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by Schuyler Weiss

Founding Team Member and First Alpian CEO

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It is absent of mind, yet there for every breath. It is weightless in our hands, yet carries our heft. It is without life, yet gives what it hath not for the steps we take. With every step, the air we break. 

Breath, an act mandated to the subconscious for if it required active thought then we would think of nothing else. It is our first act and our last, and it fuels all acts in between. With each inward breath, we introduce air into the body. The air then reacts at the molecular level to create the energy we require to live. But, after observing the circumstance of civilization, it is clear that the very actions that the air enables work against the air itself. And the consequences reach far beyond the composition of our breath.

On August 9, 2021, the United Nations’ International Panel on Climate Change issued its 6thassessment report to address the most advanced physical understanding of the climate system and climate change. At the heart of the report is the impact of human-driven CO2 (carbon dioxide) and CH4 (methane) emissions. As was done to prove that earth is round and not at the centre of the universe, science and statistics were employed to develop findings on global warming that should now be considered fact. Principally, we must recognize that human activity has caused the dramatic increase in emissions of CO2 and CH4, which has led to a shift in the composition of the earth’s air. The elevated levels of CO2 and CH4 in the atmosphere have unequivocally led to heightened temperatures across the atmosphere, ocean, and land. And with these heightened temperatures has come increased variance in the global climate’s behaviour, causing rising sea levels, temperature extremes, and weather aberrations. This variance poses a systemic risk to the future of mankind and our earth.

While alarming, there is hope. The report presents a scenario analysis that demonstrates that the effects of global warming going forward will be largely commensurate with the level of CO2 and CH4 emitted. In other words, the extent of global warming’s impacts is in our hands. By reducing our future emissions and sequestering the emissions previously released, we can ensure that the children of today can recognize and inhabit the earth of tomorrow.

“It is absent of mind, yet there for every breath. It is weightless in our hands, yet carries our heft. It is without life, yet gives what it hath not for the steps we take. With every step, the air we break.”

Alpian and I heed the United Nation’s call in the fight against climate change. We will neither theorize nor speculate. We will neither wait nor stall. We will act swiftly and definitively. Since our founding, climate action has laid at the core of Alpian, and we have taken two paths to become part of the solution.

First, we have committed to operate in a sustainable way by both identifying and measuring our direct emissions as a company and taking the steps required to reduce our footprint. Second, we have woven tangible and meaningful forms of carbon sequestration and emission limitation into the Alpian experience.

But no person or company can do this alone. If we are going to stem and reverse the effects of climate change, then we must act together. And we must act with impact.

Let us come together to bring purpose to each breath. For when we are united, we can advance with effect.

With Regard,

Schuyler Weiss


Disclaimer: Content of this publication is for informational purposes only, you should not construe any such information as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About the author

As the first CEO of Alpian, Schuyler was instrumental in shaping Alpian’s innovative vision and approach to banking. He began his career as a Senior Consultant at IBM where he spent 2 years specialising in the financial services sector. Then, as a Vice President for Morgan Stanley, he worked across several digital and crisis management roles. He later returned to his roots, making the move to Geneva where he was appointed as the Chief Digital Officer at REYL. It was here where the Alpian journey began.

Under his leadership, Alpian achieved significant strides, including the honor of becoming the first digital private bank in Switzerland to receive a license from FINMA. His leadership at Alpian was instrumental in reaching multiple milestones. He resigned as the CEO of Alpian in August 2023 to embark on a new journey in public service in the United States. 

Schuyler is quite the academic, too, boasting an MBA from IMD Business School and a BA in Economics and Mathematics from Colby College. And when he’s not revolutionizing banking, you might find him admiring the latest Tesla models.


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