Sponsored by the Energy Saving Trust
The Grand Prix rewards the campaign which, in the opinion of the expert judging panel, best exemplified an outstanding environmental message, and had the greatest capacity to raise awareness amongst the general public. This accolade went to Honda for their launch of the Honda Racing Formula 1 team’s environmental initiative. This campaign featured a striking image of the earth, instead of the usual sponsor logos, on the racing team’s cars. The image itself was composed of pixel-sized names of individual supporters who pledged to make a donation to an environmental charity and make positive lifestyle changes for the benefit of the environment.
Neither the International Green Awards judges, nor Honda themselves, are attempting to claim that Formula 1 is a ‘green’ sport. Indeed, the campaign itself caused some controversy, a point noted by the judges in their assessment. According to Eric Falt of UNEP, chair of the judging panel, the campaign “was the most creative all round, with a multiplicity of messages. It was an imaginative response which really got people thinking, and had many reappraise their relationship with Formula 1.” It was understood that Honda are operating in a difficult market and the resulting controversy was seen as a positive function of such an awareness raising exercise. If one percent of fans who follow Formula 1 were to switch to energy saving light bulbs, according to a Honda spokesperson, the resulting energy savings would mitigate the emissions produced over three seasons by Honda’s racing team.
The International Green Awards Grand-Prix was presented to Honda by Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive of the Energy Saving Trust.