Sustainability Solutions in Formula E
Since its creation, the FIA Formula E World Championship has had two purposes: to show that electric cars work and that motorsport can and MUST go hand in hand with sustainability. Consequently, being the first and only championship certified net zero carbon since inception, Formula E is concerned with their impact from the treatment to disposal of parts used in the car - mainly the batteries, which are the most challenging item in terms of recycling - to the legacy beyond sport.
Starting with the logistics of the championship, DHL - also responsible for Formula 1 logistics - already proposes zero emissions by 2050. The German company has been investing in changes such as increased deliveries by the rail network in Germany, biofuels for its fleet shipping, and carbon "insetting" within the company. These changes are aimed at decarbonising within the sector of the emissions' origin, in this case, logistics - first seeking to increase by 60% the number of shipments sent in more sustainable ways by 2030 and from there to increase until target date.
Formula E also teamed up with its suppliers and teams to build the cars to extend their lifecycle and ensure that everything could be reused as far as possible or recycled. For example the chassis parts, made of carbon fiber, receive a treatment that transforms them into non woven products such as thermoplastics and fabrics. Generally, the freight mode used to transport the waste back to the FE headquarters in the United Kingdom is by sea and uses biofuels.
As for the batteries, they receive a second life after use. Through the cooperation with Umicore, the recycling of Gen1 batteries opened up and extended end-of-life options and recovered cells with residual energy remaining. Over 95% of metals get extracted through this process and over 60% can be recycled. Regarding the tires, Hankook - a new supplier of tires in the category - uses 25% recycled raw material. Additionally, all used tires are also recycled and transformed into other products.
Regarding sustainability in Formula E events, the category pays attention to five points to ensure that all events are 100% sustainable. They are:
1) Carbon Management
Since its inaugural season, Formula E has worked with Quantis carbon footprint experts to carry out a life cycle assessment (LCA), a framework used to monitor and calculate the championship's carbon footprint. LCA is a tool to assess the environmental, social, and economic impacts holistically and, therefore, used to measure the entire championship impact. Formula E monitors these impacts race-by-race and reports on each season to identify opportunities to make further improvements to operations and planning.
Formula E Overall Emissions Chart
Although the Covid pandemic has impacted the last two seasons, significantly reducing overall emissions, Formula E still substantially reduced overall emissions in season seven compared to season six, despite a significant increase in the number of races and locations.
2) Waste management and recycling
On average, 52% of waste is recycled across all Formula E events. That number rises to 90% for races in the European Union and the US. The Formula E Recycling Rangers work to encourage and educate teams, staff, and spectators on how to minimize waste.
Regarding water and plastic waste, Formula E provides free water and reusable water pouches during races, which would prevent 300,000 330 ml bottles from being transported and discarded after use.
3) Energy management
Formula E aims to achieve a 100% renewable energy target for all events, in line with its energy roadmap, prioritizing high-quality event energy sources, following its RE100 commitment from The Climate Group.
4) Supply chain management
Formula E engages directly with its supply chain to maximize the positive impact the World Championship can have through procurement practices. Sustainability is built into the entire process, from the initial invitation to bidding, through its Sustainable Procurement Policy, to robust on-site assessments and post-race performance reviews to ensure suppliers have and maintain high environmental and social standards.
FIA Girls on Track, Careers Tent at FIA Formula E
In addition to all the efforts within the series, Formula E is vocal in spheres far beyond motorsport. For example, its partnership with UNICEF supports children at the forefront of climate change, as the greatest victims of this crisis are the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children. It also has partnerships with The Climate Group and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, which recognize Formula E as a sports platform that fights against climate change and as an innovative laboratory in sustainable mobility, in addition to working on a local level with the host cities of the races, showing the local communities the potential of electric races. Formula E is also a partner of the FIA Girls on Track initiative, which promotes the inclusion of girls in motorsport beyond the tracks. FE is one of the most transparent motorsports when it comes to its sustainability and inclusion work, with reports and news easily found on the category website.