Can a Luxury Car Rally be Genuinely Carbon-Neutral?

We think it can ...

Sometimes the calculations don't make sense. Take an Aston Martin V8 travelling 2000 miles across Europe. Add a selection of Italian sports cars cruising through the Alps. Then press the equals button and get a rally that's carbon neutral.

It's not a probable answer. But it is a possible one.

Discounting the Traditional Approach to Carbon Neutrality

There's no denying the carbon impact of driving around in cool cars. But hey, at least we're all conscious of carbon. That's a hugely positive change over the last 20 years. People want to be carbon neutral. And by purchasing carbon credits, a lot of people can feel better about driving their 4.5-litre guzzler through traffic-clogged cities.

Carbon-neutral status has typically been calculated by purchasing carbon credits. Essentially it means paying for the leftover carbon credits from people with a low carbon footprint. It's like saying “I drive a supercar and somebody else takes the train, so if I buy some of their carbon we're balancing the environment.” It's certainly utopian and the heart is definitely in the right place. But we think it's just a gimmick of statistics and the regulatory environment. Purchasing spare carbon credits doesn't mean any less carbon in the atmosphere.

How to Balance the Carbon Footprint

There are only two ways to reduce carbon levels. Stop producing it. Or start taking it away. Think about a Maserati ascending the serpentine corners of the Gotthard Pass and you should be able to guess the approach we're going for. Rather than park the cool cars back in the garage, our approach is to snaffle the emitted carbon out of the air. Not with an uninvented carbon net. But by planting trees.

It's been achieved before. In 2013, Rally Australia became the first event to achieve the FIA's Carbon Neutral Status. They planted huge forests in the Australian outback, revitalising areas decimated by forest fires.

A Partnership With the PATT Foundation

Plant a Tree Today Foundation (PATT) has been balancing the atmosphere since 2005. The UK and Thai registered charity has planted almost one million trees, reforesting unproductive land in various locations around Thailand. By increasing the percentage of natural forest, they provide a missing part of the carbon jigsaw.

Verve Rally has partnered with PATT and the equation is simple. We calculate our actual carbon footprint. Then we fund PATT to plant all the necessary trees so we can achieve a genuinely carbon-neutral status.

It sounds simple enough. And hey, it is. We balance the carbon that's emitted by planting trees.

For more information on the excellent work of PATT see www.pattfoundation.org/

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