Solar Impulse Foundation Urges Economic Recovery Protecting the Environment

Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary Amid COVID-19

ARLINGTON, VA (April 15, 2020) – As the stock market and COVID-19 continue to create economic crisis for millions of Americans, the Solar Impulse Foundation urges an economic recovery focused on environmental protection.

“Let the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day be our wake-up call,” says Bertrand Piccard, founder of the not-for-profit Solar Impulse Foundation. Piccard is a doctor, explorer, environmental advocate and pilot who proved the capabilities of innovation by flying around the world in a solar powered plane without using a drop of fuel. “That flight aboard Solar Impulse took cleantech innovation to new heights, literally, and proved that much of the technology we need to build a clean future is already here. We flew day and night around the world, across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in a solar powered airplane using absolutely no fossil fuel, so nobody can tell us this is not possible for cars, heating and cooling systems, computers and so forth,” Piccard added. 

Piccard’s mission now is to assemble and fast-track a portfolio of 1000 Profitable Solutions that support a circular economy in accordance with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. He travels the world sharing the growing portfolio with government leaders, policy makers, finance executives, innovators and climate skeptics. The portfolio currently includes 419 solutions, including 25 from the United States, that have been third-party validated for both profitability and environmental protection. 

Innovators are encouraged to submit their solutions. If accepted, they receive help with business development, networking, and introductions to investors at no cost, thanks to global partners representing corporate support for a future based on sustainability. 

“Scalable growth in infrastructure, construction, energy, automotive and agricultural industries provide profitable investment and job opportunities while protecting the environment at the same time. It’s not a crazy concept. In fact, it’s the only approach that is logical both economically and ecologically,” says Piccard. 

“The best approach toward economic recovery is to modernize the energy and infrastructure system; that doesn’t mean we have to shut down the oil companies. We still have combustion planes and energy. It’s not an either/or proposition, but we can’t give in to a short-term solution based on greed. We have to put the priority on job creation that leads to a better quality of life for ourselves and our families today, and for our children’s families down the line,” says Piccard. “We must start moving in the right direction.”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was started in 1970 as the result of the first Earth Day protest on April 22 of that year, when 20 million Americans (10 percent of the U.S. population at that time) demanded a new way forward for our planet, jumpstarting the modern environmental movement. On April 22, 2016, a date chosen in recognition of Earth Day, the historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change was signed by 195 countries recognizing the global need for climate action.

On the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, occurring amid a global health pandemic and teetering on the edge of the next American recession, the Solar Impulse Foundation urges economic recovery through a renewed commitment toward an environmental movement backed by technology and innovation capable of creating the jobs and profits for a clean future. Innovators interested in submitting a new solution to the Efficient Solutions portfolio can get information at solarimpulse.com/innovators. There is no cost to submit.


About Bertrand Piccard and the Solar Impulse Foundation

One of the first to envision ecology through the lens of profitability, Bertrand Piccard advocates that environmental protection holds great economic market opportunity. He speaks out against the absurdity of outdated and polluting devices and systems still in use today, and promotes the benefits of existing technologies to motivate governments and industries to take climate action. A medical doctor with a specialty in psychiatry, Bertrand Piccard considers that people don’t easily change their habits, and that solutions have to take into account the reluctance to reach beyond the status quo. The Solar Impulse Foundation is a not-for-profit organization based in Lausanne, Switzerland, with a US office in Arlington, VA.

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