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The Leaf: Issue 11 Mar 2022 – How We Embrace Our Role As an Impact Company

As part of Schneider Electric, Drayton is embracing the values of being an Impact company when it comes to our environmental, social and governance (ESG) responsibilities.


What is an Impact company?

As you might expect, it has a lot to do with having a positive impact, one that reaches across multiple dimensions to include social, environmental, corporate governance and ethics, as well as financial responsibilities and values, for our stakeholders (which includes our customers, partners, suppliers, and investors), our employees, the communities we’re active in, and the NGOs and institutions we work with.

In a nutshell, Schneider Electric and Drayton define an Impact company as one that applies a wide, multi-dimensional perspective to bring about long-term positive change.


As part of our commitment to be leaders in sustainable innovation, Schneider Electric have defined 6 long-term commitments:


1. Act for a climate positive world

– by continuously investing in and developing innovative solutions that deliver immediate and lasting decarbonisation in line with our Carbon pledge. 

We’re continuously developing our product families to not only decarbonise our end users’ homes and buildings and save on their energy bills, but to reduce the impact their manufacture has on the climate:

  • Wiser, our smart home control system, and many other Drayton products are developed and manufactured in the UK at our Plymouth site, reducing supply chain emissions compared to those manufactured abroad.
  • Launched in 2021, Wiser’s NEW Underfloor Heating Controller and Electrical Heat Switch allow smart control of many of your electrical heating devices, helping homes decarbonise their heating with better, more convenient control from the Wiser Home app. 
  • We’re ensuring Drayton’s range of heating controls are fully compatible with and optimised for greener heating technology of the future, like heat pumps. 
  • With the launch of our all-new Digistat in 2021, we reduced more than 20 models down to just 4 universal thermostat variants, reducing manufacturing intensity whilst enhancing product flexibility and user experience.
  • Our long-running TRV4 family allows easier system flow rate balancing from the radiator valve, saving time and up to 18% energy per year vs. an incorrectly balanced system.


2. Be efficient with resources

– by behaving responsibly and making the most of digital technology to preserve our planet. 

Since 2018 we’ve been making big changes to how we use our resources, from energy to single-use plastics:

  • We’ve now eliminated more than 4 tonnes of single-use plastic annually from our supply chain and we’re running trials further on more sustainable and recycled plastic replacements. 
  • We’re phasing out white cardboard packaging for more sustainable brown ‘kraft’ cardboard packaging for our Wiser and Digistat product lines. 
  • Our site switched to a 100% renewable energy supplier in early 2019. 
  • Energy-saving machinery upgrades across our Plymouth factory have increased energy efficiency and reduced carbon emissions. 
  • Drayton has operated as a Zero-to-landfill site since 2018 with all of our waste being reused or recycled.

Find out more about our successful trial of replacing single-use plastic protective caps with a variant made from 100% recycled plastic from discarded fishing nets recovered from Devon and Cornwall coasts!


3. Live up to our principles of trust

– by upholding ourselves and all around us to high social, governance and ethical standards.

We’re pleased to adopt Schneider Electric’s environmental, social, and ethical values in all that we do. The climate is in crisis and our position in the industry means you can trust us to use our more than 70 years of innovation experience to help guide local, regional, and global communities to a more sustainable future. Find out more about sustainability at Schneider Electric and its global network. 


4. Create equal opportunities

– by ensuring all employees are uniquely valued and work in an inclusive environment to develop and contribute their best.

We strongly believe in an inclusive hiring policy at Drayton, embracing the skills and experience of individuals from all backgrounds. Our passionate STEM Ambassador team hold regular events to promote careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) to groups underrepresented in the industry, such as our annual Drayton Women in Industry Day activities.


5. Harness the power of all generations

– by fostering learning, upskilling and development for each generation, paving the way for the next.

The world needs thinkers in sustainable solutions now more than ever, and what better way than to inspire and empower the innovators of tomorrow? As part of our STEM outreach program, we’re passionate about reaching out to local schools and university students to encourage interest in STEM careers, from hosting an engaging boat-building event at the 2021 SailGP Great British Sail Grand Prix, to our successful student placement and internship scheme, providing valuable industry experience.


6. Empower local communities

– by promoting local initiatives and enabling individuals and partners to make sustainability a reality for all.

Our knowledge, our products and our values drive our responsibility and motivation to support our local communities. We understand the challenges many are facing when it comes to the effects of climate change, rising energy and living costs, and the move to more digitisation in domestic homes, which can be daunting for some.


Case study: Buckland Monachorum Chapel Trust

We supported a nearby village community hub in upgrading their Wiser heating system, by providing free-of-charge devices, advice, and installation to give them multi-room control of their meeting rooms, ensuring comfort without overheating rooms not in use, helping them reduce energy costs and continue their valuable work as a food bank for the most vulnerable in their community as living costs soar.

Wiser Homes and Buildings How We're Supporting A Local Community Hub To Save Energy And Money

Energy saving advice events

In March we partnered with Devon Communities Together to help educate a local, rural community in ways to tackle rising energy costs, and in particular the role heating controls will play, at a free-to-attend event at their community hub, providing free evidence-based stats and advice on reducing home energy bills with the help, rather than hinderance, of modern technology. 

Installer upskilling

We’re supporting installers across the country in learning how to make the most of our products’ efficiency-boosting features and in upskilling in subjects including system balancing, heat loss calculations, low carbon heating technology and more to help prepare the UK for a more sustainable future, by hosting free training events, expert panels, and member forums in our trade-exclusive Facebook group The Drayton Community. In the trade? We also provide free training modules via the 9° Network and the Drayton Know How training hub. Watch our video to find out more about the benefits of joining the 9° Network.


Find out more about our sustainability journey as well as tips for living greener here on our blog, Wiser About Sustainability.