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Formula E: achieving net zero carbon footprint

The ABB FIA Formula E Championship has become the first global sport to be certified with a net zero carbon footprint from inception, investing in certified climate-protecting projects in all race markets to offset emissions from all six seasons of electric racing

Following the recommended approach set out by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Formula E has followed three key steps to achieve carbon neutrality: effective measurement of carbon output, prioritising reducing of the championship footprint and offsetting remaining unavoidable emissions.


Since its inaugural season, Formula E has worked with the carbon footprint experts Quantis to carry out a lifecycle assessment which is used to calculate the championship’s carbon footprint.

A lifecycle assessment is a tool used to holistically assess the environmental, social and economic impacts of the entire championship and Formula E have continuously monitored these impacts over each of our seasons to-date to understand where there are opportunities to make real improvements in our operations and planning.

Formula E’s carbon footprint

Season 1: 25,000 tCO2 equivalent
Season 2: 12,000 tCO2 equivalent
Season 3: 13,500 tCO2 equivalent
Season 4: 32,000 tCO2 equivalent
Season 5: 45,000 tCO2 equivalent

The latest complete dataset, as of Season 5, places Formula E’s CO2 footprint at 72% freight, 14% staff, 6% spectators, 4% food, 4% operations and 1% in the manufacture of our cars – with emissions of 1 tCO2 equivalent to a person’s yearly footprint according to figures outlined in the Paris Agreement, which harbours the central aim of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Consistently across the first five seasons, the largest contributor to CO2 emissions has been from freight and transportation between race locations.

It is estimated that the proportions largely remain true across seasons, with the exception of Season 6, which has been impacted by the on-going pandemic, meaning that half of the campaign was completed in a single location, at Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport. Expansion in emissions between Season 2-5 can be attributed to an increase in the scale of our events and scope of the calendar.


Formula E has built a Sustainability Programme based on three pillars; delivering sustainable events, making a meaningful positive impact in each host city, and using our global platform to promote electric cars and the part they’ll play in addressing air pollution.

From optimising transportation and logistics to extending end-of-life options for lithium-ion battery cells and cutting out single-use plastics on site, the championship’s drive for sustainable practices has led to Formula E becoming the first and only category in racing to receive third-party ISO 20121 certification – the international standard for sustainability in events.

“Formula E was created with the primary purpose to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and promote sustainable practice, raising awareness of the benefits to driving electric and how clean mobility can counteract climate change,” said Julia Palle, Sustainability Director at Formula E, on the renewal of ISO 20121 certification for 2020.

“We deliver events with sustainability at the forefront of our mind and the certification shows our commitment to this cause and acts as a reminder of what we have achieved and also our ambition to continue to innovate in this area.”

Please click here to view the full press release.


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