The Schneider Electric Foundation, under the aegis of the Fondation de France, has entered a four-year partnership with the Solar Impulse Foundation, which is selecting 1,000 solutions that protect the environment in a profitable way and awarding them the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution label.
Solar Impulse Foundation currently has 67 members in Canada. This label promotes solutions, assessed by independent experts, that combine technical innovation, profitability and environmental protection, demonstrating that solutions to fight climate change do exist and should not be regarded as expensive fixes but tremendous opportunities for clean growth.
“By contributing to this project through the Schneider Electric Foundation, we want to push our employees to develop new solutions and implement the available ones,” stated Jean-Pascal Tricoire, chairman and CEO of Schneider Electric and President of the Schneider Electric Foundation. “The Solar Impulse and Schneider Electric Foundations are both pragmatic organizations. Bertrand Piccard and I believe in innovation and creating solutions to fight climate change. The Schneider Electric Foundation aims to move forward in this pioneering spirit. Its role is to act as a catalyst of technological, social and entrepreneurial innovation, which will help close the energy gap and promote a fairer environmental transition worldwide.”
As a partner of the first zero emission polar scientific research station and the Low Tech Lab, the Schneider Electric Foundation is monitoring progress and serving as a liaison between the corporate sector and civil society. In this way, it is making a full contribution to Schneider Electric’s sustainability commitment.
Through this partnership, Schneider Electric is helping accelerate the ecological transition and promote viable solutions to help achieve at least five of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular:
- Clean, accessible water for all;
- Affordable and clean energy;
- Industry, innovation and infrastructure;
- Sustainable cities and communities; and
- Responsible consumption and production
The aim of the Solar Impulse Foundation is to select and endorse 1,000 solutions that contribute to achieving at least one of these five goals and meet the following criteria: technical feasibility, environmental benefits and profitability. Bertrand Piccard, Chairman of the Solar Impulse Foundation, will then promote this portfolio of solutions to corporate and political leaders worldwide.
To date, 179 solutions have already received the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution label, including biodegradable packaging made from milk protein, a solar-powered water purification plant, an enzyme-based plastic recycling technology and a zero-waste construction process.
“The successful companies of tomorrow are those who understand the need to act in energy efficiency today and have seized all the opportunities offered by the protection of the environment,” said Bertrand Piccard, chairman of the Solar Impulse Foundation.
“Through this partnership with the Solar Impulse Foundation, Schneider Electric is again showing a pioneering spirit and proves that it is fully aware of its role in the ecological transition. Together, we will make every effort to accelerate the selection of profitable solutions that can protect the environment and we will work towards their large-scale deployment.”
The Solar Impulse Efficient Solution label is awarded to solutions after the assessment of a six-part application file, including an evaluation of their lifecycle (carbon emissions, recyclability, etc.), business model and the target country for implementation.
These applications are submitted by innovators and analyzed through an online platform developed by the Solar Impulse Foundation to guarantee the anonymity of the projects and experts involved. This process can take several days or even weeks, requiring input from numerous volunteer experts specialized in at least one of the five goals mentioned earlier.
The Schneider Electric Foundation will promote the project within Schneider Electric to mobilize experts, such as Nicolas Plain, a research engineer working on renewable energy mini-grids for Africa.
In addition, through its VolunteerIn program, the Foundation will do everything possible internally to ensure the success of this project. A steering committee of teams from all over the world will be set up to select Group solutions that protect the environment and enable access to electricity. These include, for example, Homaya, a complete photovoltaic electrification system for isolated homes, and Mobyia, a solar-powered system for lighting and charging communications devices.