Formula 1 turns to biofuel to cut logistics emissions

Formula 1 has partnered with DHL to implement biofuel as a drop-in replacement for the 18 new trucks that will deliver the Championships this year, transporting goods some 10,600 kilometres across Europe.

The two firms are opting for hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) as a fuel, touting a minimum reduction in carbon emissions of 60% compared to standard fuels.

The next race in Europe will take place in Barcelona this weekend. After the Canadian and Australian Grand Prix events, drivers will then be back in Europe for the British, Hungarian and Belgian Grand Prix events in July.

Formula 1’s head of ESG Ellen Jones called the change in fuel “the next step forward” for the sport’s delivery of its 2030 net-zero target.

She added: “We are a sport which operates on a global scale and DHL plays a critical role in delivering the races and helping us address the logistical impact we have as a World Championship.”

Shortly after setting its net-zero target in late 2019, Formula 1 published its baseline carbon figures, revealing that 45% of its footprint is equivalent to logistics.

In comparison, its event operations plus fuel use by the 10 teams accounted for around 8% of its footprint. Powering the racecars was responsible for less than 1% of the overall footprint.

To help tackle logistics emissions, DHL trucks have been fitted with digital technologies to optimize route efficiency when delivering ‘the race between the race’ for Formula 1.

Formula 1 has also redesigned its freight containers to ensure compatibility with next-generation Boeing aircraft. Improved energy efficiency of these aircraft has resulted in an 18% decrease in air freight emissions for the sport.

As for DHL, the company has a 2050 net-zero target. It has interim targets to accelerate the deployment of biofuelled trucks across Europe through to 2025.

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Comments (1)

  1. Kim Warren says:

    There is no such thing as “sustainable” biofuel. Either [1] the feedstock would have been used for something else, likely burned, and that use will have to be met instead by burning fossil fuels, or [2] the feedstock would have been sequestered, e.g. by composting or ploughing back into the land. Either way, burning the biofuel emits just as much CO2 as would have been emitted by using fossil fuels.
    Please, please stop publishing items claiming biofuels are sustainable.
    … that’s if anyone ever reads these comments?

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