F1 Makes Progress Towards Achieving Net Zero Target by 2030
In its ongoing efforts to achieve its 2030 net zero target, F1 has successfully reduced its carbon footprint by 17% during the first two full years of the initiative, covering up to 2021, with the final figures for the last season yet to be determined.
The commitment to reach the 2030 deadline was made in November 2019 after extensive research conducted by F1, in collaboration with stakeholders such as the FIA, teams, and race promoters.
The continuous reduction of emissions is not solely reliant on the introduction of future technologies, but also entails significant changes in the operational practices of the sport.
Ellen Jones, F1’s head of environmental, social, and governance, explained the target of achieving net zero by 2030, stating, “Net zero by 2030 means that we are reducing our emissions by a minimum of 50%. We’re currently in 2023, which leaves us with seven years to accomplish a lot of work. We must utilize the technologies available today.”
“We achieved a 17% reduction in our carbon footprint in 2021 compared to our 2018 baseline, which is fantastic. However, ensuring year-to-year comparability is crucial due to consolidated seasons and changes in our operations. Currently, we are in the process of collecting our 2022 data,” she added.
The introduction of sustainable fuel for the next-generation power unit in 2026 stands as a significant pillar of the program, but the sustainability strategy extends beyond this aspect.
“Our sustainability strategy comprises three key pillars,” Jones explained. “Firstly, we aim to achieve net zero carbon by 2030. Secondly, we strive to host more sustainable events. And thirdly, we are committed to making our sport more diverse and inclusive.”
“When we talk about net zero by 2030, it means cutting our absolute emissions by 50%. It means delivering sustainable fuels by 2026. And it means empowering and engaging the wider sport to take direct action in reducing their carbon footprint,” Jones emphasized.
All 10 teams, race promoters, and F1 logistics are actively exploring ways to make reductions. Some changes can be implemented quickly, such as switching to renewable energy tariffs, a step already taken by F1 and all 10 F1 teams. Other significant changes, like remote broadcast, have altered operational practices, allowing certain activities to be conducted in a centralized location rather than at the track, reducing travel for production staff.
Addressing the carbon footprint, Jones highlighted that freight and personnel travel represent a major area of focus. She stated, “When we analyze the materiality of our carbon footprint, less than 1% is attributed to racing fuel in cars.”
“It is crucial to understand that, when aiming for net zero by 2030, two-thirds of our footprint comes from travel logistics. Therefore, achieving this target requires significant changes in our operations, such as reducing shipping, traveling shorter distances, ensuring lightweight and reviewed travel, and exploring local sourcing options. These actions do not solely rely on technological advancements but rather require a cultural change within each individual in F1, enabling them to comprehend the impact of their decisions on our overall net zero target,” Jones elaborated.
Jones also mentioned the collaborative efforts with logistics partner DHL to reduce emissions, including transitioning from less efficient 747s to more eco-friendly 777s for air freight, as well as adopting a fleet of biofuel-powered trucks.
“When addressing our carbon footprint, three key aspects come into play: the distance traveled, the mode of transportation, and the amount of travel. We must address each of these aspects comprehensively when delivering an F1 World Championship,” Jones explained. “Depending on the specific item, we consider various options, such as sea freight solutions or regional hubs, in addition to adapting the calendar itself.”
Jones emphasized the importance of cooperation among race promoters, urging them to be open to change rather than clinging to traditional dates that may not align with sustainability goals.
“Regarding the calendar, we fully understand the significance of rationalization, a goal that our CEO, Stefano Domenicali, strongly supports. It requires collaboration with our promoters. While calendar dates can be emotionally charged, tied to holidays or long-standing traditions, we need to involve them in our journey towards change. This way, we can host more sustainable events, reduce our carbon footprint, and find a balance among all these variables,” Jones concluded.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about sustainability
What is F1’s net zero target?
F1’s net zero target aims to reduce its carbon emissions by a minimum of 50% by the year 2030.
How much has F1 reduced its carbon footprint so far?
F1 has successfully reduced its carbon footprint by 17% over the first two full years of the initiative up to 2021.
What are the key pillars of F1’s sustainability strategy?
F1’s sustainability strategy is built on three key pillars: achieving net zero carbon by 2030, hosting more sustainable events, and promoting diversity and inclusivity within the sport.
What changes are being made to achieve net zero?
F1 is implementing various changes, including the introduction of sustainable fuels by 2026, operational modifications, such as remote broadcast and reduced travel, and encouraging all stakeholders to take direct action in reducing their carbon footprints.
How does freight and personnel travel impact F1’s carbon footprint?
Freight and personnel travel constitute two-thirds of F1’s carbon footprint. To address this, F1 is exploring options to reduce shipping, travel shorter distances, lightweight and review travel, and consider local sourcing.
How is F1 collaborating with race promoters to achieve sustainability goals?
F1 aims to work collaboratively with race promoters to rationalize the calendar and explore alternative dates that align with sustainability objectives. The goal is to host more sustainable events while finding a balance between tradition and environmental impact.