If asked to guess what the most environmentally sustainable sport on earth is, probably very few people would pick car racing. However, according to the 2022 Global Sustainability Benchmark in Sports (GSBS) annual report, Formula E is the top performer of the past year.
Formula E, founded in 2014, is a single-seater motorsports championship for electric cars, which is a big part of why they are sustainable, obviously — a motorsports league featuring gas-powered cars surely would not have placed high on the GSBS’ list, which included over 300 different sports leagues.
However, the league’s commitment to environmental sustainability goes beyond just the equipment. The league works with an outside company, Quantis, to carefully monitor its carbon pollution and ensure that it removes more of this planet-overheating gas from the air than it puts in.
Those efforts include optimizing transport and logistics for staff, extending end-of-life options for lithium-ion batteries, and doing away with single-use plastics at their events.
Formula E has even gone so far as to intentionally not offer parking at its events, in order to encourage fans to travel to the races via public transportation as opposed to private vehicles.
In fact, according to the league itself, its entire mission from the outset has been centered on promoting sustainability.
“Formula E was created with the primary purpose to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and promote sustainable practice, raising awareness of the benefits to driving electric and how clean mobility can counteract climate change,” Julia Pallé, the company’s Sustainability Director, said.
The league was even the subject of a documentary on both its environmental practices and the excitement of the races themselves that was produced by Hollywood A-Lister and environmental advocate Leonardo DiCaprio. The film, And We Go Green, is currently on Hulu Plus.
Pallé says she hopes Formula E can help inspire a faster transition to widespread adaptation of electric vehicles around the world.
“The reason why we created the championship was not because the world needed another racing series,” she told BlackBook Motorsport. “The world needed a solution to help advance electrification on our streets to fight climate change and improve air quality.”