A recently published report, Racing towards a sustainable future: a review of the disclosed sustainability performance of international racing circuits, seeks to rank major race circuits in terms of their sustainability credentials.
Enovation Consulting, a member of the British Association for Sustainable Sport, and Right Hub, an Italian sustainability consulting company, compiled the report and in doing so introduced the Sustainable Circuits Index (SCI), part of the pair’s Sustainable Motorsport Index (SMI) family, which reviews the disclosures made by motorsport circuits in relation to their sustainability commitments and practices.
The report is said to offer an important contribution to accelerating the move toward sustainable operations in the motorsport industry, highlighting where circuits are undertaking good sustainability practice and identifying opportunities and areas for improvement across the industry as a whole.
The circuits were assessed by using 21 sustainability performance criteria across seven broad areas: certifications, accreditations, awards, environmental performance, social performance, economic impact, and sustainability approach and engagement, using an ESG (environment, social and governance) framework.
The results showed that, out of the 96 circuits analyzed, 64 fall in the bottom tier, indicating a substantial gap between the leaders and the laggards (at least in terms of disclosure practice). Only one circuit falls in the top category, two in the next tier, four in the intermediary group and 25 in the second-to-last group.
The best performer was Mugello Circuit (top) in Italy, which received a high score thanks to its achievement of ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001 and ISO 20121 certifications, and adherence to the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). It has also obtained the motorsport industry standard 3 Star FIA Environmental Accreditation.
Among other sustainability focused developments, the track uses 100% renewable energy and produces 25% of its annual energy demand on-site using photovoltaic systems installed in the premises. To save on energy, the circuit uses LEDs on the external lighting systems. The circuit also has a rainwater recovery system which is used to operate toilets and for irrigation purposes.
In second place was Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, which again sources 100% of its energy from renewable sources and has also instigated various social initiatives such as reducing food waste.
However, many circuits barely register on the index and the report concluded that for motorsport to remain relevant and sustainable in the long run, circuits must develop long-term ambitious strategic plans between now and 2025 that clearly identify their commitments concerning the sustainable management of their venues and events.
The most successful strategies will involve a diverse set of stakeholders in the process, each bringing a different perspective, including workers, fans, customers, organizers, teams, drivers, sponsors, suppliers and the local community.
The full report can be downloaded here.