Can Carbon Offsetting Help Save Motor Racing?

Sky News took a ride with Paul Glass of Carbon Positive Motorsport to see if carbon offsetting can be part of the solution in reducing motorsport’s carbon footprint. The video they produced is a great introduction to the concept.

In addition to carbon offsetting, this week’s edition of the Sustainable Motorsport Roundup includes an overview of motorsport sustainability initiatives, an exciting Sport & Sustainability Training program that would be perfect for drivers and team owners looking to speak out on sustainable motorsport, a chance to watch the COP27 panel Race Against Climate Change: Accelerating the transition to zero emission mobility, details on fascinating motorsport tech discussions to be held at the upcoming World Motorsport Symposium and much more.

I also present my regular Every Little Bit Counts column which gives you bite-sized morsels of things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint, some exciting information on sustainable sport that you can download and read in The Big Picture, and my regular survey on developments in sustainable transportation in Getting to the Track Sustainably.

All this in this week’s edition of the Sustainable Motorsport Roundup.

Sustainable Motorsport News

Can Carbon Offsetting Help Save Motor Racing?

Sky News Climate Show presenter Tom Heap explores how carbon offsetting is taking motor racing in a new direction with guest Paul Glass of Carbon Positive Motorsport. You can read my interview with Paul who discusses this topic further here.

RTR Sports Marketing looks at Motorsport Sustainability: How racing is getting greener and better. “Whilst there is still some way to go before we can brag about all motorsports being completely green, it is encouraging to see that they are on the right path. It is also interesting to see how they can make motorsport more eco-friendly without compromising the excitement of races. Technical teams will be relishing this challenge as their work will be vital in the race to save the planet.”

Sustainable Motorsport for November 12, 2022

As part of the new FIA President’s Awards scheme created to honor and celebrate the FIA Member Clubs whose commitment brings positive change to the FIA community and society at large, the FIA received 10 applications for the Climate Action category.

The FIA President’s Climate Action Award aims to acknowledge innovative solutions, mitigation measures and bold actions that can help Club members and the wider community to tackle environmental challenges. Apart from the public recognition of the work carried out by FIA Member Clubs, the award is also meant to act as a catalyst for other initiatives around the world, uniting Member Clubs in a collective movement that will spark innovative ideas, inspire the FIA community and change mindsets.

You can read more about the projects and initiatives from the 10 member clubs here.

Are you an athlete, driver or senior exec working in sport? Do you feel confident speaking about sport and sustainability?

Building on years of experience of developing sustainability strategies and educating drivers, athletes, and c-level stakeholders in the motorsport and sport sector, Enovation Consulting has announced their bespoke Sport & Sustainability Training Program. The course will cover a range of sustainability topics across the whole ESG spectrum (Environmental, Social and Governance), including purpose-driven initiatives and green innovation.

For more information, contact

Sustainable Motorsport for November 12, 2022

Last week at COP27 they presented a great sports panel on sustainable motorsport. Race Against Climate Change: Accelerating the transition to zero emission mobility featured an expert panel of leaders from the electric motorsport racing world, including; Envision Racing’s Managing Director Sylvain Filippi; Barbara Silva, FIA Social Responsibility Manager and Formula E’s Sustainability Director Julia Pallé. You can watch a replay of the session here.

Sustainable Motorsport Tech

Sustainable Motorsport 2030

With sustainability, carbon neutrality and future tech being the forefront of this year’s World Motorsport Symposium themes, Pat Symonds, F1 Chief Technical Officer, and Ulrich Baretzky, Former Director, Audi Motorsport Engine Development, Audi AG will be at the helm of these topics across the motorsport industry. They will be covering issues such as ultra-low carbon fuels, Hydrogen, latest electronic technology, carbon neutral motorsport events, as well as the trending future materials across motorsport. The event takes place on December 1st and 2nd 2022 and full details can be found here.

At the Professional Motorsport Expo, Coryton Advanced Fuels debuted their Sustain Racing fuels for motorsport use. Offering the potential for significant CO2 emission savings compared to traditional fossil fuels, Sustain Racing products seek to make an impact on the industry’s net zero initiatives and are already proving popular with some major racing players. The company uses second-generation biofuel derived from agricultural waste to create the fuels, along with e-fuels created using CO2 captured directly from the atmosphere. Coryton has an advanced and dedicated specialist fuels blending facility in Europe, creating over 4,000 unique blends each year for manufacturers including Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Volvo, Renault and Jaguar Land Rover.

This is sure to promote some “healthy” debate. MotorTrend asks the question: Do Great Cars Have to Make Great Sounds? (Spoiler: They Don’t). “I also love a great car, regardless of how it sounds. I recently let my friend and guitar god Misha Mansoor have a go in the canyons in a 1,050-hp Lucid Air Grand Touring Performance. This is a guy who’s usually driving his 991.2 Porsche GT3 Touring or McLaren 765LT Spider up the same road. Misha was blown away. “I can’t believe how this thing drives!” he exclaimed over and over again as the Lucid chewed up and spit out one of the world’s great driving roads. I watched Misha pound on the thing for a solid 15 minutes. “Maybe I should get one of these as a daily driver?” he asked. You know what never came up? The Lucid’s lack of dramatic soundtrack.”

Series News

Sustainable Motorsport for November 12, 2022

The hybrid, electrified future for NASCAR is still very much alive. Talk of hybrid engines in NASCAR started a few years ago as the sport’s Next Gen car underwent development, as did the rumors of an all-electric series, perhaps starting out as exhibition races. “I think we’re taking a really holistic approach across all of our series,” NASCAR chief operating officer Steve O’Donnell said. “It’s not just electrification. We are still moving forward with our existing OEMs to look at putting a car together, how does that look, what is the entertainment value around that, what’s the raceability. Those plans are moving forward. You also have to look at fuels in the future, how is that going to affect things, he said. “You’ve got hydrogen, all kinds of things to look at.”

Blackbook Motorsport have published a great review of the 2022 MotoGP season. It also takes a look at the work the series is doing in their move towards sustainability. “By 2024, fuel in all MotoGP classes will be a minimum of 40 per cent sustainable, before becoming 100 per cent sustainable in 2027. Clearly Repsol had to consider this transition before committing to a long-term deal and will be investing in sustainable fuels as part of its involvement in MotoGP.” You can read it here.

Porsche 99X Electric

Porsche has become the first Formula E manufacturer to unveil its challenger for the championship’s Gen3 era. The all-new Porsche 99X Electric, which features an in-house designed and built powertrain and a fresh livery, is the third such iteration of Porsche’s all-electric cars and will be raced by 2019/20 champion Antonio Felix da Costa and team-mate Pascal Wehrlein.

Meanwhile in India, India E-Prix organizers have issued assurances that the circuit will be ready by the end of November.

GT Association (GTA) Chairman Masaaki Bandoh presented the initial roadmap for the SUPER GT Green Project 2030 last weekend, in a regular press conference held prior to the season finale at Mobility Resort Motegi. The SUPER GT Green Project 2030 is the GTA’s action plan for driving sustainability and environmental stewardship through the end of the decade, aiming to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide throughout the paddock by 50 percent by the year 2030 – while also retaining the full range of sensory experiences, including the sounds of exhaust notes, that have been a part of the racing experience. The GTA will be working alongside the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF)’s Carbon Neutrality Subcomittee to promote the carbon neutralisation of SUPER GT and to establish a method for calculating CO² emissions. Daily Sportscar has all the details.

James Morris in Forbes answers the question, why hasn’t the World Rally Championship gone all-electric?If you look at the environmental impact of most motorsports, hospitality and crew transport are the biggest factors. Fuel usage is a relatively small contribution. So although the electrification of Formula E and Extreme E grabs headlines, the impact this has on consumer choice and technological development is far more important than its direct effects in terms of CO2 emissions. Nevertheless, fuel type selection is important, as it sends a message of intent – a prediction of where series organizers reckon road vehicle drivetrains are headed.”

Sustainable Motorsport for November 12, 2022

Nitro Rallycross driver Andreas Bakkerud explains to RACER what it is like racing the electric FC1-X. “The motorsports industry is in a big change right now,” he continues. “You’re going from zero to electric and saving the planet and blah, blah, blah… It makes sense for me as a Norwegian because we already drive electric cars and the country is very green. Then you come over here to California and you race an electric car with over 1,000 horsepower. It’s kind of odd and new and different, but also very cool. Nitro Rallycross is the right thing for the planet. This FC1-X is going to be the future. Electric cars are going to be the future.”

Every Little Bit Counts

Every Little Bit Counts looks at small steps that you can take to decrease your environmental impact and increase your sustainability.

Here are 10 Steps that you can take to make your closet more climate-conscious.

The Big Picture

In The Big Picture, I look beyond motorsport to see what other sports are doing in their sustainability journey as well as the issue of sustainability generally. Hopefully this will act as a catalyst for change in the motorsport ecosystem as it demonstrates that in many ways, all sport shares some commonalities that can be tackled with achievable, measurable sustainability practices.

Can Carbon Offsetting Help Save Motor Racing?

The 2022 Laureus Sport for Good Index has been released. The report “applauds brands making a positive impact through sport” and highlights 29 brands who are using their partnerships in sport to make a meaningful impact on society. You can download a copy here. SportsPro has a great breakdown of the report here.

Sports Illustrated has a great look at the issue of greenwashing in sports in What on Earth: How Phony Environmentalism Came to Sports. “As many of these experts noted, sports organizations possess unparalleled influence over fans, not to mention considerable leverage over sponsors and business partners. What they say and do matters. Especially when they say one thing and do another.”

Read about the state of sustainability in the sports industry based on self-reported survey data from professional and collegiate teams and venues. The Sustainable Sport Index report also includes best practices, a playbook for getting a venue’s footprint closer to zero, and support for building the business case for sustainability. You can download the report here.

Getting to the Track Sustainably

Getting to the Track Sustainably is my occasional column on developments in sustainable transportation that could have some application to motorsport. Since the majority of carbon emissions come from logistics and transportation, this topic is of utmost importance as motorsport works to make itself more sustainable. Here are some articles you may find of interest.

Sustainable Aviation

Decommissioned Airbus A320 to serve as testing ground for hydrogen in aviation

Sustainable Land Transportation

ieTram EV

Sustainable Shipping

Mark Boudreau
Author: Mark Boudreau

Mark is the publisher of Motorsport Prospects. As a former lawyer, he applies his legal background and research skills to assist race drivers by showcasing the resources they need to make their motorsport careers happen.