Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team sets the pace with ambitious sustainability initiatives
In a world increasingly conscious of its environmental impact, sporting franchises are now feeling the pressure to lead by example. The Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team is no exception, with bold initiative unveiled its third annual Sustainability Report. The document underscores the team’s unwavering commitment to forging a sustainable future in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
At the heart of its sustainability endeavors, the team has taken vigorous measures to cut down its carbon emissions. The results are commendable; a 21 percent drop in air travel emissions, translating into a savings of more than 2,600 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Such a significant achievement was facilitated by the team’s innovative venture into Sustainable Aviation Fuel, which positions the team as trailblazers in the realm of professional sports. Furthermore, an external agency has verified the team’s 2022 carbon emissions data, ensuring transparency in the portrayal of their holistic carbon footprint.
Toto Wolff, the Team Principal and CEO, elucidated the team’s approach, noting, “In a rapidly evolving global environment, pursuing performance without considering its wider implications is no longer tenable. Yet, adopting sustainable practices doesn’t mean settling for less. Over the past year, sustainability has emerged as a cornerstone of our operations. We’ve deepened our efforts, understanding both our impact on the environment and our responsibility towards society. For us, stagnation is never an option.”
Among other green initiatives, the team has made impressive strides in waste management. A substantial 98 percent of waste is now redirected from landfills, focusing instead on energy recovery and recycling methods. An emphasis on full electrification led to a significant 13 percent reduction in gas consumption. Moreover, a biofuel freight trial resulted in a staggering 88 percent reduction in emissions. This eco-friendly move is slated for wider application throughout the 2023 European racing season, targeting a further 60 percent cut in emissions.
On the social front, the team is championing diversity through its Accelerate 25 initiative. The program has set an ambitious target to ensure at least 25 percent of new hires come from underrepresented groups by 2025. Encouragingly, recent reports indicate that 37 percent of new recruits in the first half of 2023 belong to these groups. The gender and ethnic representation within the team has also seen growth. The percentage of female team members has risen from 11 percent in 2019 to 16.6 percent in 2023. Simultaneously, members from minority ethnic backgrounds have almost tripled, from 3 percent in 2019 to 8.9 percent as of June 2023.
Hiran Odedra, overseeing Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion, expressed his optimism: “Being a part of a team with such a pronounced commitment to equality and inclusion is truly exhilarating. With the Accelerate 25 program as a beacon, we’ve started embedding inclusivity into our core ethos. Our vision is to foster an environment where every member feels appreciated, valued, and empowered to be their genuine self. As we continue to tap into a diverse talent pool, we are poised for even greater performance heights.”
The team’s governance commitments include the introduction of a fresh Governance, Ethics, and Compliance framework and the launch of a unique Integrity Code, coupled with policies on Human Rights, Environment, and Anti-Bribery, reinforcing the team’s integrity-driven ethos. Several new tools and platforms ensure due diligence and foster transparency in all team operations.
“As we continue to channel investments into sustainable practices, our team remains resolute in approaching this challenge head-on,” Wolff said. “Our aim? Continuously raising the bar, both within our sport and beyond. The immense progress we’ve achieved bolsters our ambitions, but there’s more ground to cover. Our sights are firmly set on rolling out groundbreaking initiatives in 2023 and the years to follow. For us, every race is a journey towards a sustainable future.”
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