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Greenville Business Magazine

The Business Narrative: Electrification Promise

Jul 01, 2024 09:32AM ● By Donna Walker

(Photo by 123RF)

Schneider Electric Forecasts 50 Percent Surge in U.S. Industry Electrification by 2030

Schneider Electric — a leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation — released a new report that projects that electrification of U.S. industry will grow from 30 percent to 45 percent by 2030, a 50 percent increase.


The report, compiled by the company's Sustainability Research Institute, also recognizes the potential for a corresponding 25 percent reduction in fossil fuel demand over the same period.


The report provides detailed analysis by sector, projecting that 16 of 21 sectors will reach 60 percent electrification by 2030. Further, it projects that U.S. industry as a whole will reach 64 percent electrification by 2040 with a corresponding 50 percent reduction in fossil fuel use.


In tandem with these trends, Schneider Electric will upgrade, modernize, and maintain its Seneca and Columbia, South Carolina, manufacturing plants.


It also will electrify Seneca's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system to enhance its efficiency and reduce costs advancing its own sustainability and decarbonization targets. 


Altogether, the company will invest $23.8 million into its South Carolina manufacturing operations.


The company said it expects to create 280 new production jobs in the state, including 130 jobs in its Seneca facility and 150 jobs in its Columbia facility adding to the more than 1,200 workers Schneider Electric currently employs in South Carolina.


Hiring at both facilities will take place over the course of 2024.


Officials said the expanded workforce will manufacture custom power distribution products that are integral to electrification and energy efficiency, bolstering support for critical infrastructure, industries—particularly healthcare and wastewater treatment—and the escalating demand for data center solutions across the U.S.


In March, Schneider Electric announced plans to invest $140 million into its U.S. manufacturing operations and create about 750 new manufacturing jobs across the country in 2024.


The company's South Carolina investments, which are accounted for in the 2024 financial and jobs totals, follow its recent manufacturing expansion announcements in Tennessee and Texas.


Since 2020, Schneider Electric has invested more than $440 million across its American manufacturing network, which includes more than 22 facilities across 14 states.


Schneider Electric has had a presence in the U.S for 135 years. The company employs more than 19,000 workers in the country and its products and solutions can be found in four of 10 U.S. homes, 40 percent of the world's hospitals, and in water and wastewater installations in 150 countries. 


In 2023, TIME magazine named Schneider Electric to its 100 Most Influential Companies list recognizing it for work done to help clients reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.


The company is also ranked among the Top 10 of the 2023 Best Workplaces in Manufacturing & Production by the Great Place to Work U.S. organization and Fortune magazine.

GCHI's Plants in Harleyville Honored with Environmental Performance Award

Giant Cement Holding, Inc. (GCHI) announced that its plants in Harleyville, South Carolina, including Giant Cement Company (GCC) and Giant Resource Recovery, Inc. (GRR!), were awarded top honors in the Environmental Performance category at the 2024 Energy and Environmental Awards by the Portland Cement Association (PCA).


The PCA announced the winners of the Energy and Environment Awards, Chairman's Safety and Safety Innovation Awards during the 2024 Cement Fly-in last month in Washington, D.C.


PCA sponsors the cement industry awards to highlight company teams excelling in implementing new energy and environmental initiatives, enhancing overall on-the-job safety, and surpassing required environmental and community relations efforts.


Submissions from plants across the U.S. were evaluated and recognized for environmental efforts completed in 2023.


The Environmental Performance Award recognized the improved reliability of Giant Cement and Giant Resource Recovery's alternative fuel feed systems in Harleyville that lowered greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and avoided sending materials to the landfill or other incineration processes.


This year's award follows PCA honors in 2022 when Harleyville plants were honored in the Environmental Performance category for their carbon dioxide emissions reductions.


"Our plant teams are dedicated to improving sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint, as evidenced by this achievement," said Stephen Holt, executive vice president, Giant Resource Recovery, Inc. and vice president of Environmental Affairs, GCHI who received the award.


GCC and its sister company GRR! operate alternative fuels energy recovery recycling operations and are distinguished not only by their ability to co-process alternative fuels at high rates but also as one of only a few cement kilns in the U.S. capable of processing both liquid and solid alternative fuels.


Co-processing alternative fuels lowers emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide and reduces GHGs.


GCHI is part of the Fortaleza Materiales Group, an international building materials corporation.


GCHI's Cement Division serves the eastern U.S. with Giant Cement, Keystone Cement and Dragon Products. In the energy recovery sector, Giant Resource Recovery operates across a large geographic footprint through its five eastern locations.

Metlife Foundation Community Impact Grant Program Opens Application For Second Round of 2024 Funding

MetLife Foundation has announced another request for proposal (RFP) opportunity for its Community Impact Grant Program, which it expanded earlier this year and launched internationally in Asia Pacific.


With the support and dedication of MetLife employees in the application review process, the program continues to expand the Foundation’s impact and involvement in communities where MetLife has a presence.


After launching an RFP in February of 2024, MetLife Foundation has awarded $805,000 in grants to 47 organizations.


MetLife employee volunteers will once again assist in reviewing the grant applications submitted for MetLife Foundation’s latest RFP. The funding will provide immediate assistance to communities across the U.S. impacted by the growing income and wealth divide.

For this funding round, applications are open to grassroots organizations in five eligible cities that are addressing the needs of people with low incomes in one of the following counties:


Dallas, TX (Dallas County),

Greenville, SC (Greenville County),

Kansas City, KS (Wyandotte County),

Kansas City, MO (Jackson County) and

Newark, NJ (Essex County).


“This program leverages the dedication and passions of MetLife’s employees in helping to advance the Foundation’s community commitments,” said Tia Hodges, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation and head of Corporate Giving and Employee Volunteerism at MetLife.


Hodges added, “This second round of funding includes new cities where MetLife has a presence to build upon the grants we’ve already awarded to 85 organizations across 12 cities.”


The grant program will support four focus areas and selected recipients will receive programmatic support through grants between $5,000 - $50,000 each in the following focus areas:


Hunger Relief and Nutrition to provide access to healthy food options that address food insecurity, nutrition and healthy eating.

Physical and Mental Well-Being to provide access to shelters and affordable housing, social services, mental health and well-being services.

Environmental Sustainability to mitigate the impact of changing weather patterns and improve the environment in local communities.

Quality of Life to increase the accessibility of support for critical needs and services; emergency supplies; and access to recreation, arts and cultural experiences.


The RFP is now open and available on MetLife Foundation’s website. The Foundation will accept applications to the Community Impact Grant Program until Wednesday, July 17 at 8:00 p.m. EDT.


All organizations who apply will receive a decision on their proposal in September 2024.


For more information on the program, go to


Since its inception in 1976, MetLife Foundation has contributed over $1 billion to strengthen communities where MetLife has a presence.

Bank of South Carolina Corporation Declares Dividend

The board of directors of Bank of South Carolina Corporation, (OTCQX: BKSC) the parent company for The Bank of South Carolina, declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.17 per share to shareholders of record July 8, 2024, payable July 31, 2024.


This represents the 139th quarterly cash dividend paid to shareholders.


The Bank is a South Carolina state-chartered financial institution with offices in Charleston, North Charleston, Summerville, Mt. Pleasant, James Island, and the West Ashley community and has been in continuous operation since 1987.

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