Last week, the UK enjoyed a nationwide heatwave, with some parts reaching over 35c. Although, the word ‘enjoyed’ is used sparingly as most of us actually complained about it. A few days later, we returned back to consecutive days of rain and most of us complained about that, too. This first-hand example that we in the UK experienced was proof, if needed, that global warming and its effects are being felt by us all.
In 2015 the United Nations (UN) parties finalised The Paris Agreement, “bringing all nations into a common cause to undertake take ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects”, and despite America’s withdrawal 2 years later, the UN maintains that the agreement “charts a new course in the global climate effort”. This initiative bleeds down into companies around the world, large and small, with each looking to implement their own sustainability / green strategy. We as consumers, are well aware that this is partly due a genuine concern for our future but equally, if not more so, to appeal to those of us who are aware and feel passionate about the environment, in the hope that we are now more likely to chose their product over that of a carbon heavy competitor.
For those reasons, many brands now have a Chief Sustainability Officer or some alternative within their ranks and often reporting directly into the top tier of the business, proving the importance of this topic and role within an organisation. Rightly so, as the demand is there and the general population is now more switched on than ever before. Our passion for the cause was recently evident when Sir David Attenborough appeared on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury this year to a raucous cheer from the audience that rivalled any of the mega stars who performed that week. Behind Sir Attenborough, was a montage of clips from his BBC documentary Blue Planet 2 highlighting some of the world’s worst affected areas from pollution and waste. The relevance was clear and the message supported by the upper echelons of the Glastonbury management, who had implemented a ban on single use plastic items for the first time in its history. It’s safe to say, the environment, sustainability and the desire to create a cleaner and greener planet is now etched firmly into popular culture!
Pick 10 brands, visit their website and you will find the majority will somewhere have a mention of their target to becoming more sustainable. Recently, Blackcastle Sport negotiated with an international airline, the aviation industry being one of the world’s worst culprits and operating with a significant carbon footprint. Even they have policies, commitments and a strategy in place to becoming carbon neutral by focussing on fuel efficiency, R&D into creating more sustainable propulsion and a focus on plastic reduction with their hospitality offerings. If an airline can be eco-friendlier, anyone can.
That includes rights holders. They too see the trend in consumer demand for sustainable sport and that brands may be more likely to enter into commercial agreements with sports, federations, leagues, or teams who are going green. Forest Green Rovers have revealed that their new kit for the 19/20 season is made of bamboo. Across the pond, the NFL have included the use of green energy to power signature events and public E-waste recycling events (in partnership with league sponsor Verizon). Swedish giant IKEA has partnered with The World Surf League to produce a specially designed range of surf-centric products, made using recovered ocean-bound plastic where possible. Even the FIA, the governing body for Formula 1, is taking action to promote the adoption of environmental best practice across motoring and motor sport.
However, the standout sport is – you guessed it – Formula E, whose focus and drive to building a more sustainable future is set in the sports very foundations. The world’s first electric street racing series brings renewable energy and the future of mobility to the masses, over 330 million to be precise. Every aspect of the championship is carefully measured to track its impact on the environment, from event freight to food and beverage. Formula E also collect data on their carbon footprint, water footprint, natural resources, ecosystems quality and human health. Further to this and perhaps the most important element of Formula E, is the innovation and technology improvements being made by the automotive manufacturers, significantly speeding up the development of Electric Vehicle (EV) technology. This is felt by the general population, where battery life is longer, cars are becoming more cost efficient and the performance of EV’s is getting close to the level of a petroleum fuelled vehicle. This is the real benefit and one that will be felt generations from now.
By bringing this progressive racing series to major cities around the world it offers brands a very unique way to showcase their personal commitment to a cleaner future, whilst granting the exposure and increased awareness that most brands crave. Something which your Chief Sustainability Officer, your Chief Marketing Officer and your target customer can appreciate.
The use of a Formula E driver as an ambassador, provides brands with a cost-effective entry into a globally supported sustainable sport and, importantly, the ability to use a recognisable face to better tell their own personal mission. Getting burnt is never pleasant, whether that’s by investing in the wrong sport or by lying in the scorching sun for too long. Help avoid both of those by using Blackcastle Sport to partner with race car driver built for the future.