Formula 1

Mercedes F1 Becomes First Team to Invest in Sustainable Aviation Fuel

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Image for Mercedes F1 Becomes First Team to Invest in Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team has announced their commitment to invest in Sustainable Aviation Fuel, becoming the first global sports team to do so, as part of our drive to further reduce our CO2 emissions and our ambition to become SBTi-verified Net Zero by 2030.
 
Mercedes commented “sustainability is at the heart of our operations. As a Formula One team racing on multiple continents, we have worked tirelessly to understand the environmental impact that we have and the role that we can play in driving change. As Formula One operates at the forefront of automotive technology, we have a responsibility to ensure we are at the cutting-edge of innovation in sustainable technologies”.
 

What Is Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is renewable or waste-derived aviation fuel, an emerging technology recognized by the International Civil Aviation Organisation to play a significant role in reducing future international aviation emissions1.

With aviation accounting for over a quarter of our entire projected carbon footprint, the multi-million-dollar investment in SAF will significantly improve Mercedes’s overall environmental impact, with the industry-leading technology further assisting in the journey towards Net Zero.
 
SAF will become a significant component of the team’s sustainability strategy, reflecting their desire to drive the change within Formula One for more sustainable racing.

The purchase of Sustainable Aviation Fuel will be used for their indirect Scope 3 aviation emissions, which are excluded from the Formula One cost cap, such as flights to Grand Prix locations and other business air travel.
 
By purchasing SAF claims, Mercedes will be able to achieve close to a 50% reduction in the race team personnel air travel footprint and will continue to offset the remaining aviation carbon emissions with Gold Standard offsets whilst they work with the industry to scale SAF availability.
 
While current SAF production and availability are limited, the opportunity is immense. Mercedes hopes that using their powerful global platform to support the development and growth of the SAF market will showcase SAF’s potential and prove to other industries how great an impact it can have. Through their commitment, Mercedes hope to encourage others to do the same, driving further investment in SAF production.

What Mercedes Say

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO of the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team said: “Sustainable Aviation Fuel has the potential to transform the way we travel and the impact that we have on the environment. This is a topic that I think about a great deal personally as well as professionally. I fly a lot; the team flies a lot. If we must fly, then we need to find a better way to do so and SAF is the best solution available to the aviation industry right now. We aim to be on the cutting edge of change, using our global motorsport platform as a model for a more sustainable and diversified future.”
 
Alice Ashpitel, Sustainability & Environmental Manager at the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team commented: “Our aim is to embed sustainability in every decision we make and action we take. We believe that Sustainable Aviation Fuel can change the way that sports and businesses more generally, as some of the biggest users of aviation, can exert a positive influence on the outside world. We hope to play a leading role in showcasing what’s possible with SAF and prove to other industries what can be achieved.”

Key Sustainability Milestones

  • Mercedes operations have been carbon neutral since 2020, using Gold Standard carbon offsets provided by MyClimate, supporting wind and solar projects in Turkey and the Dominican Republic.
  • Having achieved a 98% reduction in Scope 1 & 2 footprints between 2018 and 2021.
  • Their 50% emissions reduction target in Scope 1, 2 and partial Scope 3 (by 2022 from 2018 baseline) has been exceeded. We achieved a 58% emissions reduction by 2021.
  • The first public sustainability report was published in August 2021 including our CO2 footprint details.
  • Achieved and maintained externally verified certifications: ISO14001, FIA 3*Accreditation.
  • First sports team to commit to setting a Science Based Target and SBTi Net Zero Standard in November 2021.

Image Credits Mercedes AMG

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James Rees is host of ReesTalks Podcast and a Football, F1 and MMA writer, who strives to bring you the best content aswel as bringing you interviews with some of the sports top stars.