Raising the Standards

ISO 20121 Certification

grey and orange logo for the iso20121 certification program

ISO 20121 is the international standard of sustainability for events. ISO 20121 offers holistic guidance and best practise parameters to help us manage our events in a sustainable way, promoting social inclusivity, economic prosperity and environmental protection. Formula E is the first ever motorsport championship to receive this prestigious certification.

Annual monitoring keeps us competitive and committed to challenging “business as usual”. Three specific objectives help keep us on track:

Engaging with our Local Communities: We engage with our local communities in order to build acceptance, consent and support for our events. Our efforts are tailored to each race city to ensure we are meeting the needs of the key stakeholder groups that will be impacted. A great example of an initiative was our activity day in Berlin in 2018 with Dare to Be Different. This involved 100 girls aged 8-12 from 10 local schools plus a handful of refugees who actually lived on site at Tempelhof. They participated in a number of motorsport-themed activities in the areas of fitness, journalism and air quality. We will be rolling out this engagement to a number of different events in Season 5.

group photo of the participants in a formula e activity day

Engaging the Supply Chain: Working towards shared goals together with our suppliers strengthens relationships and reduces emissions. Through constant innovation and testing, we maintain our competitive edge without compromising production or race quality. We are looking to continually improve by using more sustainable products and services from our suppliers.

We engaged with CSM Live, our trackside branding supplier, to test recyclable alternatives for PVC vinyl used at events during season 4. Our goal is to develop an affordable recyclable product with the same performance as PVC. Replacement options include polyurethane and polyolefin. The material also needs to be printed with UV or eco-solvent inks. After testing solutions at two of our season 4 races, we plan to replace PVC with a recyclable material for season 5.

While searching for recyclable alternatives, we also tested a pilot in the New York City E-Prix to repurpose the track branding instead of disposing of it. We worked with CSM, the local team and Clean Vibes (our waste company) to arrange for 2,700m2 of PVC mesh, 3,300 m2 of blackout fabric, 200m3 of PVC fabric and 2,000 m2 of Corex to be shipped to a company called Rewilder in Los Angeles for re-purposing. They will be creating shade canopies for the grandstands for use at our next New York City E-Prix.

trackside branding at a Formula E race

Measuring and Monitoring our Impacts: After each race season, we produce a Sustainability Report which outlines our progress and achievements on a number of environmental and social criteria. Our sustainability reporting now captures social impacts such as donations made per race and the number of charity partners involved with that particular event. For season 5, we hope to extend our scope even further to include economic reporting.

Our Sustainable Development Policy reiterates these three key sustainable development objectives as well as outlining our commitments and purpose as it relates to sustainability.

FIA Environmental Certification Framework

We were the first championship to be awarded FIA’s Achievement of Excellence accreditation, recently renewed with a Three-Star Accreditation. Building on our origins, we continue to use the excellent tools and support offered by FIA’s sustainability body to pave the way.

We monitor and report:

  • Carbon management
  • Energy use
  • Environmental performance
  • Key environmental impacts (e.g. LCA)
  • Communication and management commitments

blue and green logo of the fia environmental certification framework

Alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Efforts to address the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cut across every area of our business practise. Each season, our global championship works in alignment with the global goals. We have identified 7 specific goals where our work makes a clear contribution and aligns with the targets outlined by the UN.

sustainable development logo

  • SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being
    By promoting electric vehicles and shared mobility, we aim to help drive improved air quality in urban areas. This is aligned with Target 3.9 which aims to reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from air pollution and contamination, among other sources.
  • SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
    Both internally at Formula E and as well through the programs we promote, we are working to shift to renewable energy and improve energy efficiency in electric vehicles. Our efforts are aligned with Target 7.2, working to increase the share of renewable energy and Target 7.3, which seeks to improve energy efficiency.
  • SDG 9: Industries, Innovation and Infrastructure
    One of our main objectives at Formula E is to push technological innovation. Our championship acts as a test-bed for electric vehicles and has helped drive innovation as well as influence the development of infrastructure to support EVs. We are aligned with Target 9.4 and 9.5, focused on sustainable infrastructure development and technology development, research and innovation.
  • SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
    Our work promotes shared, connected, clean and electric mobility, which are key elements of sustainable cities of the future. We are aligned with Target 11.6 to improve air quality and Target 11.2, encouraging affordable, sustainable transport systems.
  • SDG 12: Sustainable Consumption and Production
    In our own operations, we are committed to responsible procurement, promoting waste reduction by recycling and reuse of materials, and raising awareness about sustainable choices externally through our public communications and internally to teams, partners and suppliers. Our work is aligned with targets 12.3, 12.5, 12.7 and 12.8 which work toward these goals.
  • SDG 13: Climate Action
    Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing our world today, and transportation contributes to a significant portion of global greenhouse gas emissions. At Formula E, we are dedicated to promoting the transition to clean, electric mobility which will greatly reduce the climate impact of the transportation sector. Our work specifically aligns with Target 13.3 as we raise awareness on climate issues and the importance of reducing our climate impacts.
  • SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals
    At Formula E, we strongly believe in the collective power to drive change. That´s why we partner with many different global and local institutions, NGOs, corporations and communities to promote our shared goal to accelerate climate action. Specifically, we are aligned with Targets 17.7, 17.16 and 17.17 by promoting the development and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies and partnering to drive progress and achievement on the SDGs.