The Formula One Teams' Association has revealed that, combined, various members of the F1 paddock managed to reduce their carbon emissions by seven per cent over the past two years.
The reduction was achieved between 2009-11 by teams including Caterham, Lotus, Marussia, Mercedes, Force India, Sauber, McLaren and Williams, and follows an externally-audited exercise to set a target to reduce emissions from a baseline of 2009.
FOTA tracked the teams' performance against the target, and an audit, conducted by established environmental research analysis organisation Trucost, found that fuel efficiency led to a 24 per cent cut in emissions from their race cars. These advances highlight the potential to accelerate carbon reductions across the automotive industry and present further evidence of F1's role in providing an important platform for the development of new technologies.
“By measuring, disclosing and reducing their operational and supply chain carbon emissions, the F1 teams lead international sports federations in the carbon race,” Trucost chief executive Richard Mattison confirmed, “The innovations in fuel efficiency that the teams have achieved are an important development for the sport and the wider automotive industry.”
Turbocharging, fuel injection, variable valve timing and kinetic energy recovery systems [KERS] have all been developed by teams in the top flight, and they will continue to invest in similar technologies to help address resource and environmental challenges.
Trucost's analysis also identified a 14 per cent fall in emissions from electricity use, following team-wide efforts to reduce wind tunnel use in race testing, and a 14 per cent reduction in emissions linked to purchases of parts and raw materials.
Key areas of emissions growth since 2009 were operational fuel use, business travel and freight, which directly resulted from an increase in the number of races in the calendar and distances travelled.
“We are delighted to have achieved such significant reductions in our carbon emissions at such an early stage on our journey,” FOTA chairman and McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh concluded, “With Trucost's assistance, we have implemented robust systems to manage the carbon emissions of the teams and identify areas for further emissions reductions.
“We are delighted that the FIA Institute has launched a global environmental accreditation programme, which underscores the commitment of the sport to taking positive action on sustainability, and we will continue our focus on fuel efficiency and are also investigating opportunities to shift towards more carbon-efficient freight transport modes.”
The sport's globe-trotting begins again in earnest next month, with the first of three pre-season tests in Spain, before the teams head off to Australia for first grand prix of 2013 in early March.