Aerial view of the McLaren Production Centre (LEFT) and McLaren Technology Centre (RIGHT).
It might sound a strange combination, but the McLaren Formula 1 team is prideful of its environmentally friendly credentials, which were certified when the team became the first motorsport stakeholder in the world to receive the FIA Institute's Environmental Award for the Achievement of Excellence.
“McLaren's award is an important step in the recognition by motorsport of the social responsibility our community must acknowledge if our championships are to remain in tune with the key environmental debates we are all a part of," said FIA President Jean Todt. "The FIA and the FIA Institute are researching the environmental impact of motorsports across all our world championships.”
The award is part of a broader initiative between the FIA and the FIA Institute aimed at evaluating and reducing the environmental impact of motorsport. It is also the highest level attainable within the FIA Institute Sustainability Program, which helps motorsport stakeholders to measure, improve and be recognized for their environmental performance.
Underpinning the Sustainability Program is an environmental accreditation scheme – the Environmental Certification Framework – the first to have been developed specifically for motorsport. It enables sanctioning bodies, teams, circuits, manufacturers, and event organizers to achieve the highest standards in environmental management. Organizations that sign up are rated against three levels of environmental performance, so measuring their achievement and providing a benchmark against which to improve.
Shortly after the scheme was announced, in June 2012, McLaren applied for accreditation and underwent a series of stringent assessments set out by FIA Institute environmental experts. The Formula 1 team achieved the highest level through demonstrating a commitment to continual improvement and impressive environmental awareness throughout the entire organization.
“We're delighted to receive this Award for Excellence from the FIA Institute," said team principal Martin Whitmarsh. "It's great that the sport is encouraging those within it to improve their environmental performance and we are thrilled to be the first to achieve the highest level.”
McLaren's Head of Sustainability, Ian MacDonald, added: “We pride ourselves on our environmental credentials but the FIA Institute assessment really put those to the test. As a result, we have made major changes to further improve the sustainability of the team and the accreditation process has been worthwhile just for that.”
The FIA Institute's Environmental Certification Framework has been developed in partnership with leading environmental consultancy Det Norske Veritas (DNV), as well as the Institute's Sustainability Advisory Panel, composed of environmental experts from across motorsports. The accreditation process itself is led by FIA Institute environmental consultant Even Wiger, who has implemented similar schemes such as IS0 14001 and other environmental certification programs across a range of sectors, including in motorsport in his previous role as Managing Director of Rally Norway.