The Wales Rally GB, the final round in the 2008 World Rally Championship, has announced that it has purchased carbon credits in a Welsh forestry project in the heart of Snowdonia, as part of its commitment to sustainability in the local community.
The Welsh Assembly Government's Heritage Minister, Alun Ffred Jones, joined chief executive of Wales Rally GB, Andrew Coe, at the forestry project Mynydd-Y Garnedd on Monday, to show his support for the work organisers have done to pave the way for a more sustainable future in the world of motorsport.
The CarbonNeutral Company forestry project currently spans 35 hectares, comprising 55,000 saplings including oak, rowan, birch, alder, ash and hazel.
This year, Wales Rally GB made an important environmental statement by becoming the first round of the Championship to offset all of its carbon emissions to achieve CarbonNeutral event status.
To get to this point, Wales Rally GB worked with The CarbonNeutral Company to undergo a comprehensive carbon audit, where all emissions were measured, including the energy used in the office buildings, all participants' energy usage, the travel of officials and marshals, as well as all spectator travel for 2008.
To reach 'net zero' in terms of carbon emissions, Wales Rally GB purchased 4,333 tonnes of carbon credits in three renewable energy schemes. This includes wind turbine projects in Sebanoba, Turkey and Tirunelveli, India and a hydro project in China, which takes power from four rivers.
In addition, Wales Rally GB purchased a further 352 credits in Mynydd-Y-Garnedd forest, which, over the course of the trees' lifetime, will reduce an additional 352 tonnes of CO2.
"I am delighted to show my support for the environmental work Wales Rally GB has done and continues to do, not just for Wales but for the world of motorsport," said Alun Ffred Jones, Heritage Minister, Welsh Assembly Government. "Wales Rally GB has made a number of innovative developments this year and the Welsh Assembly Government is proud to be its title sponsor."
"As part of our decision to offset all of Wales Rally GB's carbon emissions, it was important to us that we invested in a Welsh project," added Andrew Coe, chief executive of event organiser International Motor Sports Ltd.
"On top of the offset programme that The CarbonNeutral Company developed for us, we purchased credits in the Myndd-Y-Garnedd forestry project as we felt it was a great opportunity to go one step above neutralising the emissions from our event.
"I am thankful to the Minister, Alun Ffred Jones, and the Welsh Assembly Government for their support of Wales Rally GB's environmental work to preserve the environment that makes the event what it is."