Cervo, Beyond Culture, Sustainability

Interview with Dr. Bertrand Piccard


For the third year in a row, the CERVO Mountain Resort in Zermatt welcomes visitors to the annual event series A Love Beyond. Under the motto "An Alpine Momentum", the focus is on inspiration, reflection, encounters and new perspectives.

One of the most famous speakers this year will be Dr Bertrand Piccard. The famous Swiss psychiatrist and member of the Breitling Squad will give a one-hour keynote on Friday, 22.09.2023 from 16:30, focusing on the theme "Pioneering Spirit to Invent the Future".

Read more about Bertrand in the interview.

What drives you to find innovative solutions in the field of sustainability?

My driving force is frustration! I'm frustrated by the way the world is changing; I'm frustrated by the way people are destroying the planet; I'm frustrated by the way everyone insists that everything is impossible. I want to show how we can do better, what solutions might already be available.

What do you think are the most important steps tourism can take to create a more sustainable future?

We need to embrace clean technologies and efficient solutions, because they are much more than ‘ecological’, they are ‘logical’. They create jobs and generate profit, while also reducing CO2 emissions and preserving natural resources. Even if climate change didn’t exist, they would make sense. Clean growth is much better than the dirty status quo we have today. 

An example of the benefit stemming from a labeled implemented  solution in a hotel is SWAC, which stands for Sea Water Air Conditioning. This solution uses oceans’ low temperature to decrease AC energy needs, which for a hotel accounts to approximately up to 40% of total consumption.

What is your biggest motivation and incentive to work for renewable energy and environmental awareness?

If we don't act now, we'll be forced backwards. Never in the history of mankind have we experienced such a high quality of life. If we want to maintain it, and avoid the collapse we all fear, we have to make use of what innovation is already putting at our disposal. And quickly, because soon we won't have the natural resources or food production needed to maintain our current lifestyle. People don't realize that there are solutions that would enable them to protect the environment and develop the economy at the same time.

During your speech at the A Love Beyond event, what message in particular do you want to convey to the guests?

I think the most important message to be conveyed to guests coming to an event like this is: encourage them to question their certainties since our world needs new solutions to improve the quality of human life: clean technologies and renewable energies are among them. There are now solutions available today that can boost economic growth while also protecting the planet. It is now possible to combine ecology and economics. We ALL have the power to act now, both individually and collectively.

What do you think about the concept of 'A Love Beyond' or CERVO Mountain Resort in general?

The CERVO is not just a hotel, it is a lifestyle. It is a melting pot that embraces traditional values and the culture of the Alps, while at the same time offering leeway for modern and international influences. It is a place where guests, staff and locals can interact with each other,  thus contributes to shaping the Zermatt community in its culture, tradition and values and contributes to a mindful awareness.

A LOVE BEYOND IS a gathering in a small, exclusive circle for sustainable growth, creativity, fun and exchange - in dialogue with others and individually.

What other projects or initiatives do you have planned for the future?

I'm working on two big projects today. One is a solar airship, like a Zeppelin, 150 meters long, fully solar, that will be able to drive electric engines and to fly around the world nonstop only on renewable energy with absolutely no fuel. And this will be for the first time because the Breitling Orbiter, although it was nonstop, burnt some fuel, propane.  Solar Impulse had no fuel, but we had to make some stopovers. So the next step that is obvious is to fly nonstop around the world with zero emissions and just renewable energy. And that would be a fantastic journey to speak to schools, to universities, to governments, and promote all those solutions to protect the environment.

The second project, is a hydrogen airplane, for two seater, fully clean, also green hydrogen, and to fly around the world. You will say, I always love to fly around the world, but it's true. I love to fly around the world because it's the ultimate flight you can do. You cannot do more and cannot do better. And if you want to prove the maturity of a new clean and sustainable technology, I think it's the best way to do. So this is what I'm working on.

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