McLaren goes carbon neutral

2011 F1 season

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The McLaren Technology Centre

McLaren announced it has become the first carbon neutral Formula 1 team.

The team achieved the Carbon Trust Standard 12 months ago and since then has invested in carbon offsetting schemes in India and Brazil – countries chosen, the team says, for their prominence on the F1 calendar.

The team claims this has allowed it to “officially become fully carbon-neutral”.

McLaren has also been recognised by the government’s Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme. In a league table of more than 2000 participating British businesses McLaren was ranked 92nd, being the highest Formula 1 team and car manufacturer on the list.

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.”

2011 F1 season

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Image © McLaren

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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33 comments on “McLaren goes carbon neutral”

  1. So it paid for enough trees to get planted in order to cancel out the polution of flying to exotic locations, to burn lots of petrol as their cars circle tracks around the world?

    I demand an Earth Dreams livery for 2012! :D

    1. I’d say they must have even planted enough trees to offset the gigantic energy use from their CFD clusters and windtunnel!

    2. Ah, they’re not having zero emissions, they’re just planting trees to contrast the carbon dioxide they emit!

      1. It seems they also invested in water engergy projects that fill the bill of being a “clean” carbon-offset

      2. They do better with pedal-powered cars

  2. For as far as I know that flying happens with several teams at once, and won’t count towards every teams individual polution. My guess is that they are mainly refering to polution caused by work at the factory itself (and by component producing companies).

    But what do I know?

    1. The FOTA teams did a study last year (or end of 2009?) to show what carbon footprint they had and agreed to lower it by some 20% at the time.
      Biggest parts were the actual manufacturing of the cars and windtunnel use.

  3. Keith! Headline (netural) :) Sorry:)

    1. ah, yes @keithcollantine ther’s a typo in the headline (“netural” instead of “neutral”)

    2. I feel like an imbecile for not noticing that :'(

      1. Atclualy it’s how hamun bairn wkors. As lnog as the fisrt and lsat lreetts are in the rihgt pacle, it d’onest mttear werhe the oehtr letetrs are pcaled in the word ;)

    3. Changed, thanks.

  4. Interesting to see how McLaren goes about their bussiness there. I think it does perfectly fit with with their philosophy of being clean and methodical in their persuits, not leaving loose ends for future generations.

    1. Agreed.

      I am really pleased to see McLaren leading the way in this respect. Everyone needs to make changes to safeguard the environment and by going carbon neutral McLaren is doing a great thing.

      Their continued work with air traffic control systems at Heathrow and elsewhere will only further prevent unnecessary carbon from entering the atmosphere.

      This kind of diversification will only serve to enhance and sustain F1 in the trying times of the future.

  5. I’m not really into all this global warming rubbish, however, I’m not into waste either. Good news.

    1. This “global warming rubbish” is also called science… just saying ;)

      1. Sort of “science” ok… but an last year ONU report by a commission designated on this subject was unable to bring hard unrefutable evidence about global warming :).

        I’m saying that we should protect and preserve the environment… but, we only have a “weather/ climate” studied scientific for such a short time… and changes are normal to take place on big time frames, the climate evolves like the rest of the Earth… so we don’t really know that it’s normal or not how “mother earth” acts these decades :)

        PS Congrats Mclaren, this is the direction we should all take :)

        1. I think I get what you mean.

          Scientifically we know far to little to give any answers that come even close to certainty. It might make interesting studies for another 100 years or more.

          But its pretty reasonable to see that things are changing and a change would probably be very unpleasant and irreversible, so we better take the caution and act on what we already know is sure not to help the issue and get rid of it.

        2. There is a great series on YouTube called “Climate Denial Crock of the Week”. Basically every single climate denier claim is thoroughly and methodically debunked. The author also provides his sources, links and encourages your own research. I recommend it highly.

          I’m a petrol-head and I’m certainly not jumping on “eco” bandwagon, because most of it is just marketing mumbo-jumbo. However I’m all for genuine initiatives aimed at reducing carbon footprint, both at personal and corporate level.

        3. Only problem is, if everyone just bought carbon credits, said credits would actually become expensive, even more expensive than actually investing in renewables, which all energy users find uneconomic compared to fossil fuels. Go Coal!

          1. Should add that Malasian tree planting credits are usually for planting palm trees, but in order to get the land they clear fell batches of the rainforest, i’m not joking…. Wouldn’t be surprised if the same happened in India and Brazil.

          2. I wouldn’t say that’s a problem though Alex W, in fact, I understand it to be designed to work that way and let market forces do their work in moving towards more sustainable processes.

            Its an easy way and relatively cheap to get to be carbon neutral now, but its going to be expensive on the long run. Thereby making it more viable to invest in other things to make a company sustainable as these will become relatively more worthfull in time.

  6. Sort of nice, but even when all F1 teams do this, the sport will probably still be seen as a polluting dinosaur. It’s what you get for driving around in fast cars, running on fossil fuels.

    And in here we probably all know that football or other events which involve mass transportation, are way more polluting than F1, but that’s possibly ‘too complicated’ – just as it is too complicated to understand that the first Toyota Priusses were actually more polluting than a Hummer (looking at all pollution involved in the whole livespan of the cars).

    To end on a more positive note: let’s hope more teams will follow suit and let’s hope the world notices this.

  7. Well with frozen chunks of global warming falling outside my flat yesterday I’m glad McLaren have taken this monumental step towards saving the planet. A gesture which certainly hasn’t been cancelled out by a new coal fired power plant being built in China this week.

  8. So where is Ferrari & Red Bull on that list?

    1. @wasiF1 Well, Ferrari aren’t a British business so they won’t be.

  9. I would like to know the calculations for the carbon output of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, including the energy to power their facility, build their tools, computers, cars and transportation, including the ground and air transportation to publicity and racing events all over the world, many by carbon heavy air transport and see just how they have “offset” this. I’m skeptical of these offset schemes.

    1. Given the fact they are pretty public about it, you might try and ask them for the reports on it.

      Its based on the Kyoto protocoll and uses methodology that is used for well published and an established standard @warren2185 – have a look at the Carbon Trust Standard if you like

      In their press release on their website McLaren give information on what route they took to achieve it

  10. In other news, Brazil confirm that a small British group have bought the Amazon rainforest.

  11. Still better than nothing. What else can they do? Electric motors in the pits? lol.

  12. I think it unlikely they have done more than offset the emissions from core company activity, which means the electricity use at their business premises, or around 18,000 tonnes CO2. It would be useful for companies making these statements to declare which emissions they are taking responsibility for – the scope is more important than the act and a claim that gives a false impression is probably counter productive, as is clear through the cynicism in some of the comments above.

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