Honda goes green and charitable

HondaHonda’s new RA107 car has just been launched. Featuring a huge image of the Earth as it’s livery in place of the normal advertising and sponsor logos, Honda is aiming to promote the awareness of environmental issues currently facing the planet and aims to showcase Honda’s commitment to addressing environmental issues the world over.

The first brands to partner Honda in this new venture are Universal music, the largest music company in the world, and Gatorade. Existing partners have all shown their enthusiasm for the new scheme and all have remained involved with the team for the 2007 season. Fila, IBM, Instron, Oliver Sweeney, Perkin Elmer, Showa Denko, TUV and GF Agie Charmilles are all also joining the partners and suppliers to the Honda F1 racing team.

The CEO of Honda, Nick Fry, said “Climate change is probably the single biggest issue facing the global community and F1 is not immune from it. On the contrary we believe that F1 with its huge global profile and cutting edge technology can play an
important role in not only highlighting the issues but also playing our part in developing solutions. In addition, the FIA recognises the opportunity for F1 to showcase innovative technologies for the benefit of society for the long term. For example, by 2009, devices for energy recovery will be in place on the cars.

“So we at Honda F1 are proud to dedicate our car to the environmental challenge. We believe that practical solutions can stem directly from engineers working on our F1 programme. They are working harder than ever to achieve our dreams and win the World Championship while embracing and underscoring Honda’s environmental ethos.

“First and foremost, we are a race team and F1 is very much a team sport. We achieve our racing objectives only by working together and parallels can be drawn with the way that we must all join together to address the environmental challenge. We hope that in raising awareness and highlighting the issues we will encourage members of the public to come together and help take on the challenge of climate change.”

Jenson Button is fully supportive of the car-manufacturer’s stance. In an interview with Sky News, he said “The people who work in F1 and the F1 viewers are probably the most difficult people to turn around into making a difference, so this campaign is important. It looks very different – no sponsors on the car. The idea is to raise awareness of global issues that we have and hopefully it’s going to make a difference.

“At the moment, F1 is carbon neutral, but that’s not where we want to be – it should be carbon positive. But maybe in the future it will get there. Actually we have an extra 11 sponsors this year compared to last year, and that’s because they want to get involved in this idea and raise awareness.”

On top of this new green plan, Honda Racing F1 is also flexing it’s charitable arm. They are asking people to make a donation to an environmental charity and then appear on an F1 car. The concept is labelled as “our car is your car.” Each donation buys a tiny individual pixel which helps build the image of the earth on the race-car. Every donator will have their name added to a list on the website (or by use of a microscope on the car itself). Donations can be made here: www.myearthdream.com