Schneider/Square D and Opto 22 Score Points for Community Service

Work with Habitat for Humanity and Grants for Green Projects Leave Their Marks

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Power and control products giant Schneider Electric/Square D and automation hardware and software vendor Opto 22 are both doing their bit for the larger community and scoring big points in the doing-well-by-doing-good category.

More than 200 Schneider Electric/Square D business leaders worked alongside Ocean Springs, Miss., residents last month to build six houses with Habitat for Humanity. For the second consecutive year, the rebuilding efforts kick off the Schneider Electric North American Operating Division’s annual Leadership Forum and continue to build upon the company’s 4 1/2-year, $7-million commitment to Habitat for Humanity pledged in 2007. The funding will provide Habitat homes across North America with Square D brand equipment.

Building six homes in Ocean Springs continues the Schneider Electric/Square D commitment to rebuilding the hurricane-ravaged Gulf region and assisting Habitat for Humanity in its efforts to help low-income and hurricane-displaced families achieve homeownership.

The January 2008 Leadership Forum of the Schneider Electric North American Operating Division will be held in Biloxi, Miss., to underscore the organization’s National Partner relationship with Habitat for Humanity and its commitment to employee involvement and service to the community.

“Schneider Electric/Square D is continuing its important commitment to those who feel the impact of the 2005 hurricane season,” said Dave Petratis, president and CEO of the Schneider Electric North American Operating Division. “Our long-standing relationship with Habitat for Humanity has allowed us to rebuild a region after disaster strikes.”

Schneider Electric/Square D is a National Partner and a Cornerstone Society member of Habitat’s “More Than Houses” campaign. The $7-million financial commitment to Habitat for Humanity will provide each home built in North America with a Square D brand load center, circuit breakers and other related electrical equipment. Since the commitment was made, more than 10,600 Square D load centers and circuit breakers have been installed in North American homes.

Opto 22 Goes Green, Gives Green

Meanwhile, Opto 22 is putting money behind its commitment to green technology. The company has named Makila Hydro LLC as the first recipient of an OptoGreen grant, an award of complimentary automation hardware and software to businesses, research organizations and other enterprises engaged in the research, design, developiment or production of any product or service that promotes alternative or renewable energy or sustainability.

Makila Hydro LLC—which includes a group of renewable energy specialists from Hawaii Energy Group—was formed in 2001 to restore, upgrade and operate a hydroelectric generator at a refurbished sugar mill on the island of Maui. The company plans to use its donation of Opto 22 SNAP PAC System hardware and software to upgrade and automate the generator and establish it as an environmentally clean producer of electricity.

“We expect the availability of OptoGreen grants will further encourage, support and subsidize the sourcing and production of alternative fuels and renewable energy,” says Opto 22 CEO Mark Engman. “This program formalizes and defines a simple process whereby customers can easily procure and implement Opto 22 automation technologies to more quickly accomplish their goals.”

OptoGreen grants are designed to aid the efforts of researchers, systems integrators, educational institutions and individuals involved in environmentally conscious projects, such as energy management, alternative fuels, biodiesel production and recycling. Grant applicants can request complimentary hardware, software and engineering consultations to assist them in their research or production efforts.

Launched in 2006, OptoGreen is a corporate initiative focused on environmental responsibility through conservation, recycling and sustainability. Under this program, Opto 22 successfully outlined and implemented a company-wide energy conservation and reduction plan and other initiatives that ultimately resulted in the company reaching carbon-neutral status.

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