His bright red, carbon-composite, egg-shaped craft measuring 16′ x 7′, Breitling Orbiter 3, is remembered as the first successful non-stop balloon circumnavigation of the globe not requiring any fuel for forward motion. Then Dr. Bertrand Piccard and his colleague, André Borschberg completed their circumnavigation of the globe with the solar-powered aircraft, Solar Impulse, in July, 2016. Now Piccard has a new vision — to demonstrate the immense potential of renewable energies. He’s initiated a challenge called the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label to make that vision a reality.
The Solar Impulse Foundation has announced a new step toward achieving the ambitious goals of The Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), which is a partnership of the world’s key economies to accelerate the global clean energy transition. The initiative is the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label, which assesses the economic profitability of solutions that protect the environment. This label is a new and credible framework that can be applied to products, processes, and services to indicate the quality and economic competitiveness of clean solutions.
To achieve the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label, an applicant must meet 3 requirements:
- Technological feasibility: The solution is already commercialized on the market OR is based on a resilient technology or concept and is deemed to have the potential to be deployed and scaled-up in the real world vs. in a laboratory environment;
- Environmental and socio-economic benefits: The solution has a direct positive impact on the environment combined with at least one direct or indirect socio-economic benefit, without any significant negative impact transferred; and,
- Profitability: The solution has reached a breakeven point in the current market and is generating profits – or shows great promise of doing so in the next 5 years.
The Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label is led by Piccard, who, as a proponent of clean technologies, now will select 1000 economically profitable solutions to protect the environment. With his dual identity as a medical doctor and a serial-explorer, Bertrand Piccard has become an influential voice and forward-thinking leader for progress and sustainability.
“Each time I speak of protecting the environment to heads of state or government officials,” Piccard, initiator and chair of the Solar Impulse Foundation, relates, “they tell me that it is too expensive. This label is a strong message to them: solutions exist and represent the biggest market opportunity of our century — an opportunity which cannot be missed.”
The Solar Impulse Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life on Earth by fast-tracking the implementation of clean and profitable solutions. It helps government officials to go beyond compromise and adopt modern legal frameworks to allow clean economic growth.
In 2019, Piccard will undertake a new round-the-world journey to present the 1000 labelled solutions to decision-makers in businesses and governments. The goal is to influence change-makers to adopt more ambitious environmental targets and energy policies, which are necessary to unlock the full potential of the labelled solutions.
How The #1000Solutions Label Works
The Solar Impulse Foundation is selecting the 1000 Efficient Solutions (#1000Solutions) that meet high standards of sustainability, profitability, and maturity. An at-scale prototype for testing is essential to be eligible for consideration, which indicates an already identified concrete application scenario. The Efficient Solution Label can be awarded to Members of the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions who submit their solutions for review. The Alliance brings together the main actors involved in developing, financing, or promoting products, services, processes and technologies that protect the environment in a profitable way.
“Imagine the impact that this will have on the world! 1000 clean and efficient solutions with a label proving their profitability. They have the potential to create jobs and boost clean economic growth, while also reducing CO2 emissions and preserving natural resources. This is much more than ecological, it is logical!” Piccard exclaims.
Each solution will go through a strict assessment process performed by independent experts; the assessment serves as an indication of quality to those looking to implement clean solutions and affords a competitive edge to the innovators behind them. An independent verifier reviews the procedure and guidelines for the attribution of the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label with regards to their relevance, completeness, reliability, neutrality, and clarity.
This independent verifier also reviews the implementation of the whole procedure, covering the successive steps of submission, pre-selection and match-making, expert assessment, and, finally, deliberation and label attribution. Solutions can be products, processes or services contributing to achieving one or more of the following Sustainable Development Goals.
- Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6)
- Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7)
- Industry Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG 9)
- Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11)
- Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12)
“Today, thousands of solutions exist that can boost economic growth while preserving nature, but they are often hidden in start-ups or research labs. They remain unknown to decision makers and are not implemented at industry level. So few people realize that everyone can use them and how profitable they have become,” Piccard explains, reinforcing the need for the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label.
Support behind the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label
The challenge of the Solar Impulse Foundation has received widespread institutional support, including from the UNFCCC, the European Commission, The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Further collaborations include the EU Covenant of Mayors, a collection of more than 7,500 mayors from across the European continent looking to implement EU climate and energy objectives and to transition their cities toward sustainability.
The Label has already received support from Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science & Innovation.
“The Efficient Solution Label clearly demonstrates the economic opportunities that innovative clean technologies bring. Its rigorous and strict criteria will help raise the profile of new breakthrough solutions and make them an attractive first pre-screening for investors. This is essential for implementing the Paris agreement. I am pleased to join forces with Bertrand Piccard’s Solar Impulse Foundation on this unique initiative. Channelling promising innovations to the Efficient Solutions portfolio will increase the impact of EU investments in research and innovation.”
The World Alliance for Efficient Solutions is a non-profit organization initiated by the Solar Impulse Foundation. Launched at the Bonn Climate Conference in November 2017, it brings together the main actors in the field of clean technologies. Members include innovators, investors, public institutions, innovation seekers, and corporations committed to making our future sustainable. The World Alliance aims to federate and create synergies between its members to fast-track the implementation of clean and profitable solutions that have the potential to address today’s environmental challenges.