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Formula 1 Announces Plan to Be Carbon Neutral By 2030

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Max Verstappen in Red Bull Racing car
Photo: Shen Liu | Unsplash

Formula 1 has unveiled a detailed plan outlining how it will make the sport carbon neutral by 2030, with short- and long-term goals that will affect everything from the cars’ engines to the logistics of a race weekend.

According to F1, its collective carbon footprint in 2019 amounted to 256,551 metric tons. Air, road, and sea logistics were the biggest contributors at 45 percent, followed by business travel at nearly 28 percent. Next, at just over 19 percent, were the facilities and factories that F1 and its teams operate, while event operations, including support races and the energy used at the track, stood at 7.3 percent.

Incredibly, the emissions produced by the F1 car engines only accounted for 0.7 percent of the sport’s total carbon footprint. Though that should perhaps not come as a surprise, considering that the hyper-advanced hybrid and turbocharged V6 power units used in F1 boast a world-leading 50 percent thermal efficiency.

F1’s plan is divided into two stages. Its first goal is to achieve a “positive race print” by 2025, which will involve using only recyclable or compostable materials at Grand Prix races, and then either re-using, recycling, or composting the waste. F1 will also target healthier food and greater biodiversity at the race tracks, encourage community initiatives, and provide fans with more low- or zero-carbon transport options.

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The big 2030 goal will look to address the emissions produced in all of the areas described above. “The current F1 hybrid power unit, delivering more power using less fuel than any other car, combined with advanced sustainable fuels and energy recovery systems presents a tremendous opportunity to deliver a net-zero carbon hybrid power unit,” F1 said.

As for the remaining 99.3 percent of the emissions, F1 plans to move to “ultra-efficient logistics and travel and 100 percent renewably powered offices, facilities and factories” while also using credible offsets and breakthrough carbon sequestration programs.

“The plan comes after twelve months of intense work with the FIA, sustainability experts, Formula 1 teams, promoters, and partners, resulting in an ambitious, yet achievable delivery plan,” F1 said.

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