Indy 500 Continues To Set Industry-Leading Pace on Environmental Impact
Firestone To Introduce New Race Tire with Sustainable Natural Rubber at Indy 500 Carb Day
Penske Entertainment announced a robust and innovative lineup of environmental impact initiatives this afternoon, aiming to dramatically reduce the carbon footprint for this year’s Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge and significantly boost sustainability efforts within the sport of INDYCAR. These steps are the latest and most comprehensive elements of a long-term strategy for the organization that has been developed over the last two years.
The announcements made today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway DEX Imaging Media Center coincided with wider efforts across the nation and globe to celebrate Earth Day on Friday, April 22. They were unveiled in partnership with Firestone, Shell and additional corporate partners, which have worked with IMS and INDYCAR on a comprehensive sustainability strategy for the venue and sport.
“This will be the most sustainable Indy 500 in our 100-plus year history,” Penske Entertainment Corp. President & CEO Mark Miles said. “Moreover, through excellent coordination and teamwork with partners who are true innovators in this field, we’re moving INDYCAR toward industry leadership when it comes to environmental awareness and impact.”
Month of May – Fueling Progress & Building Toward a Greener Future
Longtime series partner and tire supplier Firestone will play a key role in efforts surrounding the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and throughout the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. Firestone is a trailblazer in the charge for alternative and renewable sources of natural rubber and will debut a new and eco-friendly tire this May.
The Firestone Firehawk guayule race tire will be used for the first-time during Miller Lite Carb Day’s INDYCAR Pit Stop Challenge and will make its competition debut as the alternate race tire in August at the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix. It is partially composed of a new sustainable natural rubber derived from the guayule shrub, which requires less reharvesting than traditional sources of rubber.
“It will take partnership and collaboration to combat the impacts of global climate change, and we are proud to partner with Penske, INDYCAR and IMS to advance the future of sustainable mobility,” said Nizar Trigui, chief technology officer and group president, Solutions Businesses, Bridgestone Americas, Inc. “The introduction of guayule natural rubber to America’s preeminent open-wheel racing series speaks to the confidence we have in the technology and its promise as a scalable, sustainable and domestic raw material.”
Firestone, IMS, the state of Indiana and veteran motorsports partner Shell also announced today that all race tires being supplied for Indy 500 practice, qualifications and Race Day will be delivered to the “Racing Capital of the World” from their Central Indiana warehouse using the Freightliner eCascadia from Penske Truck Leasing’s fleet of electric vehicles. To assist with the effort, a 150kW, high-power electric charger is being installed on the IMS grounds, in coordination with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and Shell Recharge Solutions. The EV charging station is manufactured by BTC Power (Broadband TelCom Power, Inc.).
“We’re working every day to make sure Indiana is a leader when it comes to renewable energy solutions,” Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb said. “I can’t think of a better way to show our commitment to cleaner energy than by putting it on display during the largest sporting event in the world.”
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway also will take significant steps toward cleaner energy consumption and a lowered carbon footprint across the Month of May. Like in 2021, all electricity consumed throughout the facility in May will continue being purchased via 100 percent renewable energy credits.
In addition, IMS has teamed up with Shell and climate technology company CHOOOSE on the implementation of a new customer program that allows fans to offset their travel footprint through a nominal contribution to the GreenTrees reforestation project. IMS also will offset its entire operational carbon footprint during the Month of May through its contributions to GreenTrees, a vital effort that restores natural habitats in more than 1 million acres across seven states in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley.
“At Shell, we aim to provide more and cleaner energy solutions in a responsible manner – in a way that balances short- and long-term interests,” explained Dani Silva, Shell vice president of Enterprise Accounts. “We are very pleased to be a part of Penske Entertainment Corp.’s efforts in increasing the sustainability of motorsports and the off-track potential it also enables.”
Other initiatives of note during the Month of May include:
- Increased waste diversion efforts throughout the facility with expanded recycling and food recovery programs.
- Legends, the official IMS retail partner, will open a fully sustainable store inside an electric truck. All items sold in the truck will be reusable or designed from recycled plastic bottles.
Last year, the Indy 500 was certified at the Silver level by the Council for Responsible Sport after achieving 37 social and environmental standards of good practice. The venue implemented facility upgrades to increase both energy and water-use efficiency, calculated a robust greenhouse gas emissions inventory and enhanced its “Bike to the 500” program. IMS is working toward becoming the first sports facility in the world to become a Responsible Sport Certified venue.
INDYCAR’s Sustainable Path Forward
Alongside work with Firestone on expanded use of the guayule natural rubber, INDYCAR also announced today that starting with the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear in June, all 26 NTT INDYCAR SERIES cars will be transported by trucks that are fueled by renewable diesel, which significantly reduces travel-related emissions.
“The NTT INDYCAR SERIES and its partners are continually evaluating ways to lower our footprint and create a more sustainable future,” said INDYCAR President Jay Frye. “We’re looking forward to using renewable diesel in our transporters beginning in June and expect to have several more important initiatives to unveil in the near future.”
This year’s Indianapolis 500 at the world-famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway takes place on Sunday, May 29 on NBC, Telemundo Deportes on Universo and the INDYCAR Radio Network. The schedule for the 17-race NTT INDYCAR SERIES season can be found here and is available to fans to watch across NBC Sports platforms.