Formula E

How sustainable is Formula E?

The latest innovations in electric vehicle technology, alternative energy solutions and thrilling racing in the heart of some of the most beautiful cities in the world - that's what Formula E is about. Before the most innovative racing series gets under way again in Buenos Aires in mid February, Formula E have published their annual Sustainabiliy Report for season two, in which they show how successful their journey has been so far.

Throughout season two, Formula E reviewed its Life Cycle Assessment, calculating its footprint in all areas of championships activities both in terms of carbon, water, ecosystems quality, natural resources and human health. The footprint from the second season was calculated at 12,000 t CO2-eq, a significant decrease on the season one footprint which was 25,000 t CO2-eq.

This shows an improvement in the quality of  data collection from where Formula E had to overestimate its season one impact. The areas with the most impact were freight, business travel, food and drinks in the eVillage, crew catering and hospitality. The benefit of using this approach is that negative impacts can be pinpointed and become the basis for the decisive tailoring and implementation of sustainable strategies for impact reduction through verified and accurate information.

For all of the emissions which cannot be avoided, Formula E will neutralize impacts through carbon offsetting schemes to become the first championship to achieve carbon neutrality. Using the knowledge and experience gained from the 2016 Visa London ePrix, Formula E will strive to receive third party certification for the entire championship from season four onwards, setting the benchmark for the rest of the motorsport industry.

Formula E's approach to fighting climate change is to think globally and act locally. The vision is to break down the barriers of the electric vehicle market by changing perception of electric vehicles so as to reduce global emissions in the transport sector and improve air quality. A report conducted by Ernst & Young put together a projection of the potential positive global impacts of Formula E over the next 25 years (2015-2040) to help sell an additional 77 million electric vehicles worldwide, save four billion barrels of oil and contribute towards  25 billion euros of healthcare savings.

Renewable energy used at races:

  • Beijing: 25 per cent, thanks to Formula E glycerine generators
  • Putrajaya: Zero per cent, unfortunately, due to logistical reasons
  • Punta del Este: 20 per cent, thanks to Formula E glycerine generators
  • Buenos Aires: 15 per cent
  • Mexico City: 20 per cent, thanks to Formula E glycerine generators
  • Long Beach: 25 per cent, thanks to Formula E glycerine generators
  • Paris: 25 per cent, thanks to Formula E Glycerine Generators
  • Berlin: 20 per cent, thanks to Formula E glycerine generators
  • London: 65 per cent through use of RE60 generators, 15 per cent thanks to Formula E glycerine generators


The eStory - a big success story

DHL, Formula E's Official Logistics Partner, helped to develop a sustainable race calendar and provide fast, efficient and environmentally sustainable shipping services for the championship racing cars, medical cars and recovery trucks, spare parts and equipment. "We do our best each time to transport cargo in the most sustainable way possible, so we will opt for sea or rail whenever time constraints permit," says DHL Head of Motorsport Pier Luigi Ferrari, who is in charge of shipping all Formula E freight from Europe to Asia and then via Africa and South America and Europe back to North America.

Apart from shipping, DHL is also devoted to the research and development of sustainable logistics and takes part in the Formula E Partner's Legacy Program, leading the eStory, for example. The eStory is a research paper led by DHL, which aims to break down the barriers to the electric vehicle market - technology, infrastructure and perception by unlocking the potential for boosting innovation and sustainable mobility, facilitating the mass market adoption of sustainable mobility solutions, bringing these to the attention of major market players and increasing their acceptance through educating people about e-mobility.

On the recent trip to the ice caps of Greenland to raise awareness of global warming, Formula E relied on DHL to establish the most sustainable shipping methods and deploy them in order to keep the footprint of the project as small as possible. Formula E wishes to create awareness of the crucial and pressing issue of melting ice caps. The project includes a stunt by a Formula E racing car on an ice cap in Greenland to act as a metaphor to highlight the importance of the adoption of electric vehicles  to preserve our environment.

The project is not just a world first but also a strong, scientifically backed expedition, acting as a starting point for research and studies. During the trip, a tracking beacon was placed on an iceberg that had broken away from the ice sheet. Formula E has teamed up with Southampton University to advance the understanding of the effect of climate change on ice breaking off from the Arctic ice sheet in an effort to learn more and understand the effects of the melting ice cap and the behavior of these ice sheets in the open ocean.

"Formula E has many reasons to feel proud of the achievements that have been made," says Alejandro Agag, Founder & CEO, Formula E Operations Ltd. "The sustainability report aims to openly outline the fact that we are aware of our environmental impacts as a company, and show that we are going to lengths to ensure the reduction of our footprint where possible. Our environmental policy, and objectives and targets underpin the direction of how we wish to move forward in upcoming seasons, and highlight everything in which we believe will lead us to a sustainable future."



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