23 February 2023
The 2023 Reed Group East Riding Stages Rally seeks to set a new record by offsetting the highest level of carbon emissions of any UK rally to date.
Using Carbon Positive Motorsport's services for the second year, the rally is unique in the UK as it offsets spectator emissions, as well as those created by competitors and from the organiser's vehicles.
Starting with the inaugural event last year, the rally has worked hard to explore how to minimise its carbon footprint and make motorsport more sustainable. This year, the oversubscribed event has increased its entry to 147 competitors and is likely to exceed the previous carbon offsetting record of 46,000kg CO2e which was achieved on the 2022 Beatsons Mull Rally.
In 2022 the East Riding Stages was the first UK rally to offer competitors the opportunity to offset their emissions from their fuel usage, and remain the only event to fully offset the carbon emissions generated by their spectators.
In 2023 the rally will be the first in the UK to use the latest carbon offsetting project in Carbon Positive Motorsport's portfolio. The new project, located in England, is the first of such projects to be used by the company outside of Scotland and has been specially selected based on its quality and to enable events who want more regionally relevant projects.
The Blue Slate Wood comprises a permanent and diverse native broadleaf planting scheme in the picturesque hills of Lancashire, undertaken in partnership with Highland Carbon and The River Ribble Trust.
The Trust undertakes exceptional projects to improve water quality, by reducing agricultural run-off, industrial pollution and undertaking river clean-up activities. The new woodland will create a buffer to agricultural run-off, whilst enhancing the landscape and providing habitat for wildlife.
From a landscape conservation perspective, the project complements the nearby Yorkshire Dales National Park, and a large Site of Special Scientific Interest at the Ribble Estuary. The Ribble is one of the longest and most diverse rivers in the UK, reaching 75 miles from the Yorkshire Dales National Park to the sea near Lytham.
Richard Vincent, the rally's Event Director, said "We are very happy to be able to use an English project to offset the emissions for this years event. By capturing the postcodes of those spectators who purchase tickets for our spectator area at Burton Constable Hall - supported by D. H Turner Plant Hire - we are able to calculate the distance travelled to attend the rally and apply average fuel consumption figures to ensure we allocate a valid offsetting level.
"Combined with the unavoidable Co2 emissions from our 147 competitors and the event organisation vehicles, we expect to voluntarily offset more emissions than any other rally in the country held so far."
Paul Glass, founder of Carbon Positive Motorsport added, "It’s been a great pleasure working with the organising team. Their vision and ambitions for the event and the local community has been highly impressive, and I can’t wait to be at the rally to see it all for myself.
"We are extremely proud and grateful to have the opportunity to support their environmental plans, and to be able to offer our latest high-quality project in England to help mitigate the events unavoidable carbon footprint using our end-to-end event carbon offsetting package.
"The package helps the event organisers to promote a positive environmental message and actions to the community whom the event relies upon so much. Such projects are very scarce but are so important, because they bring a greater level of regional relevance that events can benefit more from. We hope to announce further projects in other regions such as Wales as the season progresses."
Carbon Positive Motorsport ambassadors, triple British Rally Championship winner Matt Edwards and former Scottish Ladies Rally Champion Ashleigh Morris, will both be competing on the event.
Matt Edwards will be swapping driving duties to co drive for Paul Horton in their Citroen C3 Rally 2, and Ashleigh will be co driven by regular co-driver Martin Haggett, in a Fiesta R2. They are joined by fellow brand ambassador Cat Lund who is co-driving again for Andy Rowe in their Evo 2.
Speaking ahead of the event, Ashleigh said "I’m excited to be competing on the East Riding Stages for the first time - the stages last year looked fantastic. It’s great to see an event being so proactive to attract spectators and promote the local area and really bodes well for the future of our sport – the FanZone in Beverley is sure to create a real buzz and provides the opportunity for fans to experience the rally up close.
"It’s really positive to see the organisers adapting such a forward-thinking approach and stepping up their carbon offsetting to involve spectators as well as competitors. It’s vital that we all do our part to mitigate the impact of the event and to build a sustainable future for rallying.”
Richard Vincent added, "We were amazed by the feedback we received after last year's rally and hope that the small changes that we have made to this year's route will appeal to those returning crews and those joining us in East Yorkshire for the first time.
"This year we also amended our entry system to try to show our competitors that they should support our event's belief that everyone should be embracing carbon offsetting. As a committee, we believe that we need to take a proactive approach to cement our sports future for many years to come.
"On behalf of The Reed Group East Riding Stages Rally committee may I wish everyone a safe journey and an enjoyable weekend of motorsport."
To purchase tickets for the event please visit www.bdmc.org.uk/ersr-tickets
Spectators and competitors travelling to the event can take advantage of a special discount code to further offset their fuel consumption related carbon emissions, using the discount code CPMERSR2023 via www.carbonpositivemotorsport.com
It only costs a little to make a big difference for the sport, so whether you're a competitor or spectator, why not join with us to help make motorsport sustainable.