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Bertrand Piccard’s vision for renewable energies rewarded by President François Hollande.
25/04 - 2017

Bertrand Piccard’s vision for renewable energies rewarded by President François Hollande.

The Swiss explorer is promoted to the rank of Officer of the French Legion of Honor at the Elysée Palace in recognition of his pioneering efforts to research sustainable solutions.

By initiating Solar Impulse at the start of the millennium, Bertrand Piccard was one of the first to talk of ecology being profitable, highlighting the economic opportunities in efforts to combat climate change. He conceived of Solar Impulse as a platform to raise public awareness and encourage political action in support of clean technologies and energy efficiency, a message he brought all the way to the COP21 in Paris during the solar-powered round-the-world flight.

In July 2016, Bertrand Piccard and his partner André Borschberg succeeded in their bet to fly around the world without fuel, taking turns piloting their revolutionary single-seater airplane. It was an adventure that captured the public imagination, an historic first that aviation experts had considered impossible, many of whom are now launching their own electric aviation programmes.

“You were raised in order to be able to invent what others had not yet been able to, to imagine, to conceive of. And you did it in a spirit that wasn’t just about you pushing beyond your own limits…but also to elevate the conscience of the planet. From this point of view, you are a militant ecologist. You were able to make it so that our planet’s environment would be changed as a result of your own intervention.” said Hollande, President of the French Republic, in the presence of the Solar Impulse team members, its partners and its friends.

“This award is a wonderful motivation to continue to develop the pioneering spirit in search of efficient solutions for a sustainable world,” responded Bertrand Piccard.

 The round the world flight in a solar airplane was but a first step for Bertrand Piccard who has since launched, under the aegis of the Solar Impulse Foundation, the second phase of his vision for a clean future: The World Alliance for Efficient Solutions, whose goal is to federate the main actors in the field of clean technologies in order to bring efficient solutions to the environmental and health challenges of our world.