The Principality is fast becoming a model of sustainability, finds Carla Passino
‘The country has adopted an ambitious energy and climate strategy
IT used to be a byword for Formula 1, glitzy balls and glamorous people, but Monaco has now carved itself a new role. The small Principality is a torchbearer for sustainability in Europe. ‘Monaco is a small urbanised territory and it’s not always easy to bring together economic development and environmental protection,’ says Evelyne Genta, the country’s ambassador to the UK. ‘However, Prince Albert has clearly set the enforcement of a policy in favour of sustainable development as a priority.’
In 2006, the Prince launched a foundation to help contain the impact of climate change, support renewable energy, protect biodiversity and conserve water resources. With him as a champion, sustainability quickly gained traction.
The country has adopted an ambitious energy and climate strategy, which sets out to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and overall energy consumption while replacing fossil fuels with renewable sources, such as seawater heat pumps and solar energy. An efficient public-transport system combining hybrid and biodiesel buses with public lifts, electric bicycles and an electric shuttle boat has helped decrease the Mediterranean city-state’s carbon footprint. An electriccar sharing service also encourages the switch to a greener lifestyle.
Many of Monaco’s hotels have also embraced the Prince’s ethos, adopting stringent waste-management measures, sourcing food locally or committing to a scheme that promotes the responsible consumption of seafood.
Lately, developers have also begun upping their sustainability credentials. For example, says Irene Luke of Savills Monaco, La Petite Afrique, a boutique development designed by Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld, uses sustainable wood and features lush greenery on every terrace.
Portier Cove, Monaco’s new 15-acre offshore expansion, is an eco-friendly neighbourhood in which renewable sources will power 40% of all energy needs. ‘There’s also a big piece of land set aside for park use,’ adds Mrs Luke.
Less visible, but equally crucial, is the action taken to preserve the marine environment. With two marine reserves, the Principality has been very successful in protecting biodiversity and is now piloting the use of 3D-printed coral reefs made of dolomite sand to combat coral decline. As Mrs Luke notes: ‘Monaco can’t get everything perfect, because it’s so small—but it’s doing a lot of things right.’
Looking towards the future: although it has a comparatively high population, the Principality wants to make sure its beauty is sustainable