News & Blog

Read the latest business news, blogs and thought leadership articles from our members, as well as updates on the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce's work in the city.

News & Blog

IGS awarded the “Solar Impulse Efficient Solution” Label

Posted: 14th March 2022

IGS has been awarded the “Solar Impulse Efficient Solution” label, an award for clean and profitable solutions.

To receive the “Solar Impulse Efficient Solution” Label, IGS’ vertical farming technology was thoroughly assessed by a pool of independent experts according to five criteria covering the three main topics: feasibility, environmental and profitability. IGS successfully demonstrated that its solution can create jobs and generate profit while also reducing polluting emissions and preserving natural resources.

The business now joins the #1000solutions challenge, an initiative by the Solar Impulse Foundation to select solutions that meet high standards in profitability and sustainability and present them to decision-makers to fast-track their implementation.

The Solar Impulse Foundation is dedicated to accelerating the implementation of clean and profitable solutions. Moreover, the Foundation is helping decision-makers in businesses and governments to achieve their environmental targets and adopt more ambitious energy policies, which are necessary to pull these solutions to market. A way to carry the success of the first solar-powered flight around the world further.

‍IGS’ technology was assessed across three central themes, with the expert panels providing feedback on the ways in which the vertical farming solution enables growers to meet high standards of profitability and sustainability.

‍Technological feasibility

The experts agreed that IGS’ vertical farming solution can help to avert the global food crisis compounded by the global population growth. The Growth Towers’ modular design allows customers to simply expand at the same location on an industrial scale and also to replicate towers in different places across the globe.

‍Environmental benefits

Designed and built to cultivate produce in a controlled cultivation environment, IGS’ solution can reduce significant carbon emissions compared to mainstream alternatives. There is room to further cut down emissions by optimising its supply chain and logistics.

In addition, land is considered an important resource and the vertical farms reduce the usage of arable land for crop growing and remove the utilisation of pesticides. Another environmental benefit is that vertical farms can recycle rainfall and water in the closed-loop system with only water leaving the solution in the crops themselves.


The experts agreed that the total cost of ownership of the solution is lower (or the same) compared to the mainstream alternative. For instance, considering an open field production, a farmer cannot operate at the same scale economically due to the CAPEX (tractors, sprayers, harvesting rigs etc) and OPEX costs (labour, seeds, fertiliser, herbicides, pesticides, fuel etc). Additionally, with the increase in the demand for organic foods globally and increased land demand, this solution is profitable compared to open traditional farming techniques.

‍About Betrand Piccard, Solar Impulse founder

Born into a family of scientific explorers, Bertrand Piccard made history by completing two round-the-world flights: non-stop in a balloon and more recently without any fuel in the Solar Impulse airplane.

With this last achievement, Bertrand’s goal was to demonstrate how clean technologies and renewable energy can achieve the impossible. As a second phase of his vision, and with the Solar Impulse Foundation, he launched the challenge of selecting 1,000 profitable solutions that protect the environment in order to encourage decision-makers to adopt more ambitious environmental targets and energy policies.

Find out more about the #1000solutions challenge now: Solar Impulse #1000solutions – YouTube

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
Read more here