First things first, what is this label? The Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label is a certification that applies to products, processes and services which combine economic profitability and environmental sustainability. Launched by the explorer and pilot Bertrand Piccard following his solar flight around the world, its aim is to show world leaders that investing in clean technologies is an economic and industrial opportunity, as well as a necessity to limit climate change.
Since the launch of our Label in May 2018, over a thousand companies have submitted their application to receive the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label, and 321 clean, efficient, and profitable technologies have received the award so far.
The process to apply for the label is fairly simple (and free): you are required to provide information (through an online form) about your Solution, with a focus on its technological feasibility, environmental impact as well as details on the business model.
At this point, you may wonder where is the trick? Applying to the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label is a time commitment we ask to innovators, for whom time is often a precious resource. However, we firmly believe that the key is not spending time, but investing it. Indeed receiving the Label comes with a number of perks.
While each company has its own motivations for receiving the Label, depending on the maturity stage, here’s a shortlist of the main outcomes you can expect from this process.
Once you have answered all the questions in the online form, your application will be sent to a pool of independent Experts, which are asked to give comprehensive feedback on all aspects of your application.
“For us, the whole process was very valuable, because not only were the questions relevant for our Solution, but also the feedback from the Experts helped us to prepare our next fundraising round a few months later” explained Pierre-Emmanuel Casanova, co-founder of HySiLabs.
In some cases, solutions and Experts engage in conversations regarding specific aspects of their applications in order to improve their file, or answer more precisely to some questions.
With growing concerns on environmental issues from customers, as well as stricter regulations and standards from public authorities, green certifications, eco labels and sustainability awards can help you display and communicate your brand’s positive impact on the Planet.
The Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label acts a third-party validation and helps your brand stand out to show your partners, customers, suppliers that you are a future-proof, mission-driven company with a positive impact on the environment and a strong business value.
“We are delighted that two of our solutions have been awarded the label by your Foundation, particularly in view of Bertrand Piccard's outstanding image and his initiatives for the planet. The Solar Impulse label reinforces the credibility of our solutions with our customers and stakeholders" - Fabrice Bonnifet, Sustainable Development Director at Bouygues
To strengthen its credibility, our labelling process has even been reviewed and accredited by EY, one of the world’s leading audit firms (more about it here).
“To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society”. Those words were not written by an environmental activist, but by Larry Fink, the CEO of Blackrock, largest money-management firm in the world. Investors around the world are indeed increasingly taking companies’ purpose into consideration in their investment decisions.
At the Solar Impulse Foundation, we work closely with dozens of VCs, both impact investors and more traditional players, to push our labelled solutions in their dealflow. We have joined forces with EuroQuity to provide our Solutions with an investor matching platform, and have signed a partnership with the European Investment Bank to help companies with their financing strategies.
“For us, as investors, the Solar Impulse Label was a very positive sign during the due diligence, as it validated the technological part of the company, while we were more focused on the financial side,” explained Sophia Martin from Raise Impact, who invested in WeNow, a labelled solution.
As the climate crisis becomes an everyday issue in our lives, workers are increasingly looking to work for mission-driven companies. Defining and communicating a clear company purpose results in a higher level of employee engagement and a positive work culture.
The Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label is an efficient way to show your current employees that they are aligned with their company’s mission, and attract new talents looking for a positive impact work.
“The entire team was super enthusiastic and proud when we received the Label”, Valérie Mas, co-founder of WeNow.
Being a Solar Impulse Efficient Solution is about more than receiving a certification of your Solution’s environmental and economic impacts. It’s about being part of something bigger than your business, a community of individuals and businesses who share similar values and a common vision with Bertrand Piccard, that protection of the environment is an opportunity to build a more prosperous, efficient and just society.
Thanks to knowledge sharing, networking events, partnership opportunities, being part of the Solar Impulse Foundation community can be valuable to your company. Selected labelled Solutions are often invited to attend and showcase at numerous events, including our Expert Assessment Challenges.
“We have participated to the Expert Assessment Challenge in Paris last April, it has been a great experience with a day full of learning, discovery, as well as great networking opportunities” - Aileen Robert, CTO and co-founder of OgoXe.