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Formula One to Cut Emissions 12.4%

Formula One is launching an initiative to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 12.4 percent in three years, according to news reports.

A story on the BBC reported that the plan is the result of an audit of the organization by Trucost, which the business launched in response to pressure from sponsors looking to be associated with a more environmentally friendly product.

Although the Formula One cars themselves only get about five miles a gallon, racing and testing the vehicles only account for about 1 percent of the organization’s emissions, according to the report. Instead, the major emissions sources come from transporting teams and equipment, and electricity use, particularly in the case of wind tunnels. Transportation emissions could be reduced by making the race calendar more efficient, grouping races in different regions of the globe. Parts and raw material costs were also identified as areas of the supply chain where emissions could be reduced.

The Renault team recently announced that its motor home at the British Grand Prix will be outfitted with a solar panel system to help serve the team’s electricity needs during the race. The team is sponsored by Trinasolar.

The chairman of the Formula One Teams Association, Martin Whitmarsh, said the racing body will also have new engine technologies in place by 2013 that will improve vehicle fuel efficiency. The organization is also considering rules that would limit the amount of fuel each vehicle is permitted to consume. A Formula One car typically goes through 160 kg of fuel every race. That number could come down to 80 kg in five years, partly by switching engine design from a 2.4 liter V8 to a 1.5 liter V6 or straight four cylinder configuration.

The racing organization has said in the past that it is interested in becoming a pioneer in fighting climate change. Honda switched from sponsorship promotion on its cars to artwork depicting the planet. NASCAR, meanwhile, has also been highlighting its green efforts while raceways have begun implementing some efficiency technologies.

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