This series of articles celebrates visionary individuals whose dedication and expertise drive the world closer to a sustainable and clean energy future. In every month's feature, we shine a spotlight on an exceptional Expert whose innovative contributions are not only reshaping the way we think about renewable energy but also paving the path towards a more sustainable planet. Join us as we delve into the remarkable journey and insights of our latest honoree, whose work embodies the spirit of pioneering sustainability championed by the Solar Impulse Foundation.
Originating from the captivating landscapes of Catania, Sicily, Filippo's life journey has been a tapestry of experiences woven across various European cities, including Turin, Stockholm, Barcelona, Grenoble, Paris, and now firmly anchored in Düsseldorf, Germany. With a diverse educational background and a career marked by diverse experiences, he has become a valued contributor in the fields of sustainability, energy efficiency, and electrical innovation. In this interview, we have the privilege of delving into Filippo's career, characterized by a sincere commitment to sustainable practices and an ongoing quest to enhance energy efficiency. As a Sustainability Solutions Architect at Schneider Electric, he plays a meaningful role in shaping the energy landscape, and we explore how his unique journey has contributed to the progress of sustainable practices and the responsible use of energy resources.
Could you kindly provide some information about yourself?
I began my journey in Catania, Sicily, and over the years, I've had the privilege of living and working in various European cities, including Turin, Stockholm, Barcelona, Grenoble, Paris, and eventually settling in Düsseldorf, Germany. Throughout my career, I've had the opportunity to collaborate with dedicated sustainability professionals, which has greatly influenced my perspective on the importance of our work.
Could you elaborate further on your field of expertise?
My energy expertise is diverse and has evolved through several roles and experiences. Throughout my career I have consistently focused on sustainability, energy efficiency and electrical innovation, believing that the evolution of the system is intertwined between social responsibility and the decentralisation and democratisation of energy production. Whether it has been in roles related to researching the best solution for using heat pumps in a house, helping NGOs understand - and then reduce - their energy consumption, or even validating a country's efforts to comply with a policy, my commitment to promoting sustainability and optimising energy use has remained constant.
Sustainability is closely tied to energy management. How does your role contribute to Schneider Electric's efforts in advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for clients?
As a Sustainability Solutions Architect at Schneider Electric, I play a central role in helping clients navigate the complex realm of energy management and sustainability. Sustainability is inextricably linked to effective energy management, and my primary objective is to help clients understand their unique path to decarbonisation. I start by working with clients to conduct a thorough assessment of their current energy practices, requirements, and aspirations. Often, clients may not have a clear understanding of why they want to decarbonise, or they may simply want to meet the requirements of external stakeholders or customers. My role is to guide them through a process of self-discovery. I work closely with them to identify their precise sustainability goals, whether that is reducing carbon emissions, improving energy efficiency, or using renewable energy sources. Once we have a clear understanding of their goals, I use Schneider Electric's extensive range of services and solutions to create a bespoke roadmap that aligns with their objectives. This could include recommending energy efficient technologies, integrating renewable energy sources or implementing advanced energy management systems. My goal is to equip our clients with the knowledge and tools they need to make informed decisions and take meaningful steps towards a sustainable future. By helping customers start their sustainability journey and matching their needs with Schneider Electric's expertise and offerings, I contribute to Schneider Electric's overall mission of promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions. This approach not only benefits our customers, but also promotes a more sustainable and environmentally responsible future for all.
Can you describe some recent sustainability projects or initiatives you've been involved in at Schneider Electric? What was your role, and what were the outcomes?
In my role at Schneider Electric, I've had the privilege of being involved in several recent sustainability projects, working with clients across a range of industries. One of these projects involved working with a leading company in the packaging industry to develop a comprehensive roadmap for a net zero strategy, which included evaluating various decarbonisation strategies and establishing a robust governance framework. Similarly, I worked with a major player in the heating and hot water solutions sector to review their existing sustainability practices and propose a tailored set of actions for integration into their business plans.
While the results of these projects are still ongoing and will take time to fully materialise, I take great satisfaction in knowing that my contributions will have a lasting impact. This confidence stems from the remarkable results Schneider Electric has achieved in the past and the exceptional capabilities of the teams I work with. The essence of my job is to embark on these journeys, to believe in the rightness of our path and to maintain an unwavering commitment to sustainable progress. It's a journey I'm proud to be a part of and I look forward to seeing the positive changes that will emerge in due course.
How do you stay up to date with the latest sustainability trends, technologies, and regulations in the industry? How do you incorporate this knowledge into your role?
My main source of information and insight is Schneider Electric itself. We have a dedicated team that constantly monitors and reviews the dynamic sustainability landscape through regular meetings, internal discussions, and informative newsletters. I also complement this internal knowledge base by following respected sustainability blogs and platforms. These sources serve as valuable aggregators of news, and I receive regular updates directly to my inbox. This approach allows me to build and maintain a comprehensive library of news, solutions, and notable industry events. This repository is essential as it enables me to access relevant information at a later stage, ensuring that I can provide clients with the latest insights and solutions.
Integrating this knowledge into my role is essential to provide our clients with a deep understanding of the current sustainability environment and to anticipate future developments. As a result, I make it a priority to align our clients' needs with the current state of technology and regulation, while keeping them informed of potential future developments. This proactive approach ensures that our clients receive the most relevant and up-to-date solutions to support their sustainability journey.
When considering your Assessments, could you provide more details about the types of solutions you've evaluated and highlight those that, in your opinion, have had the greatest impact?
The solutions I've had the opportunity to assess cover a spectrum of qualities, including social responsibility, creativity, and ingenious thinking. What sets these solutions apart is their ability to either reuse existing resources in a remarkably efficient way, or to introduce innovative approaches that pave the way for the next stage of sustainable development. Among the solutions I've evaluated, some stand out for their clever reuse of existing resources while also incorporating a strong sense of social responsibility.
While it's difficult to pinpoint a single solution as having the greatest impact, I believe that those that ingeniously combine resource efficiency, innovation and a commitment to social responsibility are particularly noteworthy. These solutions exemplify the transformative potential of sustainable technology and hold the promise of advancing our collective sustainability goals.
What aspirations and expectations do you hold for the Solar Impulse Foundation's future impact?
The key reason I love being part of the Solar Impulse Foundation is that it seeks solutions that embody social responsibility while embracing visionary innovation. Beyond recognitions and labels, the Foundation advocates for the broader adoption of sustainable solutions and aims to inspire a global shift towards clean technologies. Its future impact holds the promise of reshaping industries, fostering sustainability, and advancing our collective environmental goals.