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Formula E claims first sport to have net zero carbon footprint

21 September 2020

ABB FIA Formula E Championship has become the first sport to have a net zero carbon footprint since inception, investing in internationally certified projects in all race markets to offset emissions from six seasons of electric racing.

Formula E’s announcement was made today during the launch of Climate Week NYC 2020. Following the recommended approach set out by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Formula E has followed three key steps to achieve a net zero carbon footprint: effective measurement of carbon output, prioritising reducing its footprint and offsetting remaining unavoidable emissions.

With a founding purpose to counteract climate change, Formula E’s commitment to deliver better futures through racing drives its ongoing environmental, economic and social sustainability initiatives around the world.

Working closely with Quantis, the leading life cycle assessment and sustainability experts, Formula E has been calculating the overall footprint of the championship since its inaugural season, with a continual focus on lowering emissions.

Its emission reduction measures, including optimising transport and logistics, extending end-of-life options for lithium-ion battery cells and cutting out single-use plastics on site, led to Formula E becoming the first and only racing category to receive third-party ISO 20121 certification for sustainable events.

Unavoidable emissions from the past six seasons have now also been certified as offset through investment in Gold Standard and Verified Carbon Standard UN projects in line with the UNFCCC’s Clean Development Mechanism.

The projects selected are socially sustainable, advance renewable energy production and maximise the environmental benefits of electric cars, building on Formula E’s work to date to deliver positive, tangible legacies in race markets. (For the full list, see below).

Formula E is already thinking about how it can do even more to combat the global climate crisis. As such, on behalf of Formula E, CEO Jamie Reigle signed the UN’s EU 2030 letter released last week. The letter supports the UN’s global Race to Zero campaign for a decarbonised economy that guards against future threats, creates quality employment opportunities and nurtures inclusive, sustainable growth.

List of internationally certified offsetting projects:

– China: biomass energy generation

– Chile: landfill gas energy generation

– Mexico: landfill gas energy generation

– Argentina: wind power energy generation

– Uruguay: wind power energy generation

– USA: landfill gas energy generation

– Malaysia: landfill gas energy generation

– Morocco: wind power energy generation

– Renewable energy certificates in UKGermanyFranceItalySwitzerland and Russia

“ABB FIA Formula E Championship aims to deliver better futures through racing, and we are committed to play a leading role in counteracting the effects of climate change,” said Jamie Reigle, Formula E CEO. “We have actively measured and reduced our emissions since our inception and are proud to have achieved a net zero carbon footprint by offsetting our remaining emissions. We have a responsibility to minimise the environmental impact of our global sport and are pleased to support vital environmental projects in each of our race markets. As a sport built on purpose, we remain committed to grow our sustainable practices and hope to inspire others to join us on our journey.”

“I welcome this important step forward by the ABB FIA Formula E Championship for the environment,” commented FIA president Jean Todt. “Indeed, we are both signatories of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and this is one of the four key pillars of #PurposeDriven, the movement launched by the FIA to increase motorsport and mobility’s contribution to society.”

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