Sustainability Initiatives at the Hydro-Québec Montreal ePrix 2017

Montreal aims to establish itself as a capital of electric transportation. With the HYDRO-QUÉBEC MONTRÉAL EPRIX, we want to foster the growth of transportation electrification and its implementation in the greater Montreal region.

As sole promoter for the event, the non for profit organisation Montréal C’est Électrique (MCE) is proud to bring the FIA Formula E championship to Canada. The event will provide exceptional exposure for the city and will be a platform of choice for promoting transport electrification. Beyond the race, an annual program will be developed in cooperation with industry partners.

Moreover, the event wants to offer more than racing. Formula E also has the objective of minimizing negative impacts to the environment and maximizing positive impacts on society and the economy. The circuit aims to earn the ISO 20121 and BNQ certification, which is why we are collaborating with Modus Operandi Logistiques, an organisation certified in sustainable development and responsible event management. In the context of this certification, Formula E must undertake methods to make sure that the event will be as green as possible.

The festivities will also be an opportunity for families to participate in activities in which electric transportation, technology and renewable energies are showcased. By focusing on education, the organisation wishes to accelerate the transition towards more sustainable modes of transportation.

Montreal, Québec, Canada 

  • Renewable energy: 97% of Quebec’s energy comes from renewable resources: hydropower, biomass, wind power, and solar power.
  • Air quality: The air in Montreal has an average of 10 micrograms per cubic metre, the limit deemed as safe by the World Health Organisation. 2016 marked the best air quality since 2002. Only 40 per cent of air pollution is produced locally, with the remaining 60 per cent coming from the United States and Ontario.[1]
  • Sustainable transportation: Quebec currently has the largest electric vehicle fleet at 14,000. The Quebec government wants to have 100,000 electric cars on the road in the province by 2020, and Montreal plans to install 1,000 charging stations around the city by 2020.
  • Sustainable development: Montreal has a “Sustainable Development Plan 2020” in place and the Canadian government is investing $15.74 million dollars to the Université de Montréal to promote the advancement and exploration of the extent and boundaries of sustainable technologies.

Vision and mission

  • Fighting climate change by offering a solution to inner city pollution, the electric car.
  • A technological laboratory inspiring cross industry collaboration between some of the world’s leading companies
  • Breaking the barriers to the global adoption of sustainable transportation: enhancing technologies, increasing infrastructure and changing people’s perceptions.
  • So far battery capacity has increased by 25 per cent, and by season five it will have doubled.

Sustainability certifications and recognitions

  • The Achievement of Excellence: We were awarded with the highest level of environmental accreditation in the FIA Institute’s certification for our environmental management system.
  • ISO 20121: The International Standard of Sustainability in Events. This represents our next steps to incorporate not only environmental benefits, but also social inclusivity and economic prosperity into the event management and logistics. Using Montreal as a benchmark, we are striving for third party certification of the Championship by the end of season four. This will assure the highest level of certification and legitimacy.
  • The Bureau de normalisation du Québec (BNQ) : Accredited by the Standards Council of Canada in compliance with the ISO certification, BNQ showcases a high level of competence and ethical practise in the sustainability of the event.
  • Company of the Year : At the 2016 BusinessGreen Leaders Awards
  • Sustainability Team of the Year : At the 2016 BusinessGreen Leaders Awards
  • Low Carbon Transport of the Year : At the 2016 British Renewable Energy Awards

Event Management and Logistics

  • Clean Energy: The cars and the event is powered by Hydro-Québec, of which 99% of is generated from hydroelectricity.
  • Local suppliers: A large majority of the suppliers are local and supplying the event infrastructure: sound, screens, walls, fences, security and civil works. 
  • Branded materials: We have signed a three-year contract with a local supplier which will buy the branded materials and keep it in storage between events. After three years, they will reuse it by renting it to construction sites, and unusable branded sections will be recycled.
  • Food and Drinks: A variety of choices in the eVillage include locally sourced, vegetarian and gluten free options.
  • Workers: We have hired local people to help with the security and management of the event.
  • Onsite transport: The team will be using electric buggies and bikes so they can execute their work in a quick, efficient and clean manner.
  • Freight:  Our official logistics partner, DHL, provides environmentally conscious transportation services to the championship race cars, medical and safety cars, spare parts and equipment. The freight is being transported from New York to Montreal by truck, and after Montreal will return to our HQ in the UK by boat to minimise negative impacts.
  • Waste management: Waste sorting and recycling stations are located everywhere on the site of the event, composting stations are installed in the lodges and the staff’s food stations.
  • Reducing waste: Several free water bottle refilling stations will be installed throughout the site and some of the toilets will be eco-responsible with a vacuum flushing system. The system uses air to remove waste and reduce the use of water by 90% per flush. 
  • Reusing waste: Decorative installations and furniture made from reused wood, old banners transformed into flags to decorate the site. All cans and bottles will be consigned by the Valoristes team.
  • Footprint: We perform a life cycle assessment, an in-depth scientific exploration of the championship’s footprint. In season one our footprint was equivalent to 3,400 trips around the earth by car (25,000 tCO2-eq), in season two it was reduced to 1,600 trips around the earth by car (12,000 tCO2-eq).
  • Carbon offsetting: As a global championship creating temporary street circuits, there are some emissions which are unavoidable. We are actively seeking certified gold standard carbon offsetting projects to neutralise the championship’s impact on people and the planet.


Education and advocacy

  • FIA Smart Cities Concept:  It is estimated that more than 60 per cent of the global population will be living in an urban area by 2030. Mobility and technology are therefore key to ensuring the liveability of the world of tomorrow. The FIA smart cities will bring together the championships stakeholders to promote a positive agenda for a safer, more sustainability and connected mobility. In three parts: entrepreneurs contest, forum and awards. The awards ceremony will be held in Montreal.
  • Project Ice: A world first: the Formula E runs one of its electric cars on the Arctic ice cap! We took this opportunity to participate in a scientifically backed expedition, alongside Greenland experts and Southampton University. Our goal was to study and raise awareness on the issues of global warming, the melting ice caps and rising sea levels.
  • Projected benefits over the next 25 years: According to a 2013 Ernst and Young study, Formula E is estimated to help sell an additional 77 million electric vehicles worldwide, save four billion barrels of oil and 25 billion euros (36 billion dollars) on healthcare.
  • The eStory: Undertaking the challenge of electro-mobility: A behind the scenes exploration of the championship’s potential to foster innovation and break the barriers to the global adoption of electric cars and clean transport technologies.


Informing and entertaining

  • Relax and recharge: Clean energy charging points are located around the site, and available to be used for free by all of our fans.
  • Roborace: The world’s first driverless electric racing series, created to accelerate the development of both electric and driverless technologies, showcasing the capabilities and potential to transform cities by reducing traffic, accidents and pollution.
  • Atelier Enviro: Demonstrations and experiences on clean energy, by Mantis Environmental.
  • Inspiring talent in STEM subjects: Students from the engineering faculties at Université de Sherbrooke, Concordia University and McGill University, as well as those from École de technologie supérieure (ETS) and Polytechnique Montréal, will have the opportunity to showcase their latest solar vehicle and electric bike concepts. A competition has been organised on social media, aimed at highlighting the student’s achievements, and a prize worth $1,500.
  • Climate clock: On display in the Welcome area, the climate clock highlights that time is the key metric we need to include to make climate change more understandable. The clock shows the current global temperatures, the time left until we have gone about +1.5 degrees Celsius and the current amount of tonnes of carbon dioxide that has been emitted into the atmosphere.


  • Technology transfer: Alongside our partners, we are revolutionizing electric vehicle technology and strive to accelerate innovation in sustainable urban mobility.

Eco-responsibility of our suppliers

  • Water and energy-saving measures implemented within the company (e.g., rainwater collection to wash equipment);
  • Use of electric instead of gas-powered machinery;
  • Introduction ofa sustainable development plan of action;
  • Implementation of policies, certifications or a system of environmental management (e.g., ICI ON RECYCLE!, Leed, Iso, etc.);
  • Waste management measures (ex: recycling paper, plastic, waste oil, double-sided printing, etc.);
  • Eco-responsible measures for employees (ex : encouraging the use of public transportation and carpooling);
  • Implementation of a greenhouse gas reduction plan.

What can you do?

  • App: download the Formula E mobile app to receive the official race program and a mobile ticket to avoid printing.
  • Leave your car at home: We bring the race to the heart of the city, so that you don’t have to come to us. The spectators and participants are strongly encouraged to use an active mode of transportation or public transportation to get to the site. The best way is to use the metro and to arrive directly on site by getting off at Berri-UQAM, Champ-de-Mars or Papineau stations.
  • Get on your bike: Located directly downtown, the site is easy to reach by bicycle! A friendly and safe bicycle parking will be waiting for you at each entrance of the site. A Bixi parking will also be installed at the corner Sainte-Catherine/Berri and at the corner Saint-Denis/Saint-Antoine.
  • Don’t drop it, trash it: Be sure to look out for the recycling and general waste bins provided by the event for your litter.
  • In the spirit of promoting the use of electric cars, Formula E also has the objective of becoming one of the major events with the smallest environmental footprint.
  • With an average of 25,000 visitors per day, we aim to reduce the large quantities of waste that can be produced by that many people. This is why we need your cooperation during the event in order to be able to reduce the amount of waste produced by each person. We’re aiming for 114 grams of waste per person, which is equivalent to slightly less than a beer bottle.