The Clarins distribution network, which covers 150 pays, will provide Solar Impulse with numerous opportunities to give the project and its messages worldwide international visibility. The project aims to encourage economy in the use of energy, technological progress towards more efficient use of energy, and in particular the use of renewable energies.
For Bertrand Piccard, president and pilot of Solar Impulse, "Clarins is a family business, sensitive to the quality of life, fair trade and sustainable development. Its humanist values could not fail to travel the same road as Solar Impulse and our ambition to promote renewable energies."
"Faced with the inevitable and deep-seated consequences resulting from climate change and the need to free ourselves from dependence on fossil energies, research and innovation are indispensable", said André Borschberg, CEO and pilot of Solar Impulse. "Clarins in its own sector, and we in aeronautics and the use of solar energy, share the same convictions."
"The values represented by Solar Impulse are part of the genetic make-up of Clarins - research, innovation, respect for mankind and for nature. It is a privilege for our Group to participate in this magnificent human adventure, an augury for the start of the 21st century", said Christian Courtin-Clarins, chairman of the board of the Clarins group.
Created in 1954, Clarins came into being thanks to the enthusiasm of its founder, Jacques Courtin. His ambition was to provide women with solutions to their aesthetic and cosmetic concerns through care products based on plants. His innovative and effective approach laid the foundations for the future progress of the Clarins group, which diversified its activity with the introduction of its makeup range in 1991, followed by fragrances in 1992, and in 2002, a complete masculine range, Clarinsmen.
Today the Clarins group has a turnover in excess of a billion euros. It includes the brands My Blend, Thierry Mugler and Azzaro, has 20 distribution subsidiaries, over 140 agents and makes 85% of its sales on international markets. The group continues to reinforce its positions in the selective cosmetics market, where it is the uncontested leader in beauty care in Europe, and has top positions in perfumery with the classics Angel, Azzaro Pour Homme and Chrome. Recently the group entered the bio care market in partnership with Kibio. Clarins has worked for some years now with the group L’Occitane, through joint ventures and distribution agreements. Clarins has also signed licensing agreements with two other important brands: Porsche Design and David Yurman.
In a world that depends on fossil energies, Solar Impulse is a paradox, almost a provocation: its goal is to create an aircraft that can take off and fly freely, by day and night, using only solar energy for propulsion, with the final aim of making a round-the-world flight using no fuel and with no polluting emissions. The goal will remain unreachable until the frontiers of today's technologies have been pushed back in every direction.
By accepting such a challenge Solar Impulse shows its determination to contribute actively to the development and effective use of renewable energies. The approach is primarily scientific and innovative, and implies extensive research in many domains. The underlying values are philosophical, aiming at sensitising society and encouraging every individual to economise the energy resources of our plan and respect our shared environment.
The first prototype Solar Impulse, the HB-SIA, is currently under construction in Dübendorf, near Zurich. Trial flights will begin in early 2009.
The Solar Impulse project is supported by, among others, the Solvay group, Omega, and Deutsche Bank, who are its principal partners. The Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) is the project's official scientific partner, Altran its technical enegineering partner, and Dassault-Aviation its aircraft design and production consultant.
Phil Mundwiller | Solar Impulse SA
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