Betrand Piccard launches latest mission for low-carbon innovations

Swiss aviator and adventurer Bertrand Piccard has launched a new label to promote a healthier and cleaner existence on Earth. The “Efficient Solution” label evaluates products and technologies and assesses their economic viability.

Piccard gained worldwide recognition in 2015 when he and fellow adventurer André Borschberg circled the globe in an aircraft powered entirely by the sun.

With some comparing their accomplishment to landing on the moon, Piccard is clearly following in his family’s tradition of expedition and exploring: His grandfather had explored the stratosphere in a helium balloon, and his father went down to the depths of the oceans.

Not wanting to let his own fame go to waste, Piccard has been using his prominence to campaign for a change to a cleaner, and more sustainable future.

Earlier this year, Piccard and the Solar Impulse Foundation launched the non-profit World Alliance for Energy Efficient Solutions. Together, they have also now initiated the Efficient Solution Label.

It certifies the technological feasibility, environmental and socio-economic benefit, and cost-effectiveness of environmental solutions. Experts evaluating each solution will also provide an estimate of the payback period for investors.

To apply for the label, the technologies must be market-ready or already sold commercially, according to GreenBiz. The solutions must address one of five sustainable development goals (SDGs): water, clean energy, industry, cities, and responsible consumption and production.

According to the article, the label’s main goal is to support innovative solutions from startups that often lack visibility by connecting these innovators with investors or solution-seekers.

The first 1,000 ‘solutions’ that are awarded the label will become part of a portfolio that Piccard will personally present to a network of heads of state and companies.

Interest so far has been strong, particularly from startups. At the time of the publication of the GreenBiz article, 28 technologies and products had received the label.

Amongst the successful technologies are a system that captures heat from the shower drain and recycles it back to reheat the water; a solar desalination process that operates without batteries; a retrofittable anti-smog device that injects hydrogen into a combustion engine and reduces particulate pollution by 80 per cent and fuel consumption by 20 per cent; and a process that converts organic factory waste into low-cost gas or power at very low cost.

Image credit: Solar Impulse Foundation

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