Formula 1 racing began in 1950 and is the world’s most prestigious open-wheel single-seater motor racing competition. Despite the fact that the series is over 50 years old, social and environmental sustainability are still a new agenda in the sport. From an early age, Formula 1 collaborated with aerospace engineers to develop the most innovative technology and car materials to push speed boundaries. It was a Formula 1 team that created the first carbon fiber monocoque chassis in 1981, which made carbon fiber constructions a standard in the motorsport industry to this day.
With the advance in aerodynamic technologies, the sport started to see more drastic crashes. In response to that, safety became an important issue for drivers, teams, track workers and spectators. Since 1970, the sport has been developing safety measurements, and with the unfortunate deaths of the drivers Ayrton Senna (1994) and Jules Bianchi (2014), safety concerns led to the introduction of new features to protect drivers' bodies, such as the head and neck support system (HANS) and the halo.
Formula 1 is a leader regarding utilizing technology and competition to overcome new challenges. Therefore, we are confident that they can find innovative solutions to create a positive social and environmental impact.
tonnes of CO2e
*annual emissions in 2018
In 2019, Formula 1 announced its Sustainability Strategy: a commitment to accelerate technologies that decarbonize the world by 2030 and to leave a legacy of positive change wherever they race by 2025. For the first time, the strategy also featured an estimative of the sport's carbon footprint. In the 2018, the series produced the equivalent to 256,551 tonnes CO2 emissions. Its latest report features its 2020 carbon footprint, 155,104 tonnes CO2e, which is not reflective of the sport in a regular season due to the COVID pandemic.
Formula 1 Sustainability Strategy
Logistics are F1's biggest carbon footprint contributor. This category includes all transportation logistics in the sport, such as the transfer of teams equipment, F1 equipment, Paddock Club equipment, and race tires.
Business travel is in second place. This category applies to all individuals flights and ground transportation, as well as hotels for all members of the F1 teams and workers of event partners.
Facilities and factories include all offices, factories, or facilities owned or run by F1 and/or F1 teams.
Event operations include all event-related impacts, such as broadcasting, support races, Paddock Club operations, circuit energy use, generator use, and team impact at circuit.
Power unit emissions include all emissions resulting from the fuel consumption of the engines across all 10 teams, at all 2018 Grands Prix, and during pre-, mid-, or post-season testing.
From the total emissions, more than 98% fall within Scope 3. According to the series, only 27% are directly controlled by F1, with the remaining 73% driven by the larger F1 community, which includes teams and race promoters. Additionally, F1 also aims to incorporate fan travel emissions in the future.
Formula 1 Annual Emissions
What is F1
Tracking and reporting carbon emissions is an essential step toward creating positive impact. This action allows Formula 1 to redirect its efforts to the areas that need the most improvements. In addition to that, F1 is investing in renewable energy and circular economy.
For instance, all its offices, facilities and factories are now 100% powered by renewable energy. The series aims to use sustainable materials on- and off-track with all waste reused, recycled or composted. Over 1.5 tonnes of unused food in events was donated to charity and, in 2020, all F1 staff polo shirts and accreditation lanyards were made out of recycled plastic bottles.
Furthermore, F1 aims to develop a 100% sustainable fuel by 2026. Though F1 efficient power engine allows the cars to perform with less fuel consumed, resulting in fewer emissions, burning fossil fuels is a global concern. Formula 1 wants to create a sustainable fuel that can be used in motorsport and automotive to accelerate the reduction of GHG emissions.
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