Neustadt, 5th December 2022. Rosberg X Racing and Extreme E have joined up together to start the restoration of an area in Sardinia, Italy, which had been ravaged by wildfires in 2021.
This is a collaboration between RXR and the series following the NEOM Island X Prix double-header, co-organised by the Automobile Club d’Italia (ACI) and Regione Sardegna, earlier this year. The initiative, which includes Allianz, Life Terra and MEDSEA Foundation as part of the collaboration, is a further demonstration of the team’s Driven By Purpose Campaign in Sardinia, having raised nearly 40,000 Euro to aid families in need last year, when countless people found themselves without a home as a result of the wildfires.
After the Extreme E finale in Uruguay, the team’s Founder and CEO Nico Rosberg and RXR driver Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky headed to Sardinia once again to put the first trees into the ground with their own hands. They were joined by Professor Peter Wadhams from the series’ Scientific Committee, Giambattista Ledda, the Mayor of Sennariolo, Alessio Satta, President of the MEDSEA Foundation, Sven Kallen, Founder of Life Terra, and Giulio Pes di San Vittorio, Head of the ACI in Sardinia.
The ambition of the programme is to restore over four hectares of soil and plant 4,000 trees on the island of Sardinia, which has been heavily affected by wildfires.
What’s more, the one-millionth tree of the Life Terra project, launched earlier this year to help restore the area, was planted by Rosberg. The 2016 Formula One World Champion also received the Life Terra Climate Award in the category of ‘Most Impactful Sustainability Entrepreneur’ for his continuous commitment to environmental causes.
Nico Rosberg, Founder and CEO of RXR, said: “Rosberg X Racing isn’t just about racing. We are in Sardinia to promote an important message alongside Extreme E and our partners Allianz, Life Terra and the MEDSEA Foundation.
“Through our Driven By Purpose campaign, we support social and environmental projects at each of the series’ race locations. With our help, Sardinia can return to its natural beauty, and I couldn’t be prouder of this vision.”
During 2021, devastating fires in Sardinia destroyed 20,000 hectares of land, displaced over 1,000 people and killed around 30 million bees. The calamity resulted in incalculable damage to thousands of livelihoods, as well as to nature, including damaging water quality in the ocean. Wildfires worldwide are responsible for 20 per cent of total global CO2 emissions and cost $5bn to fight.
More than 30 local school children were invited to the tree planting, which took place in the Sennariolo region of Sardinia, where they and attending guests were given a welcome talk on the importance of restoring the impacted area by Professor Wadhams.
After accepting the Life Terra Climate Award, Rosberg and Åhlin-Kottulinsky headed to the site of the restoration project, where before the tree planting, they received a talk about the significance of soil restoration due to the wildfires.
The project has been undertaken to bring back native species of both bushes and trees, adding additional biodiversity to accelerate the recovery of vegetation in the area and ensuring an ecosystem more balanced and resilient to the negative effects of climate change.
Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, RXR, added: “A key reason we exist as team RXR is to drive awareness, educate and help tackle climate change. For me, the most important race that I will ever participate in is the race to save our planet.
“Even though we can only have a small impact, we hope to inspire our fans and followers to do their part, too. Seeing the future generation join us today, gives me great hope.”
RXR’s efforts in Sardinia are also crucial to the team’s Driven By Purpose campaign. This initiative supports sustainability projects at each of the locations the team visits and is a key driver in RXR’s broader aim of operating as a climate-positive team, raising awareness of the fight against climate change, social justice, and equality.
Notes to editors:
About Rosberg X Racing
Rosberg X Racing was founded in 2020 ahead of the inaugural season of Extreme E. Led by 2016 Formula One World Champion and sustainability entrepreneur Nico Rosberg, the team is an evolution of Team Rosberg, founded in 1994 by Nico’s father and 1982 F1 World Champion, Keke Rosberg. The team has successfully competed in various racing series, including Formula BMW, Formula 3 and the German Touring Masters Championship (DTM), claiming a total of 38 DTM victories as well as three drivers and two team championship titles. RXR builds on Team Rosberg’s success as well as Nico’s post-F1 career as an entrepreneur in the field of sustainable mobility. In 2021, the team won the first-ever Championship title of Extreme E.
RXR is based in Neustadt, Germany, and aims to succeed both on the racetrack and in raising awareness and education in the fight against climate change. Inspired by Extreme E’s mission to leave a positive legacy at each of the series’ various race venues, the team is committed to using motorsport as a platform to serve a greater purpose together with all teams and drivers. To this end, it has launched its own campaign, Driven By Purpose.
Nico Rosberg is the CEO and founder of the team, while Kimmo Liimatainen takes on the role of team principal. In 2022, the two Swedes Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky and Johan Kristoffersson are at the wheel of the ODYSSEY21.
About Extreme E
Extreme E is a radical new racing series, which will see electric SUVs competing in extreme environments around the world which have already been damaged or affected by climate and environmental issues. The five-race global voyage highlights the impact of climate change and human interference in some of the world’s most remote locations and promotes the adoption of electric vehicles in the quest for a lower carbon future for the planet.
To minimise local impact, Extreme E races will not be open to spectators, with fans instead invited to follow the action through live TV broadcasts, and on social media. St. Helena, a former passenger cargo ship, has undergone a multi-million Euro refit to minimise emissions and transform her into Extreme E’s operations hub. The ship will be used to transport the championship’s freight and infrastructure, including vehicles, to the nearest port, minimising Extreme E’s footprint, as well as being used to facilitate scientific research through its onboard laboratory.
Extreme E is also pioneering hydrogen fuel cell technology, which will enable its race fleet to be charged using zero-emission energy. This innovative solution from AFC Energy uses water and sun to generate hydrogen power. Not only will this process emit no greenhouse emissions, its only by-product will be water, which will be utilised elsewhere on-site.
The Allianz Group is one of the world’s leading insurers and asset managers, with 126 million private and corporate customers in more than 70 countries. Allianz customers benefit from a broad range of personal and corporate insurance services, ranging from property, life and health insurance to assistance services to credit insurance and global business insurance. Allianz is one of the world’s largest investors, managing around 716 billion euros on behalf of its insurance customers. Furthermore, our asset managers PIMCO and Allianz Global Investors manage nearly 1.8 trillion euros of third-party assets. Thanks to our systematic integration of ecological and social criteria in our business processes and investment decisions, we are among the leaders in the insurance industry in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In 2021, over 155,000 employees achieved total revenues of 148.5 billion euros and an operating profit of 13.4 billion euros for the group.
About Life Terra
Life Terra is one of the largest climate protection initiatives in Europe. Led by the foundation of the same name and established for the purpose of the project, it brings together 16 experienced organisations from 8 countries. The project is supported by the EU’s LIFE programme with 7 million euros – money that the consortium is using as seed money to get the initiative off the ground.
About MEDSEA Foundation
The MEDSEA foundation is the brainchild of a group of researchers who have decided to commit themselves to the protection and sustainable management of the marine and coastal resources of Sardinia and the Mediterranean Sea.
MEDSEA is a space where creative people, companies and institutions come together to tell the story of the beauty and fragility of our sea, to collaborate on projects to halt the loss of natural resources, and to develop alternative models and ecologically sustainable products to offer everyone a responsible choice.
We believe that the power to change is in our hands – as we all have a choice – and to be successful we must be able to harmonise the economic system with the ecosystem of nature to make environmental protection a competitive advantage.
We strive every day to protect nature and biodiversity in the knowledge that only through initiative, solidarity and creativity can we achieve the goal of handing the earth to our children better than we found it.