Formula One (F1) has announced a sustainability plan that will see it reduce its carbon footprint to net-zero by 2030.

The announcement comes after a 12 month work period in which the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) collaborated with sustainability experts, F1 teams, promoters, and partners to produce an ambitious but yet achievable carbon reduction project which will cover F1 cars and on-track activity as well as all operations surrounding the sport.

“The actions we are putting in place from today will reduce our carbon footprint and ensure we are net zero carbon by 2030.”

This will not be the first time in which the sport will have been at the forefront of technological innovation following its breakthroughs and advancements that have directly contributed to the automotive industry as a whole – these include developments in safety, energy recovery systems, navigation tools as well as Aerodynamic innovations.

Chase Carey, Chairman, and CEO of F1, stated: “Over its 70-year history, F1 has pioneered numerous technologies and innovations that have positively contributed to society and helped to combat carbon emissions. From groundbreaking aerodynamics to improved brake designs, the progress led by F1 teams has benefited hundreds of millions of cars on the road today.  

“Few people know that the current F1 hybrid power unit is the most efficient in the world, delivering more power using less fuel, and hence CO2, than any other car. We believe F1 can continue to be a leader for the auto industry and work with the energy and automotive sector to deliver the world’s first net zero carbon hybrid internal combustion engine that hugely reduces carbon emissions around the world.

“In launching F1’s first-ever sustainability strategy, we recognise the critical role that all organisations must play in tackling this global issue. By leveraging the immense talent, passion and drive for innovation held by all members of the F1 community, we hope to make a significant positive impact on the environment and communities in which we operate. The actions we are putting in place from today will reduce our carbon footprint and ensure we are net zero carbon by 2030.”

In addition to its 2030 plan, F1 has also announced that by 2025 it aims to ensure that all its events are sustainable meaning it will swap out single-use plastics for sustainable materials and will ensure that all waste is either reused, recycled or composted.

The sport will also provide incentives and tools to every fan who attends the events, offering them a greener way to get to the Grand Prix track and ensuring that facilities not only enhance fan wellbeing but also nature. They also aim to provide opportunities for local people, businesses and causes to get more involved in the action.

Moreover, F1’s plans to eliminate the sport’s carbon footprint stretch out beyond the tracks, with the sustainability plans also including a move to ultra-efficient logistics and travel as well as 100% renewably powered offices, facilities and factories.

Jean Todt, President of the FIA, added: “Our commitment to global environmental protection is crucial. The FIA welcomes this Formula 1 initiative. It is not only very encouraging for the future of motorsport, but it could also have strong benefits for society as a whole. 

“This strategy is in line with initiatives started some years ago by the FIA with the creation of the Environmental Accreditation Programme, more recently with the FIA Environment and Sustainability Commission, and researches on renewable racing fuel. Furthermore, in 2014 we introduced the hybrid power unit in Formula 1, which was essential for the development of motorsport highest category. 

“It is the same reason that led us to maintain this philosophy within the framework of the Formula 1 regulations applicable from 2021. With the involvement of the teams, drivers, F1’s numerous stakeholders, and crucially the millions of fans around the world, the FIA and Formula 1 are committed to driving development and ensuring motorsport grows as a laboratory for environmentally beneficial innovations.”

Due to the ambitious extent of the sustainability plan, F1 will need to work not only with the FIA, but also with all of its partners, promoters, sponsors and the teams to continue building on the work that many of them are already delivering.

With this being said, thanks to its position at the forefront of automotive innovation, F1 has a global platform and the means to accelerate its progress and develop technologies that reduce and eliminate carbon emissions from the current internal combustion engine which can be found in over 1bn of the world’s vehicles.

F1 now has the opportunity not only to reduce its carbon footprint but also global carbon emissions due to the development of its current hybrid power unit which delivers more power by using less fuel. The sport will now begin work on developing the system that could potentially provide an opportunity to deliver a net-zero carbon hybrid power unit through the incorporation of advanced sustainable fuels and energy recovery systems.

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