How F1 intends to keep turning the screw on becoming ‘Zero-Carbon’


F1 Net Carbon Zero 2030 logo, June 2022.

Formula 1 has reiterated its commitment to being Net-Zero Carbon by 2030, and has updated on how the initiative is proceeding after three years.

In 2019, F1 announced a plan to progress the sport to becoming entirely net carbon zero by the year 2030, with measures in place to gradually reduce and improve the sport’s carbon output.

This week, F1 has shown it hasn’t forgotten about those plans, and has updated on the steps taken to help reduce carbon output right across the entire sport.

The sport’s sustainability strategy applies right across the board, and has challenged teams, broadcasters, suppliers, race promoters, the FIA, and the media to help reduce the sport’s global footprint.

In 2022, the sport introduced a new E10 fuel which has seen the mixture change to a 10% ethanol make-up – ethanol reduces the amount of CO2 emissions from the cars. A key facet of this strategy is still some years away, with F1 targetting the introduction of a 100% sustainable fuel from 2026, to coincide with the introduction of the next-generation hybrid engines.

This fuel is already in production, with support from stakeholders such as the FIA and Aramco, the sport’s existing fuel suppliers, and the teams. Once in use, the fuel is intended to be simple to adopt by road car manufacturers for use across the global motoring industry.

What’s changed since 2019?

In the three years since F1 rolled out its sustainability strategy, quite a few measures have been implemented.

  • Remote broadcasting operations have been introduced, which has resulted in a reduction of F1 freight being sent to races.
  • F1 offices have been transitioned to 100% renewable energy.
  • F1 freight containers have been redesigned in order to be able to be transported on more efficient and modern aircraft.
  • Guidance provided to all race promoters to help with best practices applied for running sustainable events. Key areas such as energy usage and management, plastic and waste recycling, well-being and nature, as well as ensuring strong local transport links to reduce individual fan travel.
  • F1 delivered a fully carbon-neutral broadcast production at the 2021 British Grand Prix, a goal they intend to repeat this year. The lessons learned will be applied for other races outside the United Kingdom.

F1 Net Zero Carbon car, June 2022.
F1 Net Zero Carbon car, June 2022.

What’s next on the agenda?

With eight years remaining on the timeline for F1 to become net carbon zero, further measures will be implemented.

A particularly major one is that of reducing air mileage. To that end, action is being taken.

  • F1 will start working to regionalise the calendar, with the goal of travelling methodically across the world, rather than criss-crossing the globe. Regionalised travel will help streamline freight and logistics, as well as reduce costs. This process will take several years to streamline.
  • Continuing to switch to the most efficient logistics and travel arrangements – whether that be in the air, through sea channels, and across land.
  • Exploring different avenues for carbon reduction measures for fans travelling to Grands Prix.
  • Collaboration with Formula 2 and Formula 3 to trial sustainable fuels.
  • Sharing and publicising the measures taken to reduce carbon emissions, in order to ensure transparency and that everyone involved in the sport is aware of the wider impact and steps being taken to achieve the goal.