Rally Towards Zero

Rally Sweden aims to be the world’s most sustainable rally – economically, socially, and environmentally

Rally Magazine

After the 2022 World Rally Championship event, Rally Sweden was awarded three stars, the highest level, in its environmental certification – a significant endorsement of our environmental and climate efforts. However, we acknowledge that there is room for improvement, and the organizers are always open to innovations and future solutions.

“We constantly want to challenge ourselves and our partners to come up with new solutions that can drive sustainability forward,” says Erik Åström, Event Director for Rally Sweden AB.

It’s not just Rally Sweden that is committed to sustainability. The entire World Rally Championship has taken a major step towards the future. WRC was the first in global motorsport to combine hybrid engines with fossil-free fuels – a revolution for the entire series and a crucial step towards WRC’s goal of being completely climate-neutral by 2030.

HVO100 Fossil free fuel

Green Electricity

Here in Umeå, all partners actively contribute to creating a sustainable rally. Both the service area at Nolia and the specially constructed The Red Barn Arena at the I20 area are powered by green electricity from Umeå Energi, instead of generators, which were previously a common energy source. Assemblin is responsible for all installations during the WRC rally, and at The Red Barn Arena, the company has put significant effort into burying numerous cables in the ground.

Generators on HVO100

However, not all electricity will be from fixed sources, and Rally Sweden addresses this by using generators. Since 2019, all Rally Sweden generators have run on HVO100, renewable diesel. Colabit is the supplier of renewable fuel for Rally Sweden, and the company is also responsible for heating the tents at the event.

Rally Sweden works hard to leave as little impact as possible, even in the forests. All spectators on the stages receive a recyclable biobag to minimize littering. The bags are collected after the rally, and to ensure that no litter is left in the forests, a double-check is conducted once the snow has melted.

Any waste that remains – at the WRC arenas, on the stages, and at the service area – will be handled by Ume Assistance and Lundstams. These companies are responsible for all recovery and cleaning during the WRC rally, including containers, bins, and environmental stations at the service area.

Compact, Close, and Sustainable

The compact and centrally located setup in Umeå also contributes to sustainability. Essentially, it is possible to park the car from Thursday’s opening to Sunday’s conclusion and move between the WRC arenas and Umeå city via local transport or walks.

Special WRC buses (Citybus) operate in shuttle service between the city, The Red Barn Arena, and Umeå Service Park Nolia. Additionally, all those with WRC passes travel for free on all public transport in Umeå on competition days.

For those who prefer to park their cars, there are special WRC parking areas. If you visit the rally with an electric car, you are directed to UPAB’s parking facilities at Nanna Parking House and Järnvägsallén Parking House – more information on charging points is available at upab.se.

A Sustainability Journey That Has Just Begun

“We see great potential in Rally Sweden and its ongoing journey towards a sustainable event. It involves continued successful work with concrete measures, along with monitoring and measuring the overall climate footprint,” says Jens Strömberg, who has taken on the role of environmental coordinator for Rally Sweden.

Ideally, we want visitors to travel to Umeå by train or bus.

– “We are continuously exploring the possibility of offering even more sustainable transportation, as visitors’ journeys to, from, and during the event constitute the largest part of the competition’s climate impact. The competition cars themselves account for a relatively limited portion of the climate impact,” says Erik Åström.