Formula 1 races towards net-zero carbon in 2030
As the pinnacle of motorsport, Formula 1 (F1) has long led the way in automotive innovations both on the track and on public roads. While it might be assumed that vehicles capable of such tremendous power output would be among the thirstiest gas-guzzlers, the current F1 hybrid power unit is the world’s most efficient and enables the cars to generate more power with less fuel, and fewer emissions, than any other vehicle. Not content with having the least environmentally impactful internal combustion engine-based (ICE) vehicles, Formula 1 has announced that it will achieve net-zero carbon emissions across its operations by 2030.
Having conducted extensive planning with the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), motorsport’s governing body, F1 teams, sustainability experts, and promoters and partners from across its supply chain, F1 has affirmed that its plans are realistic as well as ambitious. Along of proliferation of its hybrid power unit, set to be a key component in the transition from ICE vehicles to electric alternatives, the organisation will also totally mitigate its carbon footprint across vehicles, races, track operations and logistics, along with using 100% renewable electricity in offices and factories.
It has also committed to infusing sustainability in each facet of its events by 2025, including the assurance that all waste is reused, recycled or composted, that all single-use plastics will be removed from the equation, and the promise to provide greener options for fans travelling to and from events.
“Over its 70-year history, F1 has pioneered numerous technologies and innovations that have positively contributed to society and helped to combat carbon emissions. From ground-breaking aerodynamics to improved brake designs, the progress led by F1 teams has benefitted hundreds of millions of cars on the road today,” said Chase Carey, Chairman and CEO of F1, in the organisation's press release.
“In launching F1’s first-ever sustainability strategy, we recognise the critical role that all organisations must play in tackling this global issue. By leveraging the immense talent, passion and drive for innovation held by all members of the F1 community, we hope to make a significant positive impact on the environment and communities in which we operate. The actions we are putting in place from today will reduce our carbon footprint and ensure we are net zero carbon by 2030.”
Jean Todt, President of the FIA, added: “Our commitment to global environmental protection is crucial. The FIA welcomes this Formula 1 initiative. It is not only very encouraging for the future of motorsport, but it could also have strong benefits for society as a whole,”
"This strategy is in line with initiatives started some years ago by the FIA with the creation of the Environmental Accreditation Programme, more recently with the FIA Environment and Sustainability Commission, and researches on renewable racing fuel. Furthermore, in 2014 we introduced the hybrid power unit in Formula 1, which was essential for the development of motorsport’s highest category.”
Full details of how it will achieve its ambitious goals have not yet been disclosed, although F1 noted in the press release that they will soon be unveiled on the organisation’s corporate website.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.