Efficient Solution Label

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An assessment tool for clean and profitable Solutions

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The Label

Protect the Environment in a profitable way

One of the first Labels for positive impact businesses bringing together protection of nature and financial viability through a strict assessment process made by a pool of independent experts. In collaboration with renowned institutions, Solutions applying to the Label must go through a neutral and certified methodology.

Why?

The Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label is designed to shed light on existing Solutions that are both clean and profitable and have a positive impact on quality of life.

How?

A decision as to the attribution of the Label will be made by the Solar Impulse Foundation following a rigorous assessment based on a verified methodology and against several criteria performed by external independent Experts.

Each time I speak of protecting the Environment to heads of state or government officials, 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.

Bertrand Piccard.

Section 02

The eligibility scope of the Label

To be considered for the Solar Impulse Label’s assessment, a Solution must meet the following eligibility conditions:

  • A. Membership: The company need to be a member of the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions;
  • B. Type of Innovation: The Solution must be a physical product, a technology, an industrial process, or a service;
  • C. Commercialization: The Solution must be already commercialized or aimed for commercialization;
  • D. Maturity Stage: The Solution must have reached the technical maturity of a prototype at scale 1:1 in a test environment – corresponding to TRL6 - 7.
  • E. SDG’s of Application: The Solution must contribute to the achievement of at least one of the following five Sustainable Development Goals:
    SDG 6
    Clean Water and
    Sanitation
    SDG 6 icon
    SDG 7
    Affordable and
    Clean Energy
    SDG 7 icon
    SDG 9
    Industry, Innovation
    and Infrastructure
    SDG 9 icon
    SDG 11
    Sustainable Cities
    and Communities
    SDG 11 icon
    SDG 12
    Responsible Consumption
    and production
    SDG 12 icon

Section 03

The selection criteria of the Label

The assessment methodology is designed to evaluate candidate Solutions against five criteria grouped in three different themes: Feasibility, Environmental Impact and Profitability.

  • A. The Feasibility section is aimed at determining the technical viability of the idea behind the Solution, such as ensuring a Solution is feasible in the real world.
  • This section is composed of two criteria and it considers: The technical requirements of the proposed solution and captures its ability to be credible based on a resilient technology or concept (Criterion 1) and its potential to be technically scaled up and deployed in the real world (vs. in a laboratory environment) without additional constraints (Criterion 2).
  • B. The Environmental Impact section is aimed at determining the impact of the Solution at the different phases of its lifetime: production, transportation and distribution, as well as use and disposal phase.
  • This section is composed of one criterion and it considers: The potential to enable a direct positive impact (Criterion 3) on the environment compared to the mainstream alternative identified – referring to the scope of the following elements: Energy use, CO2 emissions, Water use/materials use, Air quality, Ecosystem preservation.
  • C. The Profitability section is aimed at determining the capacity of a Solution to deliver an economic incentive for the client, as well as to generate profits for the seller in a short term.
  • This section is composed of two criteria and it considers: The capacity of a Solution to deliver an economic incentive (direct, indirect, or hidden economic savings) for the client (Criterion 4) compared to the mainstream alternative and the capacity of the Solution to generate profits for the seller (Criterion 5) in the short term, regardless of the marketing strategy and the novelty of the product.

Section 04

The selection process of the Label

  • 1. Submission and pre-screening of the application
  • The only requirements for an application to be sent to Experts for assessment are the following:
    • a. The company whose Solution has been submitted has to be registered as a member of the World Alliance;
    • b. The Member must have created a Solution on its online account, read and agreed to the Submission Rules and Conditions text and signed an agreement;
    • c. A list of relevant information must have been uploaded or filled-in on the Solar Impulse’s platform and linked to the applying Member’s account in the format of the Solutions Submission Form;
    • d. The Solar Impulse Foundation’s team must have reviewed and validated the file based o the eligibility of the Solution andthe relevance and completeness of the information provided.
  • 2. Assignment to Experts
  • Three independent Experts are assigned to a Solution based on their expertise (online profile completed at registration) as well as the areas of application (SDGs, sectors and tags) selected by the Member when submitting the Solution online. The following principles applies:
    • a. The assigned Expert must have a minimum of five and three years of experience in the SDGs and sectors respectively to which the Solution belongs to. The Expert should also ideally match the sub-sector(s) of applications and countries of expertise;
    • b. The assigned Expert must be available and able to complete the assignment within the deadline (15 days from assignment date);
    • c. Experts who belongs to the candidate Solution’s organization will be ruled out of the pool of Experts who can be assigned the Solution;
    • d. Experts coming from organizations that were identified as competitors will be ruled out of the pool of Experts who can be assigned the Solution.
  • 3. Experts’ evaluation process
  • Assessments are performed online via the Solution Assessment Form (SAF). Each SAF (one for each of the three independent Experts) needs to be completed and submitted within fifteen days after the Expert was officially assigned the Solution.
  • For each of the five criteria, Experts are requested to answer a YES/NO question that target specific aspects to be analyzed, and to justify their answer. A minimum of characters is expected for each justification field to ensure enough in-depth explanation of the YES/NO selection. Details of the questions asked, as well as general SAF instructions, can be found in the Assessment Guidelines for Experts.
  • Once all the three Experts assigned to the Solution have completed and submitted their assessments, the SIF’s team will review and validate their work. This step is used to verify whether the Experts correctly apply the Assessment Guidelines. In these regards, SIF retains the right to fully invalidate assessments which are deemed to be not in line with Assessment Guidelines.
  • 4. Deliberation
  • Once three usable assessments are completed and validated by SIF’s team, the following deliberation rules are applied:
    • Labeled: A Solution is Labeled (awarded the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label) when the Solution received a minimum of two “YES” answers from two different Experts on all five criteria; meaning that all five criteria must have a majority of “YES”.
    • Rejected: A Solution is rejected when the Solution received two “NO” answers from two different Experts on the same criterion.

Section 05

Date and duration of the Label

The Label has no expiration date, but rather is linked to the month and year of its attribution. For example, if a Label is attributed on 24 June 2019, it is labeled June 2019.

With that in mind, it is to note that labeled Solution should always be viewed through the lens of the version of the standards for its month of attribution. It is not in the scope to automatically review Solutions that have already been Labeled as Solar Impulse Efficient Solutions. It is the member’s voluntary responsibility and decision to resubmit, or not, their solution at any given point.

Finally, if the Solution’s provider ceases to be a Member of the World Alliance, SIF retains the right to withdraw the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label attributed to that Member with immediate effect.

Section 06

External audit of the labelling process

The Solar Impulse Foundation collaborated with EY, one of the world’s largest consulting firms, in order to perform a thorough review of the first version of the labeling process (December 2018). EY assessed the appropriateness of the Standards regarding its relevance, exhaustiveness, reliability, objectivity and its clarity. An external audit was performed. EY reviewed all the various tools deployed for the implementation of the labeling Process, tested a sample of Solutions that had been through the whole process and concluded that the labeling process was implemented in accordance with the principles and operating rules described in this document (Standards). The Solar Impulse Foundation will continue to closely collaborate with EY to ensure updated standards are maintained and well applied and expects EY to perform further audit reviews in the future.

Section 07

Equivalence

The Solar Impulse Foundation recently launched a collaboration with the European Commission (EC) with the aim of creating an equivalence between the EC selection process and the criteria assessed for the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label.

The aim of the equivalence is to recognize the projects selected by the EC as a part of the Solar Impulse Foundations 1000 Solutions portfolio, to provide visibility, credibility, and to further help them connect with potential stakeholders such as investors, clients, companies, and cities.

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