to serve nearby communities in the field.
In India, for example, staff members have put on plays, built models, and held drawing contests to raise local school children’s awareness of how they can save energy, how they affect the environment, and what they can do to protect and preserve it for future generations.
Raising awareness on saving energy among young generations
For several years now, NorthEast Electrical Distributors has held an annual contest for public schools in the northeastern United States. After they have been told all about the importance of saving energy, the children have to think up ways to make their schools as energy efficient as possible. The winning school gets a free energy audit and free energy-saving products.
Taking care of team members
Throughout the Group, this is a self-evident commitment that spans safety, training, making the most of people’s qualities, encouraging personal growth, promoting well-being in the workplace, and embracing diversity.
At Texcan in Canada, safety takes top priority. Last October, the company reported 1,000 days straight without a single accident at its distribution center measuring almost 30,000 square meters.
With regard to training, the United States stands out, with 11,000 associates enrolled in a wide variety of increasingly digital programs.
Well-being is likewise a daily pursuit, whether in Belgium, where the new head office was designed to maximize workplace ergonomics with natural lighting and sound-proofing, or in Finland, where a “Take care of your back” program instructs associates how to sit properly at their desks.
Complying with the law
This commitment underpins our values and Governance Charter. Significant preventive and training work is carried out in the field of compliance on a daily basis.
Since France’s Sapin II Act came into force, the Group has put in place additional, highly concrete e-learning courses, backed up by handbooks on topics like Principles Underlying Competition Law.
Energy and Sustainability Weeks (ESW)
This annual high-profile event is rolled out in the different countries through conferences, customer seminars, training for associates, product and innovative service promotions—not to mention a major company contest. Since 2016, the ESW Awards have rewarded those innovation initiatives with the greatest originality, impact, and duplication potential.
BlueWay: The Sonepar Sustainability Label
The BlueWay program spans all of Sonepar’s global and local initiatives to promote sustainability. Blue, like our planet. Blue, like an electric arc.
Sonepar Group entities around the world are marketing energy-saving and energy efficient products under the BlueWay label. Those products are carefully selected to meet needs in lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, industry, home automation, and other areas.
Helping reduce our environmental footprint, enhancing energy efficiency, and reducing energy use are central to the program.