Fewer emissions, diesel at the track: Formula E publishes sustainability report for 2022 season
"Racing for a better future" - This is the title of Formula E's sustainability report for the 2022 season. In the report published on Thursday, the electric series presented new data on its impact on the climate and its efforts to act in a socially and economically sustainable manner. Once again, the series improved its carbon footprint, but also confirmed for the first time that it uses diesel for on-track power generation.
The carbon footprint of Formula E has been monitored since the 2014/15 season by the company Quantis. In the 2022 season, the series emitted 33,800 metric tons of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gases, according to company figures, which were fully offset with climate certificate trading and other measures ("net-zero"). In the pre-season 2021, this figure was still 19,600 metric tons.
The CO2e measure makes the climate impact of various emissions comparable, including nitrogen oxides, water vapor, sulfur dioxides or soot particles. One metric ton of methane, for example, is about 25 times more harmful to the climate than one metric ton of CO2. It would consequently correspond to about 25 metric tons of CO2e in Formula E statistics.
In comparison: Formula E emissions since season 1
Fewer emissions per race than in season 5.
The main reason for the higher emissions figures compared with the previous year is likely to be the larger number of overseas races. If in 2021 there were only three events outside Europe, in 2022 there were six events outside the "home continent" of many teams. Reinforcing the effect of the additional races are the frequently criticized travel routes, such as in the second half of the year when cars were shipped from Berlin to London within two months - with stops in Indonesia, Morocco and the U.S..
For Formula E, the figures from its eighth season are nevertheless a success: by 2030, it aims to reduce its emissions by 45 percent compared to Season 5 (2019/20). At that time, the series produced an average of 3,461 metric tons of CO2e per race. By comparison, it was able to reduce this figure by around 25 percent last year (2022: 2,112 tons of CO2e per race).
Once again, freight accounted for a large share of emissions, with air transport leading the way. According to Quantis, 73 percent of all emissions are attributable to the transport of vehicles and pit lane equipment. Business travel by Formula E personnel accounted for 13 percent of emissions, and "race operations" (infrastructure, track construction, energy for charging the vehicles) accounted for seven percent.
Fossil fuels covered one-third of energy needs.
For the first time, Formula E also provided insight into how the energy for its races is generated in a sustainability report. In total, the series required 3,384 MWh of energy for all processes on and off the track during its season (199 MWh per race, including test days). The majority of this was generated from sustainable sources such as hydrogenated vegetable oil.
About one-third of the energy demand, however, was met by fossil fuels such as natural gas or diesel. This demand can be attributed to the Formula E headquarters in London, as well as races in Saudi Arabia, Mexico and South Korea. This is the first time Formula E has officially confirmed the use of diesel generators at selected race tracks. Sustainable energy sources were used at all other races. You can see a complete overview of energy consumption in the table.
Overview: Energy consumption of the 2022 Formula E season
|Lauf||Ort||örtl. Stromnetz (MWh)||Erdgas (MWh)||hydr. Pflanzenöl (Liter)||B100-Biodiesel (Liter)||Diesel (Liter)||GESAMT (Liter)|
|11+12||New York City||12||36.000||36.000|
Focus also on social & economic sustainability
In addition to its focus on ecology, for which Formula E once again won a number of awards in the past season, the championship also placed a focus on social and economic sustainability. For example, more than 600,000 euros were spent on philanthropic causes and local commitments. In the "FIA Girls on Track" initiative, for example, 450 girls took part in workshops on motorsport.
"With the dual goal of using Formula E to benefit people and the planet, we developed new initiatives," said Formula E Sustainability Officer Julia Palle, summing up the past year. "Whether we focus on children, the community, gender diversity, environmental protection or the development of cutting-edge technologies: We are committed to mitigating the effects of climate change and accelerating sustainable progress for all people."
You can download the full sustainability report in English on the official Formula E website.