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About us

  1. History
  2. Our values
  3. Governance
  4. Documents

History

In 2013, when the Energy Observer vessel was beginning to take shape, Victorien Erussard was a captain in the merchant navy and a skipper in a series of major offshore races. The urgent need to take action and his desire to build innovative, clean, high-performance boats then took precedence over competition.

He set himself the challenge of building a catamaran, which draws its energy from nature without damaging it, with a view to circumnavigating the globe for 7 years to validate and optimise all the on-board technologies, without emitting any greenhouse gases, fine particles or noise in the process.

Chantier initial d'Energy Observer
Réunion avec le CEA-Liten
Chantier initial d'Energy Observer
Chantier initial d'Energy Observer
Chantier initial d'Energy Observer
Chantier initial d'Energy Observer

In 2017, in collaboration with the CEA-Liten, this ambition took concrete form. Energy Observer was launched with engineers, sailors and directors aboard to film, promote a deeper understanding of the world’s issues and pass on a message. The idea of juggling innovation and raising awareness to actively participate in the energy revolution and the change of mindsets was already in evidence.

It’s the world’s first vessel with zero emissions, zero particles and zero noise to be self-sufficient in energy thanks to a mix of renewable energies (wind, sun, hydraulics) and an on-board system for producing green hydrogen. Essentially, she is a genuine laboratory for ecological and energy transition!

Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others, it’s the only means.

Albert Einstein

The vessel boasts the complete chain, from seawater electrolysis to a Toyota fuel cell that is custom-designed and installed aboard. Energy Observer Developments and Toyota worked closely to integrate cutting-edge fuel cell technology into the boat.

Sun, wind, waves and currents are the vessel’s only fuels. Hydrogen, produced and stored aboard, offsets any intermittence of renewable energies.

We are very proud to support the Energy Observer odyssey as climate change calls for the invention and industrialisation of practical solutions to limit its impact, particularly so in the domain of maritime transportation.

Pierre Blayau,
President of the Caisse Centrale de Réassurance (Central Reinsurance Office)

During its 5-year round the world Odyssey, the vessel covered over 40,000 nautical miles in around thirty countries and made nearly 70 stopovers. Energy Observer hosts multiple demonstrations and events of general interest the world over, including in them organisations specialising in the development of hydrogen and the protection of the planet, as well as major international institutions like the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Unesco.

Relentlessly testing, modifying and optimising to validate the best systems is not the sole aim of the Odyssey. It also enables each and every one of us to “explore a more responsible, more inclusive future, with practical solutions”. The government’s appointment of Victorien Erussard as the Primary French Ambassador for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in 2018, while Energy Observer received the high patronage of the President of the Republic, was the culmination of an entire team’s commitment.

She’s an incredibly innovative and inspiring boat. It’s important to have faith in this transition and to ensure that these sectors are supported through. It’s a challenge, especially so in terms of usage and I’d even go so far as to say sovereignty.

Edouard Philippe,
Mayor of Le Havre (Prime Minister, on 25 August 2017)

That same year, Energy Observer created an endowment fund to fill this ambassador role to the best of its ability and to raise awareness about the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and France’s activity in this field, in line with the Paris Agreement and the government’s commitment to battling the effects of climate change. It’s the start of the Energy Observer Foundation story.

In order to champion our values, we created this endowment fund, a private non-profit-making legal entity.

Besides the fact that it enables a vast amount of reflection by gathering together protagonists who are sensitive to environmental and energy-related activity, the endowment fund receives and manages goods and rights provided free of charge by sponsors, capitalising on them and thus ensuring the funding of our actions and missions of general interest.

Each year, the endowment fund publishes its annual report on the actions realised and it is administered by an Executive Committee comprising three members.

Our values

Four values colour the heart of our individual and collective commitment: boldness, sharing, innovation and humanity.

Boldness

Boldness is the courage to take risks. And this was imperative to believe in Energy Observer. A few years ago, we were still just a handful of people, with a 3D plan and the hull of an old racing boat in a shed in Saint Malo. Today, we’ve covered 40,000 nautical miles using renewable energies and hydrogen with the support of over 60 partners and a team of more than 30 people. Because we believed in it, because we came out of our comfort zone, because we never gave up.

Sharing

A multi-stakeholder partnership lies at the heart of the Energy Observer project to combine our strengths and our skills and increase the range of the message we wish to convey. From drawing up the course of the expedition to the choice of innovation solutions, from the communication strategy to the organisation of events, from scientific research to making documentaries, we really get our sponsors up close and personal with the project. Within our committees, we share our goals our joint aims, as well as the programme for the mission. Reporting changing needs and interacting with all the project’s stakeholders are constant goals.

Innovation

Energy Observer is a scientific, technological and societal challenge, which puts innovation centre stage. We are working on a daily basis to test, validate and make the vessel’s technologies accessible and help to develop them on a grand scale. It is our responsibility to promote responsible innovation in which the need to raise awareness, pass on our know-how and any positive solutions we encounter along the way are an inherent part of our journey of discovery.

Humanity

First and foremost, Energy Observer is about a set of passionate men and women, who are determined to shake things up. The Human being and proximity lie at the heart of any action we and each of our partnerships undertake. Both on land and at sea, in France or on overseas stopovers, we pay constant heed to our partners and our visitors in a spirit of sharing and transparency.

Governance

Conseil d’Administration

  • Victorien Erussard

    Victorien Erussard

    President

  • Brigitte Delanchy

    Administrator

  • Christian Contzen

    Administrator

Team

  • Victorien Erussard

    Victorien Erussard

    President

  • Muriel Guidoni-Deregnaucourt

    General manager

  • Katia Nicolet

    Expert in marine biology

  • Beatrice Cordiano

    Environment, energy and sustainability expert

  • Anaïs Toro-Engel

    Digital manager

  • Gérard Rumen

    Logistics manager

  • Morgane Sevegrand

    Accounting manager

Documents

Annual reports