IndyCar, WRC zoom up rankings
The IndyCar Series and World Rally Championship (WRC) were the big movers in the third edition of the Sustainable Motorsport Index, the annual ranking compiled by Enovation Consulting across 106 global two and four-wheeled championships.
Whilst electric car-racing series Formula E topped the podium for a third time and the sector’s biggest property, Formula 1, was praised as its efforts in stakeholder engagement and partnerships in green activities helped it to secure second place, IndyCar and WRC were singled out for their significant progress.
WRC moved up from 22nd in the previous year’s index to 14th place after earning environmental 3-Star Accreditation from the FIA, motorsport’s governing body. Meanwhile, IndyCar, which switched to 100% renewable race fuel last year, zoomed from 68th spot to 21st.
Encouragingly, the index – which measures sustainability practices against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the ESG framework – found that nine of the championships demonstrated a medium to high-level sustainability performance. Furthermore, 38 of the 58 championships in the bottom tier of the index have “made a start” on their sustainability journey.
An Enovation Consulting spokesperson told Global Sustainable Sport that that there had been “visible improvements in areas such as waste management, efficient use of natural resources, and sustainable innovation such as more sustainable tyre compounds” across the sector.
“However, many could improve within the area of certification,” the spokesperson added. “Gaining a sustainability certification such as an ISO certification or an FIA Environmental Accreditation really highlights the organisation’s commitment to operational sustainability.”
The index ranks championships based on green certifications, accreditations and awards, environmental criteria, social criteria, engagement and partnerships, and approaches to sustainability.
“Gaining a sustainability certification such as an ISO certification or an FIA Environmental Accreditation really highlights the organisation’s commitment to operational sustainability.”
The overriding trends included championships switching to renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, implementing the use of biofuels, and switching to hybrid racing vehicles. As was the case in previous editions of the index, the greatest improvements came in the environmental criteria category, with various championships focusing on waste management and climate change projects.
However, Formula E unsurprisingly retained pole position with a score of 85/100 – some 17 points clear of the nearest challenger.
The index highlighted Formula E’s tangible emissions reductions, comprehensive sustainability strategy and transparent sustainability reporting, as well as “excellent engagement with local communities and host cities to limit the environmental impact of hosting races, and strong environmental accreditations”.
Meanwhile, Formula 1, which ranked second in the index for the third time in a row, scored highly in sustainability reporting and strategy, as well as engagement and partnerships.
“The work they (F1) are doing aligns with their aim to be net zero carbon by 2030, calculating their carbon footprint to identify hotspots and put in pace action plan to reduce their impacts,” the Enovation Consulting spokesperson said. “In all the three editions of the index they made continual improvements, but they still have areas to improve, and we look forward to follow their journey.”
The global nature of the F1 calendar – and the scale of travelling involved – is a “sport-wide problem”, the spokesperson added, whilst highlighting how some industry stakeholders are already mitigating the impact by, for example, adopting regionalised calendars, more efficient transport modes and sustainable aviation fuel.