Envision Racing driver Sebastien Buemi was a special guest panellist at the Sports Positive Summit on Wednesday, as he contributed to a panel discussion titled, ‘How athletes are engaging authentically on climate’.
Sport Positive Summit is the leading global summit that brings together sports stakeholders from all over the world to support the acceleration of positive climate action and ambition, to safeguard the future of global sport.
Buemi joined two female athletes on the panel; Innes Fitzgerald, the teenage cross-country runner who earned widespread media attention for declining the opportunity to compete at the world championships in Australia this year due to carbon footprint concerns, and Kate Strong, the world record-breaking cyclist, to discuss the motivations behind speaking on climate change as successful and influential athletes and how sporting organisations can do more to support them.
The panel, moderated by Melissa Wilson, co-founder of Athletes of the World, also gave Buemi an opportunity to talk about the evolution of Formula E cars and how his sport and his team are driving progress.
“When Formula E first started, we had to switch cars as they weren’t able to do the full race,” he said.
“The objective was to have one car which would last the full distance and make it faster, which was a difficult target, but we are achieving that now … electric cars are the way forward.”
He also spoke about how Envision Racing gained Three-Star Sustainability Accreditation from the FIA, the highest possible award, and why being able to participate in climate events such as the Sports Positive Summit was so important to him.
“I care about the planet, I care about my kids’ futures… people need to understand that climate change is happening and we need to do everything we can to try and reverse it and improve everyone’s lives,” he added.
In his day-to-day life, Sebastien drives his family in an electric car which he says was an easy decision to make: “I’ve been driving an electric car for the last four or five years. It’s extremely convenient to charge it at home, it’s safe, fast and all of my family love it. It was a straightforward decision.”
He’s also encouraging his children to recycle correctly and raises them in a home which is run on solar power, while also “teaching them to use the correct bins and why, it is a simple thing to do but is a step in the right direction”.
Back in July, ahead of the season-ending London E-Prix that saw Envision Racing crowned Formula E world champions, Buemi featured on BBC’s The One Show which saw the reveal of the Recover E car – a full size Gen3 race car made entirely out of electronic waste to highlight the issues of e-waste.
The initiative, along with other climate drives and involvement in global events like the Sports Positive Summit, are among the many ways Envision Racing and its drivers help raise awareness and involvement in the race against climate change.