Formula 1’s push to eliminate carbon emissions from the sport is important for the wider fight against climate change, according to the sport’s Director of Strategy and Business Development Yath Gangakumaran.
Last year, F1 announced its plan to become a carbon neutral sport by 2030 by reducing emissions across its operations, events, logistics and race cars.
F1’s logistics accounts for 45% of its carbon output, while business travel was the second highest factor, responsible for 27.7%.
As the sport is targeting change over the next 10 years, Gangakumaran is hopeful the perception of F1 and sport, in general, will change amid the push to become sustainable.
“It’s important for the whole world to take climate change seriously,” Gangakumaran told the SportsPro podcast. “The next ten years are absolutely critical for us as a planet, as a species.
“For us, it’s not only the right thing to do to make our contribution to the efforts the world is making, but ultimately, it’s good for business. We may not historically have been viewed as the most sustainable of events.
“It’s important for us when we think about the next generation of fans, what our partners want, what we want to stand for in a grand perspective.
“We are front of and centre of the movement to make our sport more sustainable and hopefully the sports industry will be viewed in a better light.”
F1’s carbon footprint assessment last year discovered that the sport emitted 256,551 tonnes of CO2, which it plans to steadily reduce.
Although the F1 cars on the track make up just 0.7% of the total production of CO2, Gangakumaran believes that F1 can have a wider impact on the automotive industry by running efficient, technological engines with sustainable fuel.
“From a car perspective, we’re looking to introduce 100% sustainable fuels that will power Formula 1 cars,” Gangakumaran said.
“The interesting thing is, the cars going around the track is less than 1% of our overall footprint.
“But when people think about F1, they think about the cars themselves. The ‘brainprint’ is a lot bigger there and we think it’s important to tackle it.
“Not just from a perception standpoint, but also, if we can show the world it’s possible to have the most efficient hybrid engines in the world that are fuelled by sustainable fuels, that are then applicable to the wider car industry, then we may potentially have a much bigger impact on the decarbonisation of the automotive industry.”