Net Zero Carbon

Formula E - the first sport with certified net zero carbon footprint from inception

The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is the first and only sport to be certified net zero carbon since inception. Discover how we achieved this and why there is still more work to be done.

In September 2020, the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship became the first and only sport to be certified net zero carbon since inception. 

This has been achieved by working hard to reduce our own carbon footprint and then investing in internationally certified projects within our race markets to offset the remaining unavoidable emissions across every single season of electric racing since inception.

As a signatory of, and following the UN Climate Neutral Now initiative, Formula E manages its carbon footprint through a three-step method:

Since its inaugural season, Formula E has worked with carbon footprint experts Quantis to carry out a lifecycle assessment, which is used to monitor and calculate the championship’s carbon footprint.

A lifecycle assessment is a tool used to holistically assess the environmental, social and economic impacts of the entire championship. Formula E has continuously monitored these impacts each season to understand where there are opportunities to make real improvements in operations and planning.

Season 6’s carbon footprint is 20,000 t CO2 -eq and the breakdown is as follows:

There is a 55% reduction from Season 5 due to the impact of the ongoing pandemic and the Season 6 Finale occurring at a single location at Berlin Tempelhof.

Formula E’s Sustainability Programme is based on three pillars; delivering sustainable events, making a meaningful positive impact in each host city, and using our global platform to promote electric cars and the part they’ll play in addressing air pollution.

From optimising transportation and logistics, to extending end-of-life options for lithium-ion battery cells and cutting out single-use plastics on site, the championship’s drive for sustainable practices has led to Formula E becoming the first and only category in motorsport to receive third-party ISO 20121 certification – the international standard for sustainability in events.

“Formula E was created with the primary purpose to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and promote sustainable practice, raising awareness of the benefits to driving electric and how clean mobility can counteract climate change" said Julia Pallé, Sustainability Director at Formula E, on the renewal of ISO 20121 certification for 2020.

"We deliver events with sustainability at the forefront of our mind and the certification shows our commitment to this cause and acts as a reminder of what we have achieved and also our ambition to continue to innovate in this area”.

Some examples of how we have reduced the overall footprint of the series include:

  1. Freight – optimisation of the calendar, having multiple sea-freight sets to cover certain continents, using a multi-modal approach with road/sea/rail prioritised over air where possible, only freighting race-critical items and completing freight inventory audits to understand what can be sourced locally instead.
  2. Suppliers – working directly with suppliers to ensure low impact solutions including sourcing food and beverages locally and integrating sustainability into the construction, operation and content of our dedicated fan zone - the Allianz E-Village.
  3. Transport – we do not provide public parking at our events to encourage the use of public, sustainable and shared transportation. Only race-critical staff travel to the events to reduce unnecessary attendance and we prioritise rail services for our European races.
  4. Waste – removal of single-use plastic bottles on site and the introduction of reusable receptacles and Allianz Hydration Stations to reduce waste produced on site.

Ultimately, the championship's footprint reduction initiatives help ensure that Formula E is able to operate at the lowest possible level of unavoidable emissions. The series has then directed efforts towards offsetting these emissions with sustainable projects that will not only benefit the local economies and societies in our race locations, but also help to bring down global CO2 emissions – making a broader, positive change.

Unavoidable emissions from the past seasons have all been offset through investment exclusively in projects certified according to the strict requirements of the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and/or the Gold Standard (GS), which all follow the regulations outlined in the Kyoto Protocol by the UN Climate Change Secretariat.

We make sure to target our focus on the regions that have hosted Formula E races to maximise the benefits for our host locations, carefully selecting initiatives based on their social and/or ecological contributions. From biogas energy generation in China, to landfill gas energy generation in Mexico and wind power energy generation in Morocco, the impact of these projects reaches far beyond the environmental benefits. Each initiative Formula E has invested in contributes to society through a mixture of local employment, local air quality improvement or infrastructure development. They advance the work of Formula E’s purpose to leave behind a positive legacy in its race host nations and beyond and contribute to our #PositivelyCharged commitment to create better futures through racing.

Formula E has also invested in ‘Guarantees of Origins’ (GO) renewable energy certificates, which are the best way to make a positive impact locally and increase the market momentum for renewable energies in Europe. These certificates prove that a given share of energy was produced from renewable sources, as in Europe, carbon credits do not exist.

Our work to become net zero carbon

Formula E Net Zero Carbon world map

To read more about the certified offsetting projects Formula E has invested in, click on the locations below. All of our projects are located in regional proximity to current and previous races, including many race locations on the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship calendar.

Formula E action

Sustainability report

After each season, we produce a sustainability report that shares our contributions and impact on society, the economy and the environment.

We also highlight our major sustainable achievements and outline our objectives for the next season.

Our reports highlight our commitment to benchmarking and improving on our sustainability performance whilst being honest about the challenges we face in the future.

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