Event organiser AKK Sports Ltd, who has achieved the highest Three-Star level of the FIA Environmental Accreditation Programme, is striving to ensure that in the coming years the Finnish rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship will cause less and less ecological strain to the environment.
Rally Finland is strongly committed to the FIA Institute’s Sustainability Programme, which encourages and helps motorsport stakeholders worldwide to measure and enhance their environmental performance.
An integral part of the FIA programme is the three-level Environmental Accreditation Programme. Rally Finland achieved the highest level, i.e. the Three-Star environmental certificate, in 2017. The highest level of environmental certification is based on several globally recognised criteria and guidelines, such as the sustainability standards applied by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the ISO 14001 standards.
The recognition means continuous high-quality and committed work for the good of the environment, taking into account, among other things, the vehicles being used by the rally organisation, the fuel being used, the quality of the electricity being used, ecological logistics, environmentally friendly material acquisitions as well as increasing the amount of spectator transportation opportunities and organising ecological waste management.
Year-round work for sustainability together with partners and other stakeholders
Environmental sustainability plays an important role in the process of organising Rally Finland, on every sector of the event and among the stakeholders thereof. For their part, the more than 40 national and international partners of the rally are all committed to organising a sustainable event, not only environmentally, but also from the points of view of safety and social responsibility. Special stage organisers, volunteers, media representatives, event guests and other stakeholders alike are all encouraged by concrete actions and instructions into building a more environmentally responsible rally, together.
Every year, the Rally Finland organisation invests a substantial amount of money into keeping the roads used as special stages and liaison sections in good condition, and thanks to all the maintenance work done after the event, the roads are often improved so much that they end up being in a better condition than they were to begin with. When selecting the roads to be used each year, the rally organisation follows a normal rotation cycle – not only with the purpose of maintaining the competitive balance, but also for the good of the roads.
Rally organiser’s carbon footprint still in considerable decline in 2019
The carbon footprint of the event is calculated every year by AFRY (a company with a history as an “Olympic Green Advisor”), and based on these results, the rally organisation acts systematically in order to reduce the footprint and to produce an even more environmentally friendly event. In 2017 – 2018 the total carbon footprint of Rally Finland decreased by 19 per cent, and a further approximately 10 per cent still in 2019. In relative terms, the annual carbon footprint of the rally, produced by event organiser AKK Sports is the same size as the combined annual carbon footprint of four average Finns.
International motorsport, such as the World Rally Championship, acts as a major contributor to future technologies as well as the automotive industry’s safety developments. Passenger car drivers benefit from the World Rally Championship in a very concrete way through e.g. the development of vehicle safety technologies, brakes and extra car lights. Also, several innovations related to the fuel efficiency of modern cars, i.e. a lower carbon footprint, have migrated to production cars from the technology originally developed for motorsport. The introduction of the new-generation Rally1 cars with hybrid technology in 2022 will also be a major step towards greener motorsport and more environmentally friendly technology.