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EXPLAINED: What is the F1 Impact Report and why does it matter?

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As Formula 1 provides an important update on the sport’s progress on environmental and social sustainability with the release of its first Impact Report, there’s a lot of good information to unpack within it. Let’s dive in and take a closer look at what it means and why it matters…

What is the F1 Impact Report?

The 2023 Formula 1 Impact Report is a comprehensive document detailing how F1 is successfully delivering its sustainability strategy and diversity and inclusion aims through multiple Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) activities. It includes data on F1’s 2022 carbon footprint that shows the sport is on target to meet the goals set out in its 2019 sustainability strategy.

READ MORE: F1 makes ‘significant progress’ in sustainability as first Impact Report released

Why has F1 issued this report?

F1 has created the report to provide an in-depth summary of the sport’s ESG activities in 2023 and publish the carbon footprint data from the 2022 season. It explains the work Formula 1 and key stakeholders are doing and highlights the sport’s increasing development and delivery in these areas, while enabling the wider F1 community to understand the strategy, how it is being delivered, and how they can take part.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2022 is the first season that is realistically comparable to the 2018 baseline, against which the sport's carbon footprint is being measured in its journey to achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2030.

2023 F1 Impact Report

What is F1’s sustainability strategy?

Formula 1 launched its sustainability strategy in 2019, which set out the following ambitions:

  • To achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2030
  • To leave a legacy of positive change wherever it races
  • To build a more diverse and inclusive sport

To achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2030, F1 committed to an absolute carbon emission cut of at least 50% versus 2018. The sport is prioritising cutting emissions first – targeting travel, logistics and energy use at factories and events – before investing in credible offsetting against emissions beyond its control. That target was set using science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its definition of Net Zero emissions, and follows guidance set by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

READ MORE: How the Australian Grand Prix is boosting reuse and recycling as F1 embraces the circular economy

What steps is F1 taking next on sustainability?

F1’s commitment to becoming Net Zero Carbon by 2030 is a near-term target, aligned with the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) and the need to keep global average temperature rise below 1.5°C. This all means that while the sport is focused on 2030, it will continue to make significant investment and technological developments, as well as undertake new ways of working beyond that.

Key projects in the coming years include:

  • The next generation of F1 operations. After the successful first transition to more remote operations, the second phase will continue to streamline what must travel to each race and how the sport can approach that differently using sea freight and local sourcing.
  • Sustainable Aviation Fuel. Developments here will have a huge impact in tackling the carbon footprint left behind by necessary travel and logistics.
  • Renewable energy at promoter sites. F1’s promoters are well on their way but there is more to do, including scaling up and expanding existing trials. Over 75% of promoters used renewable energy sources to power aspects of their Grands Prix in 2023 too, ranging from trial activations to the entire event, compared to 50% in 2022.
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F1 is inspiring the next generation with education initiatives including STEM events and career insight days

Has F1 reduced its carbon footprint?

Yes. The sport’s carbon footprint reduced by 13% in 2022 compared to 2018. This is a significant step on the way to achieving Net Zero Carbon by 2030.

There is still work to do, and the report sets out the steps being taken to further reduce the footprint and achieve the remaining 37% reduction needed to meet the minimum target of a 50% absolute reduction of emissions by 2030 (with the rest mitigated through credible offsetting). These steps include a focus on the logistics sector that accounts for almost half of the total footprint.

Although the carbon data itself reflects the 2022 season, the report highlights several environmental activities from 2023, as progress in this area gathered pace.

F1 EXPLAINS: The incredible logistics of F1 and how the sport moves more sustainably than ever around the world

How has F1 reduced its carbon footprint?

The combined efforts of Formula 1 and its key stakeholders, including the F1 teams, race promoters and partners, have reduced the sport’s carbon footprint through key developments involving the transition to renewable energy use at Formula 1’s offices and across all F1 team facilities, as well as logistical changes including remote operations and increased sea freight.

Why does the report only have carbon data from 2022?

In addition to Formula 1’s own operations, data from F1 teams, race promoters, and key suppliers needs to be calculated and collected. This data is shared after their reports are finalised, typically around six months after the previous calendar year.

F1 is working with a wide group of stakeholders to accelerate this data collection and is currently working to gather data for the year ending December 2023.

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The wider F1 community is helping implement initiatives to boost circular use of resources within the sport, such as eliminating single-use packaging

Will F1 be Net Zero by 2030?

Yes. Formula 1 is determined to meet that goal. The report shows that a key part of success is motivating the wider sport to act, which, for example, is happening in the transition to renewable energy at F1 teams and events.

There is increasing carbon awareness across the wider sport and its fanbase, and improving data quality and reporting commitments mean F1 can show what carbon action looks like in practice.

READ MORE: Milestone reached as all 10 Formula 1 teams achieve FIA Three-Star Environmental Accreditation

To reach Net Zero by 2030 will require significant work, investment, and further change as the F1 community tackles the most difficult part of the sport’s carbon footprint – travel and logistics. However, as the report details, F1 remains focused on this goal and is supported by the clear actions taken to date.

What does F1 mean by sustainable fuel?

As part of the journey to Net Zero, all Formula 1 teams will have to power their cars with 100% advanced sustainable fuels by 2026.

While the report shows that fuel emissions from the cars on track make up less than 1% of the sport’s overall carbon footprint, sustainable fuel development is one of the biggest opportunities to positively affect the environment and wider society.

Explainer: F1 sustainable fuels

The 100% sustainable fuel will be carbon neutral, meaning the amount of carbon used to produce that fuel will be the same quantity as the carbon emitted from the engine. It will be created from a combination of non-food bio sources, genuine waste sources, or carbon extracted from the air, which will lead to a dramatic reduction in emissions.

In the 2023 season, all cars competing in F1’s junior championships Formula 2 and Formula 3 used a 55% advanced sustainable fuel, in partnership with Aramco. Ultimately, the sustainable fuel developed for use in Formula 1 will be a ‘drop-in’ fuel that can be used in existing road cars without needing to modify them or the delivery infrastructure.

READ MORE: 'It's the next revolution' – Tech chief Pat Symonds explains why Formula 1 is leading the push for sustainable fuels

How is F1 becoming more diverse and inclusive?

Formula 1 launched F1 ACADEMY in 2023 to help develop young female racers and to help female talent forge a career path in motorsport on and off the track. The report details how the series has been designed to create the best possible structure to find and nurture female talent on their journey to the elite levels of motorsport.

Elsewhere, Formula 1 continues to support engineering students through university with the Formula 1 Engineering Scholarship, while inspiring the next generation through STEM days across the United Kingdom in partnership with the FIA and F1 teams.

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F1 ACADEMY was launched in 2023 to help discover and develop young female talent within motorsport

F1 has funded 30 students through its scholarship programme so far, with the first ten students taking up placements at F1 teams throughout 2023. By 2025, there will be 50 fully-funded student placements across the motorsport industry.

The scholarship programme is part of F1’s wider commitment to make motorsport more diverse and accessible, with a vision to increase career opportunities for students from underrepresented groups.

Through a formal diversity and inclusion working group and collaborating with partners such as Lewis Hamilton’s Mission 44, F1 and its promoters around the world continue to deliver inclusive activities to inspire local communities around races.

The full report can be viewed by clicking here.

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