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by Zsolt Szemerszky

Zsolt Szemerszky

Green environment

Green environment

Monaco is committed to supporting the green environment; it is also a highly sustainable country. In order to provide a great example, in June 2006 H.S.H. Prince Albert II established his foundation (Foundation Prince Albert II de Monaco) with the purpose of protecting the environment and encouraging sustainable development. 

Seeing the remarkable efforts of the Prince, many Monaco-based companies are committed to following in the footsteps of this initiation. 

One of the great green technology examples is the Monaco based and award-winning car manufacturer Venturi Automobiles. The company was formed by a Monaco-born billionaire, Gildo Pallanca Pastor who is a pioneering visionary in sustainable mobility and energy efficiency.

Mr. Pastor is a very interesting person and his automotive achievements make him a truly authentic person in this Formula E world. For example, in 1995, he set a new world ice speed record of 296.34 km/h with his Bugatti EB110 Supersport, and in 2015 the FIA EV World land speed record was reached by his company Venturi Automobiles.

He is not just a “petrol head”; In fact, he is not even a fan of petrol. Venturi Automobile creates fully electric automobiles. Mr. Pastor’s company launched the world’s first sports car powered solely by electricity. And this was back in 2004 many years before TESLA. Mr Pastor told me once that “I always believed that in some way that Venturi Automobiles is larger than its products. We are proving that we are are developing things that are innovative and amazing”.

In December 2013, Venturi announced the creation of the Venturi Grand Prix Team. Back then, the team was co-founded with actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Since 2013, the team has shown tremendous foresight in their decisions to create an environmentally friendly racing team. Venturi maintained its role model leadership in sustainable car developments. However, only a few people know that the Sovereign Prince, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, was a great influence and contributor in the realisation of the Formula E series. 

As Mr. Pastor shared with me once in person: “It is not a secret the Prince (Prince Albert II) has contributed to the emergence of this new electric race series. We mutually respect each other. We talked about the possibilities in Formula E and the rest is history”.

I believe everyone who lives in the Principality of Monaco knows the “Pastor” name and the Venturi brand, but not many people might not know the passionate person behind those brands. I am among the very few who had a chance to spend a day with Gildo Pallanca Pastor.

One can say that he is a business man, but in reality, he is much more than that. He is an author, a philanthropist (one of the donors of the Prince Albert II Foundation) and a passionate “petrol head” man who brings alive innovative developments. And as I mentioned before Monaco loves innovative people.

People have the misconception that billionaires are living a loud and eager-for-attention type of life, however, I saw a very humble and down to earth person in Mr. Pastor. A man who is able to transform his passion and visions to reality and who safeguards his human side the entire way. 

During the Berlin Formula E-Prix in Germany, we spent two days together because I was his guest in the Venturi team garage. I arrived in the early morning to the race track, but the Venturi Team was already busy with the preparations. Mr. Pastor toured around school children in the Venturi box and summoned a magical smile on their faces.

The future generation has always been an important part in the philosophy of Venturi, no matter if it is about a sustainable product development or the education of the next generation. Venturi has even recently launched the first academy for electric motorsport drivers, the VENTURI NEXT GEN with the ultimate aim to take budding young drivers to the very top of electric motorsport.

That day was very interesting for me because Mr. Pastor only granted one interview for an Italian magazine due to the fact that they announced Felipe Massa, a former Formula One driver as VENTURI’s new pilot, but no-one else was allowed to talk with him. 

That morning, we decided to be much more casual and sat down at the trackside where we talked about life, health, success, cars, and all the topics that mattered for us. It was a great two days during the E-Prix when it was proven that even abroad the Monaco community still sticks together.

Now back to business advantages Monaco is inspiring and the benefits of a sustainable country for anyone.

For many years now the Government has supported – with financial benefits – those who are ready to drive eco-friendly cars. This is a great ambition from Monaco to improve the living quality and the public health by offering quality air in its surrounding. The encouragement to buy clean vehicles, to create solar energies, and to realise water waste treatments all represent key aspects of a sustainable city. No to mention that Monaco’s green environment and its efforts are attracting millions of people at the global level. 

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