Sunday December 3, 2023

NASCAR’s First Carbon-Neutral Team

  • The motorsport and auto industries are increasingly focused on going green.
  • Multiple entities in motorsports are making strides to reduce carbon emissions.
Photo: Roush Fenway Racing/Design: Alex Brooks
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Just over a year after his near-fatal crash on the final lap of the 2020 Daytona 500, Ryan Newman is back in his Ford Mustang.

He raced in the Daytona 500 last week, and finished in 20th place in the Daytona Road Course this past Sunday. In the latter race, his No. 6 car — normally green and red — was painted a muted white and gray to commemorate a motorsports achievement.

Newman’s team, Roush Fenway Racing, has become the first carbon-neutral team in NASCAR.

An independent evaluator verified the “PAS 2060” certification, which says the team achieved neutrality over the period of Jan. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2020. The transition is supported by the team’s sponsor, Castrol, which mandated a contract clause for the racing team to reduce carbon emissions.

Roush’s goal to recycle 90% of every race car has been essential for achieving carbon-neutral status. Over the past 10 years, the team has cut energy consumption by switching to LED lighting on its campus, implementing high-tech HVAC systems, and reducing waste by 100 tons. 

Roush isn’t the only entity in motorsports making strides to reduce carbon emissions.

  • In 2019, Formula 1 revealed its plan to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint by 2030.
  • Honda recently announced it would pull out of Formula 1 by the end of 2021 and focus its efforts on a carbon-neutral future.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, Ford said it would invest $1 billion in a German facility solely committed to electric vehicle production.

“Our hope with this [carbon-neutral] program is to demonstrate that every business, small or large, and regardless of industry, can contribute to address global climate challenges,” said Roush president Steve Newmark.

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