Solar panels and electric cars may not be the first things that come to mind when you think of the luxurious lifestyle of the city-state, but Monaco is leading the way when it comes to a sustainable future in Europe.
To share details of the principality’s new identity, Visit Monaco, in association with Monte-Carlo’s largest hospitality group, Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer (SBM), Monacair and L’Orangerie Liqueur, hosted a Monaco Soirée on Sydney Harbour on the evening of Tuesday 11 September. Just 50 guests were invited aboard superyacht Ghost II for an exclusive cocktail reception with the Monaco delegation of Alice Gentils (Monte-Carlo SBM Director of Sales), Sophie Ducroux (Monte-Carlo SBM Business Development APAC), Hadrien Bourely (Honorary Consul of Monaco – NSW, QLD, NT), Anthony Knox (representative Monte-Carlo SBM for Australia), Alison Roberts-Brown (Visit Monaco Regional Director Australia & NZ) and Lena Froelich (Visit Monaco Regional Manager Australia & NZ).
Monte-Carlo SBM, who, earlier this year, unveiled the ultra-luxurious Princess Grace Suite at Hôtel de Paris, updated the industry on the latest news happening in its portfolio of properties including the 2019 relaunch of the iconic five-star Hôtel de Paris after a four-year multi-million-dollar renovation and the opening of One Monte-Carlo, a brand-new Business Tourism Hub right on Casino Square, scheduled to launch in 2019.
Monaco: On track to carbon neutrality
Visit Monaco recently launched a ‘Green is the New Glam’ campaign driven by the principality’s mission to be carbon neutral by 2050 and promoting Monaco as a destination that is as environmentally conscious as it is glamorous.
Over canapés, champagne and L’Orangerie cocktails, guests learned that it is His Serene Highness (HSH) Prince Albert II who is leading the environmental charge. His charity, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, has funded studies and projects from Africa to Antarctica, with HSH himself taking an active role (a legacy of his great-great-grandfather, Albert I, the ‘Explorer Prince’). In his homeland – the second-smallest nation in the world behind the Vatican at just two square kilometres – small changes are gradually having a big impact.
Already, Monaco’s carbon dioxide emissions are a quarter below 1990 levels and its ambitious target is in sight. Residents eschewing the latest Lamborghini or Ferrari in favour of electric vehicles are rewarded with up to €9,000, and there is a country-wide fleet of Mobee vehicles – all-electric, tandem-seat Renault Twizys – as a car-share system. Waste water is treated and recycled and seawater is used for the cooling towers of major buildings. Monte-Carlo SBM has come on board with dedicated ‘Green Teams’, solar panels installed on rooftops and underground heat pumps, which power the entire central heating and air-conditioning system of the Fairmont Monte-Carlo. Even the emblematic Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix has a green incarnation, the all-electric Formula E Grand Prix. Contrary to trends elsewhere in Europe, green space in the city-state is actually increasing thanks to public and private parkland and Terre de Monaco, a sustainable urban agriculture project led by Swiss ex-model, Jessica Sbaraglia, that sees organic produce grown on the few flat spaces left in the principality. The project even runs the on-site kitchen garden of Monte-Carlo Bay hotel’s Michelin-starred Blue Bay restaurant.
Protection of the oceans has been a Monégasque mission since the creation of the Oceanographic Institute under Albert I. The venerable organisation was headed for three decades by Jacques Cousteau, the French adventurer, marine conservationist and documentarian, and today remains an important base for raising awareness on issues from microalgae bloom to plastic pollution.
The Monaco Tourism Roadshow continued to Melbourne, where guests were treated to a sit-down dinner at Philippe restaurant. Special guest of the night was Professor Tim Flannery, Australia’s leading conservationist and a Foundation Board Member of the Prince Albert II Foundation. At both events, guests got to sample L’Orangerie, an authentic orange liquor from Monaco made from the left-over orange rinds of local restaurants and hotels.
Lead image: The Monaco delegation on board Ghost II in Sydney Harbour (left to right): Lena Froelich (Visit Monaco Regional Manager Australia & NZ), Alison Roberts-Brown (Visit Monaco Regional Director Australia & NZ), Anthony Knox (representative Monte-Carlo SBM for Australia), Hadrien Bourely (Honorary Consul of Monaco – NSW, QLD, NT), Alice Gentils (Monte-Carlo SBM Director of Sales) and Sophie Ducroux (Monte-Carlo SBM Business Development APAC).