For the fifth year running, Schneider Electric is the official partner of the Paris Marathon, the iconic 42.195km race through the capital that will take off on Sunday morning. As the world’s second largest marathon after New York, the Schneider Electric Paris Marathon is expected to welcome 57,000 runners this year, 25% of which will be women.
For the 2017 race, Schneider Electric has made a firm commitment to making the marathon more environmentally friendly while also raising focus on gender equality through several innovative initiatives.
Offsetting 70% of carbon emissions
As a company that is fully committed to sustainability, Schneider Electric has partnered with the marathon organiser, the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), to offset 70% of the carbon emissions generated by the event (18,200 tons out of a total of 26,000 tons), through field action. These emissions, equivalent to 26,000 Paris-New York trips, come from the travel of competitors and their entourages to the event, as well as logistics. Having offset 50% of the marathon’s carbon emissions in 2016, Schneider Electric and ASO plan to progressively increase this percentage to achieve carbon neutrality in 2019.
Schneider Electric has chosen to act in Kenya, a symbolic country for runners, for this offsetting campaign with the help of Livelihoods Carbon Fund, a coalition of 10 French companies working to restore ecosystems in developing countries. In partnership with NGO Climate Pal, they supplied 60,000 homes with ‘Hifadhi’ cookstoves that reduce the amount of wood used in cooking by 60%. The benefits include less wood chopped and burned, as well as fewer CO2 emissions for the 30,000 villagers who received the stoves. Schneider Electric will also engage in eight initiatives to replant mangroves and improve farming practices.
The first marathon to actively support gender equality and the #HeForShe movement
A marathon is one of the rare sporting challenges that women and men compete in together, with an identical number of kilometres and a shared drive to excel.
As a #HeForShe Impact Champion, Schneider Electric naturally joined forces with ASO to support the #HeForShe movement, which was launched by the United Nations at the end of 2014. #HeForShe aims to encourage men and boys to take tangible action to promote gender equality, starting by signing a manifesto. Since the launch of the movement, hundreds of millions of men have signed up worldwide.
The joint commitment made by Schneider Electric and ASO to promote gender equality involves three proactive initiatives:
- Ensuring gender parity in the marathon prizes (up to €50,000), with equal rewards for women and men
- Promoting parity in the media coverage of the prize awards, ensuring that the female and male ceremonies are both broadcast live
- Raising awareness of gender equality in sport through a #HeForShe booth at Le Salon du Running, which will take place at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles during the three days preceding the marathon.
Olivier Blum, chief human resources officer at Schneider Electric, comments: “We wish all the participants a lot of fun in the race on Sunday and encourage more women to join and participate next year. We would love that Paris marathon become the most gender diverse event in the world.”