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F1 publishes sustainability gains amid 2030 net zero push

Formula 1 says it has reduced its carbon footprint by 13% between 2018 and 2022 on its quest to halve its emissions before 2030 continues in spite of its growth.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W15 battles with Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-24 at the race start

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

F1's Net Zero by 2030 campaign aims to cut 50% of absolute carbon emissions compared to its 2018 baseline, which encompasses the energy consumption at its facilities, F1's race events and all the travel and logistics in between. It pledges to put a credible offset strategy in place for the rest of its emissions.
While the full suite of data on 2023 is not available yet, F1's latest impact report boasts a 13% cut between 2018 and 2022, while detailing the series' latest initiatives to help achieve that goal.
The logistical aspect of hosting a 24-race calendar means that area has become 49% of its carbon footprint, with several initiatives under way to mitigate the impact of its expansion.
Following the move to more efficient Boeing 777F freighter jets, its logistics partner DHL has switched to a new fleet of 18 trucks powered by drop-in biofuel to reduce emissions across the calendar's nine European races.
Restructuring the overseas calendar is also a key part of further streamlining logistics. And while still a work in progress, moving the Japanese Grand Prix to its new spring date is said to be one of the changes helping to optimise the flow of freight from Australia and China to subsequent rounds.
"The reason that's important is because the calendar reflects our current freight model, which is where the majority of emissions are due to air freight that travels point to point," said Ellen Jones, F1's Head of Energy, Sustainability and Governance.
"When you can reduce those distances, you can reduce your carbon footprint, in addition to the technological innovation that we can then support, such as biofuels and trucks, and sustainable aviation fuel in the future."
Boxes and crates of freight on the pit straight

Boxes and crates of freight on the pit straight

Photo by: John Toscano / Motorsport Images

F1 has further come up with ways to reduce the amount of freight and personnel required at events, instead increasing its remote capabilities.
"The transition to renewable energy both at home and away is really critical for us and is really driven the first 13% in terms of our reductions," said Jones.
"Within the 2022 stats, that's driven a 56% decrease in emissions across factories and facilities. To be accounted in 2023 and beyond, you can also start to see how we're transitioning to renewable energy outside of the UK."
Last year, F1 trialled renewable power generators running on biofuel and solar energy at the Austrian Grand Prix, which it says reduced paddock emissions by 90%. Those findings will be used to power more races in a similar fashion in the future.
It comes amid a push to encourage promoters to make their events more sustainable. Jones says over 75% of race promoters are now incorporating renewable energy at their events, with the remainder expected to jump on board as F1 renews its deal with them.
"The first thing that we did when I started here about two years ago is to update contracts, you need to say what are our expectations to host a Formula 1 event," Jones explained.
"We've had a fantastic response to how we work with our promoters. Not just with energy at event, but a number of critical areas for us, such as local fan travel, all the way through to local community.
"There are minimum delivery clauses that we have in place with our promoters. We have an annual sustainability plan and give feedback on how they're delivering against those areas.
Cycling at Circuit Zandvoort

Cycling at Circuit Zandvoort

Photo by: Tim Biesbrouck / Motorsport.com

"And as we hit the next stage of our sustainability strategy, those minimum standards and contracts post-2025 are getting higher again."
F1 is switching to power units running on sustainable fuels from 2026, although the emissions from its 20-car grid itself account for less than one percent of its total footprint. The move is therefore mainly seen as a way to influence the industry to adopt carbon neutral fuel elsewhere.
As for F1 itself, Jones was confident it is on-track to reach its 50% reduction goal by 2030 once the effect of its most recent suite of initiatives can be measured, although she cautioned F1's gains won't be linear.
"We definitely are on-track to hitting that target goal and the key parts of that are the outcomes of the trials and the work that you can read about in the 2023 report," she added.
"It is the continued uptake of alternative fuels across all parts of our operations, from the car, to the air, to the generators on site.
"It is also that shared impact of bringing others on the journey with us. It's one thing to have all 10 teams having a different solution when they're in the paddock. There are much bigger savings when you have a centralised solution that people can work towards together.
"And then the third piece of that, which is probably has the longest lead time, is what do next generation operations look like?
"One and two are things that you will start to see this year, and you will see them accelerate. Next generation operations will have a longer tail, because there's so much that goes into that technology."
The report also details progress made on diversity, supporting scholarships for students underrepresented groups in STEM subjects. It has also seen an uptake in female participation at grassroots level through F1 Academy's Discover Your Driver karting programme in the UK.

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