McLaren Mercedes becomes world’s first ever carbon-neutral F1 team

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has today been certified as fully carbon-neutral; in doing so, the team has become the world’s first ever carbon-neutral Formula 1 team.

This has been a long-held ambition for all at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, but the route to achieving carbon-neutral status has been a challenging one.

Last December, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes became the first ever Formula 1 team to achieve the coveted Carbon Trust Standard. This ongoing certification was earned following a three-year audit of our team and our efforts to measure, manage and improve our carbon efficiency.

By implementing a series of efficiency-driven measures within the McLaren Technology Centre, we were able to achieve annual savings of more than 1500 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Additionally, we have invested in extensive training and familiarisation courses for the drivers of our fleet of trucks and transporters – this concentrates on safe and economical driving. Every vehicle is also fitted with monitoring telemetry that also helps us further develop and refine efficient driving techniques.

More recently, we were recognised by the government’s Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme, which publishes a performance league table of more than 2000 participating British businesses: we were ranked 92nd overall.

Most significantly, we were not only the highest-placed Formula 1 team in the scheme, but also the highest-placed automotive manufacturer – a not inconsiderable feat.

However, even the most carbon-efficient business finds it difficult to fully offset its carbon footprint while still engaging in its normal operating procedures. At Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, we’ve implemented a number of state-of-the-art solutions and improved our carbon efficiency by 8.6 per cent as a result. Nevertheless, in order to officially become fully carbon-neutral, we needed to purchase carbon credits in order to wholly offset our carbon footprint.

Therefore, in consultation with Carbon Neutral Investments, an independent carbon offsetting specialist, we set about investigating a number of potential carbon-offsetting schemes – looking to select projects that would prove to be both ideologically relevant to our core business and ethically viable too.

After a long, sustained search, we finally found a pair of initiatives that were a perfect fit: two hydro-electric projects in India and Brazil, chosen for their prominence on the current Formula 1 landscape and also for their employment of technical solutions that bring considerable value to local communities.

Our engagement with and funding of these two projects, in harmony with our ongoing efficiency programmes at the McLaren Technology Centre, have finally enabled us to become carbon-neutral – a source of considerable pride to everyone at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team principal Martin Whitmarsh said:

“I’m both delighted and proud that Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has become the world’s first carbon-neutral Formula 1 team. It’s a considerable achievement: the result of a lot of hard work by a number of extremely dedicated individuals within our organisation, and a testament to our philosophy of continuous improvement within the workplace.

“Vodafone McLaren Mercedes was also the first Formula 1 team to achieve the Carbon Trust Standard for our efforts in improving carbon efficiency.

“Today’s announcement is the strongest possible proof that we’ve gone farther than any other Formula 1 team in becoming more environmentally sympathetic and efficient – an achievement that’s of great importance not only to our entire organisation but also to all our partners too.”