Formula E: Net-Zero Strategy of the Year

Formula E took home the Net-Zero Strategy of the Year award at edie’s Net-Zero Awards, showcasing how an industry-leading approach to decarbonisation is pushing the organisation to new heights while engaging sports fans on low-carbon solutions.

Formula E: Net-Zero Strategy of the Year

At a glance: 
Who: Formula E 
What: Net-Zero Strategy 
When: 2020 onwards 
Where: Global 
Why: to decarbonise in line with climate science 

The challenge 

The number of entities with net-zero targets continues to rise, but many studies and research all point to the fact that many are failing to align with the science-based trajectory required to truly deliver ambitious change. 

The solution 

Formula E has stepped forward with a public Net-Zero that is unafraid to strive for ambitious levels of decarbonisation and its set against the most stringent reductions in emissions and judged by outside third parties. 

How the strategy works: 

Formula E has set one of the most ambitious net-zero carbon strategies in the sporting sector, backed up and recognised by multiple industry-leading third parties. The all-electric series was founded in 2014 with a clear mission to accelerate the development of electric vehicles through the power of sport. 

In 2020, the organisation took its biggest stride toward realising this ambition, becoming the first sport in the world to be certified with a net-zero carbon footprint since its inception. It also joined the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), committing to further reducing the championship’s emissions by 45% by 2030, including a 60% reduction of the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across Scopes 1 & 2. 

In aligning with the SBTi, Formula E also became a member of the Race to Zero global campaign to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions and investors for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery. As part of this commitment, Formula E reduces its emissions through innovative partnerships and efficiency in line with the UN’s measures, reductions and offsetting guidelines. 

A key aspect of Formula E’s emissions unsurprisingly come from transport and utilities.  

Formula E achieves an ultra-low carbon footprint by running the majority of its events on purely renewable energy, taken from the grid, utilising hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) powered generators at events and solar energy.  

Formula E, alongside its freight and logistics partner DHL, prioritises the sustainable transport of all freight, cars and equipment to all races. Through using biofuels in sea and road freight, while utilising regional procurement hubs around the world to deliver modular logistics, the championship also ensures that the weight of freight is reduced as much as possible to save on emissions and maximise efficiencies, while the number of teams and event personnel is either capped per team or kept as essential as possible. Formula E also ensures that there is no public parking at events, cutting down the car emissions of fans, while it offsets all the journeys taken by fans to and from events to further reduce the impact of spectators. 

Additionally, since May 2018 and following re-certification in August 2021, Formula E has retained its position as the first and only motorsport series to achieve third-party ISO 2012. Formula E is also the first sports organisation to align with the international standards on contributing to carbon neutrality, PAS 2060. 

Formula E also partnered with the United National Environment Programme (UNEP) and its #BeatAirPollution campaign back in April 2017 which was renewed in April 2020, alongside Formula E driver and UN Environment Clean Air Advocate, Lucas di Grassi. 

The results: 

Within only three years since setting an ambitious target of reducing total carbon emissions by 45% by 2030, Formula E achieved an impressive 24% reduction of absolute Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, despite hosting a record number of races and growing the championship. 

In Season 8 alone (2021-2022) the championship saw a 20% reduction in carbon emissions at 26,000 tons CO2 emitted. 

Since the first race in Season 1, Formula E has offset 209,400 tonnes of CO2 emissions (covering Seasons 1 to 8) through investing in leading gold-standard renewable energy projects in host cities and countries around the world. 

The judges said: 

Formula E has demonstrated its commitment to driving innovation in cutting-edge technologies and delivering carbon neutrality since its inception. Net-zero has been integrated across the entire organisation, through complementing the use of HVO with electric vehicles, engaging with local communities and suppliers and enabling emissions reductions from its fans. Through driving sustainability season-on-season, Formula E is a leader and role model for other sports in accelerating the transition to a net-zero future. 

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