New agreement to drive sustainable solutions in construction and engineering sector

Solar Impulse Foundation founder Bertrand Piccard (left) and FIDIC CEO Dr Nelson Ogunshakin at a recent meeting in Geneva.

International engineering federation FIDIC has signed a collaboration agreement with the Solar Impulse Foundation to advance sustainable solutions.

International engineering federation FIDIC (the International Federation of Consulting Engineers) has signed a strategic memorandum of understanding agreement with environmental non-profit the Solar Impulse Foundation (SIF) that will see the two organisations collaborating to advance sustainable solutions and drive positive change in the construction technology and consulting engineering sectors.

The Solar Impulse Foundation is a non-profit organisation founded by explorer and clean technology pioneer Bertrand Piccard. Following the success of the first round-the-world flight in a solar aircraft, its mission is to accelerate the adoption of solutions capable of protecting the environment in an economically viable manner. It thus reflects the unifying and realistic approach of its founder around ‘qualitative economy’.

Demonstrating that it is possible to address environmental challenges without undermining economic development, the foundation achieved its first goal in April 2021 of identifying and labelling 1,000 ‘effective solutions’, assessed as clean and cost-effective by independent experts. While continuing to grow its portfolio of solutions, Bertrand Piccard and the SIF are seeking to facilitate the emergence of these technologies on the market by advocating for the modernisation of the legislative framework and by publishing guides to accompany political and economic decision-makers in their ecological transition.

Under the terms of the three-year MoU, FIDIC and Solar Impulse Foundation will share knowledge and undertake collaborations across a range of areas including training programmes and SIF Learning Expeditions, advocacy and education, standards, best practices and procurement and work closely together on projects and initiatives to further their shared objectives of facilitating the adoption of innovative, environmentally friendly solutions across the engineering, construction and infrastructure industry.

Commenting on the signing of the MoU, FIDIC CEO Dr Nelson Ogunshakin said: “One of FIDIC’s core values is sustainability and I am delighted that we will be working closely with Solar Impulse Foundation over the next three years collaborating on a range of projects and initiatives that will help to make our industry – and indeed the world – more sustainable.

“The race to net zero and the challenge of climate change are existential issues for all of us and by collaborating with acknowledged experts like Solar Impulse Foundation, we can meet those challenges more effectively and help our industry develop effective and implementable sustainable solutions that really work and can make a real difference.”

Founder of the Solar Impulse Foundation, Bertrand Piccard, said: “Engineers play a pivotal role in procuring cleantech for projects, essential for driving the construction industry towards a cleaner, more efficient future. Let’s empower them to seamlessly integrate innovative solutions into every design. Leveraging the Solar Impulse Foundation’s portfolio of readily implementable solutions, FIDIC and its members gain a powerful ally. Together, we’ll launch educational, inspiring and motivating initiatives to empower the change-makers within our industry.