The FIA has handed the World Rally Championship a three-star accreditation for its approach and “clear commitment” to helping protect the environment.
The work was led by the World Rally Championship Promoter's Sustainability Manager Santiago Pena Gomez – a role he also performs for the FIA's sister World Rally Cross (World RX) Championship.
Recognition of the ongoing steps being taken to minimise the WRC's carbon footprint follows an on-site audit at the promoters' head offices in Munich. This was conducted by an independent FIA-appointed auditor.
Following the Environmental Accreditation Programme inspection, Gomez and his colleagues were deemed to have achieved the highest level of the certification system's three-level framework.
Particular praise was given for the “solidity and implementation of the promoters' environmental management system to address environmental management principles and key impact areas”.
The audit highlighted best practices in the fields of communication through to the development of Beyond Rally as an umbrella platform for sustainability ideas and biodiversity, the FIA said, with “clear commitments and tools to safeguard internationally protected areas of sporting activities”.
In 2016, the World Rally Championship became the first FIA competition to mandate a three-star environmental accreditation for event organisers, with this paving the way for a Carbon Footprint Tool that allows rally organisers to measure the carbon impact their event is very likely to have.
At the start of the 2022 season, an all-new set of rules was introduced to the World Rally Championship that meant Rally1 replaced World Rally Cars.
Built to run on sustainable fuels, the 1.6-litre turbocharged engine in the current top-flight cars from Hyundai, Toyota and M-Sport Ford are joined by an onboard energy recovery system currently made by German firm, Compact Dynamics.
Speaking previously following his appointment to the role of Sustainability Manager, Gomez said he believed “the innovations and technologies trialled in the sport are pivotal to developing sustainability solutions and helping to tackle climate crisis”.