Race to change: racing for the environment

Published on Tuesday, 7 May 2019

To paraphrase John Fitzgerald Kennedy, “Ask not what the Earth can do for you – ask what you can do for the Earth.” We can all do our bit to create a more sustainable future and we can start by making small changes in our everyday lives. 

This was exactly our aim when we launched the Race to change online platform. It was a race that was open to anyone who wanted to commit to reducing their environmental footprint by making more sustainable choices in their day-to-day travel arrangements. 

Everyone taking part was free to choose the method that best suited their own feelings: walking or cycling rather than using the car, choosing public transport, car sharing, driving an e-car, or taking the train instead of flying. The most important thing was to choose a solution that cut or avoided greenhouse emissions. Participants could even enter more than once: the only rule was that they had to stick to their commitments.  

The platform was launched on 13 April at the Rome round of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship of which Enel is Official Power Partner with Enel X as Official Smart Charging Partner. It was rather like a relay race in which one sustainability-focused event passed the baton to another. Equally symbolic was the choice of the final day of the initiative: 22 April, or Earth Day.  

The first 2,840 participants (one for each metre of the E-Prix circuit) received a very special reward: Enel planted a tree in each of their names through its collaboration with Treedom, the world’s first web platform that enables to “adopt” a tree and then follow its growth online.  

The end result exceeded all expectations: not only was the planned number of tree exceeded well in advance, but a total of 3,939 participants signed up in the end – that’s 138% more than expected!

Everyone taking part also received a certificate designed by one of Italy’s leading illustrators, Milan native Francesco Poroli. His work has received awards from the prestigious Society of Illustrators and the Society of Publication Designers, both of which are based in New York. This is in addition to appearing in such publications as the New York Times, Wired and GQ. Each certificate was sent to the recipient by email so that it could be shared on social media and thus help multiply the impact of their personal environmentally-friend choice. The Earth says thank you.