MIPIM September Edition 2021 | impressions

Bertrand Piccard

We basically heard that protection of the environment, the mitigation of climate change will cost a lot of money. It will require a lot of sacrifice. Less mobility, less construction, less growth, less comfort… Of course, people don’t want less, they want better. They want better which means that there was a huge resistance against the protection of the environment. Because it was boring and threatening. Why not completely change the paradigm? Instead of being expensive and boring and threatening, what about saying that protection of the environment can be profitable, exciting, creating a lot of enthusiasm, generating new jobs and being good for economical growth?

In the past, buildings were not well insulated, loosing energy like hell, with inefficient heating, cooling and lighting systems, with old industrial processors, with dirty ways of burn fossil energy to have movement, heat or electricity… Everything we used was invented in the beginning of oil era. A hundred and twenty years ago… If we speak about protection of the environment, it is not a question of reducing the quality of life and lifestyle of people. It’s a question of becoming modern. It’s a question of changing everything that is polluting to replace it by something that is ecological. If this is expensive nobody will do it. But if it is profitable then it’s the biggest market opportunity of the century.

If you buy an electric bus, it’s more expensive in the beginning than the diesel bus. But over 10 years you gain 400.000 dollars. For the construction and real estate, it’s exactly the same type of things. It cost a little bit more in the beginning. It’s about 10% more to have a sustainable building. You can use demolition waste as a way to make concrete. You can have insulation materials, you can have heat pumps. There is even heat pumps for buildings inside the city which was never possible before. All these exist. If you invest, the definition is that you will get money back. It’s not a cost. Everybody believes it’s a cost. No, it’s not. It’s the most profitable way to do to have good business today. But it requires some pioneering spirit.

media partner of MIPIM 2021