Everyone is aware of climate change and whether you believe in it or not, there is no denying that humans are damaging the planet. Whether its CO2 emissions, Green House gases, deforestation, pollution or plastics in the sea we are having significant negative consequences on nature.
The car is at the forefront of the problem (at least politically) and as a result of regulation across the world, petrol cars are becoming more difficult for manufacturers to produce and sell. Electrification is the current solution being pushed by governments to reduce CO2 emissions, (even though the production of electric vehicles has its own major environmental issues, not to mention infrastructure problems, or even the ability to meet the added electricity demands). We all want to continue to enjoy our love for cars without the guilt (or stigma) that we are destroying the environment! How do we do that?
TURNING YOU FROM GREY TO GREEN
Riviera Circle would like to help our community to offset the emissions produced by their cars. We have teamed up with Chrome Carbon who are one of the leading companies for Carbon Offsetting in the automotive industry. The founder Julien Lescure is a petrol-head himself (he owns a manual Ferrari F355 Berlinetta) and so understands the importance of combining one’s passion for sports cars with their responsibility for the environment. He has created a simple solution that allows you to calculate your CO2 emissions generated each year and Riviera Circle has integrated it into the App.
Within the the App there is a very easy way to get your CO2 emissions offset:
1) Click on the ‘Become Green’ Icon from your profile and this will take you to the Chrome Carbon home page.
2) Enter the average mpg of your car as well as the number of miles driven in a year.
3) The resulting CO2 emission of your car is converted into a monthly price based on where you want your trees planted (California is cheaper then the UK)
4) You can calculate for multiple cars
5) Decide on the location of your trees and subscribe to pay the monthly fee (can be cancelled at any time)
6) Once confirmed you will be rewarded in-App with the Carbon Neutral badge.
Example: A modern sports car that averages 22mpg and is driven 3,000 miles a year would produce 1.43 tonnes of carbon. That would cost between £2.50 and £5 a month to offset the carbon emissions produced, by planting trees in either California or the UK.
We were shocked at how little it cost to offset the carbon emissions of a car, especially ones driven as little as most sports cars. We highly encourage you to use this simple process to manage your own carbon footprint. Riviera Circle will be ensuring that the Riviera Run (and similar events) will have a zero carbon footprint, by offsetting any car that comes on the trip. We will provide an update regularly to highlight the positive effect Riviera Circle and the
members are making so that we can track our carbon offset transparently.
How does Chrome Carbon offset Carbon Emissions?
Chrome Carbon has ongoing projects under the banners Carbon Reduction and Reforestation. The former is a group of initiatives through which we can reduce our dependency on conventional sources of energy, and this is how ChromeCarbon offsets using Verified Emission Reductions. On the other hand, the latter is about planting more trees in various parts of the world for a long-term environmental benefit. The reforestation is done in the United Kingdom,
Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa, and Asia & Australia. That sounds like any other environmental charity, so how does it differ, you must wonder. The main difference here is that Chrome Carbon is clearly run by someone who loves cars, like you and Riviera Circle. So you can be assured that the solution to various issues created directly or indirectly by motoring won’t be dealt with the usual misconception that cars/bikes are the biggest polluters; or the cynicism that one can’t do anything about pollution as long as they continue to use their cars.
Check them out (www.chromecarbon.cc)
So what is Chrome Carbon?
Chrome Carbon is about repairing, restoring and preserving not only our dream machines, but also our environment for ourselves and for all future generations. We speak to the creator Julian to hear his insights:
RC: What made you think about Chrome Carbon and how did you plan it?
JL: Chrome Carbon was born from my desire to reduce the carbon footprint of my cars and motorbikes. Back in 2019, I decided to calculate the carbon footprint of my yearly road trip to France. The results shocked me as I released more than one tonne of CO2 in the atmosphere on this single drive. I searched online for a service that would allow me to repair that damage. The available services looked loose, lacking professionalism and transparency and the prices felt random at best. Then I discussed it with some friends and realised that I wasn’t the only one trying to reconcile my passion for motoring adventures with responsible behaviour towards our environment. That’s when I decided to start Chrome Carbon.
RC: How do you estimate the average CO2 right now?
JL: The calculation is based on a ratio between your average fuel consumption and your yearly mileage. We then multiply the result by the standard amount of CO2 generated when you burn one litre of either petrol or diesel. The figures of respectively 2.31kg/per litre and 2.68kg/per litre are from publications by Prof. Tom Davies from the University of Exeter in Devon, UK.
RC: Are there any plans to approach bigger brands to help them decrease their carbon footprint. If yes, do you think it’ll make sense to include the pollution caused in manufacturing a car/bike?
JL: Chrome Carbon focuses on the impact of passion. As soon as you approach bigger brands, passion is diluted with business imperatives that often go against the logic of carbon reduction and climate protection that Chrome Carbon promotes. So at this stage, there’s no plan to approach bigger brands. Regarding the inclusion of the manufacturing process, it is on our radar and we will certainly look at it.
RC: How do you handle planting new trees?
JL: Chrome Carbon partners with organisations that work closely with national forest agencies, local forest experts, and farmers. The partners we choose make sure that the right trees are planted and looked after in the most important locations, like areas affected by the recent wildfires in Australia and California, or in the few remaining primary forests. Chrome Carbon also supports partners investing in agroforestry, which is a land use management system in
which trees are grown around or among crops or pastureland. This intentional combination of agriculture and forestry has numerous benefits, including increased biodiversity and reduced erosion. Plus it values the trees in the local economies, ensuring trees are taken care of in even the most remote locations.
RC: Could you please tell us how you certify the carbon reduction?
JL: We’ve engineered Chrome Carbon subscriptions to feature short-term and long-term climate actions for the best possible value, and our partners reflect that. Each Chrome Carbon subscription is comprised of two parts:
Part one is the short-term offset of your vehicle’s estimated emissions, achieved by purchasing verified carbon credits that fund a reduction in emissions now. With this part alone, your vehicle’s yearly emissions are offset. Our partner for this is Gold Standard – a certification body that rigorously selects carbon reduction projects, ensuring the highest levels of environmental integrity. Last year they helped to prevent 125 million tonnes of CO2 from being released in our
atmosphere. Part two supports a longer-term investment in reforestation, which comes on top of the carbon
credits purchased. Our partners for this are One Tree Planted and PUR Project. One Tree Planted is one of the largest non-profit organisations dedicated to global reforestation. They aim to plant 15 million trees this year. They are very active around natural disaster relief and work efficiently with the local population to ensure the planting is enduring.
PUR Project is a smaller organisation with a complementary footprint to One Tree Planted. They allow us to fund smaller yet super-efficient reforestation projects in locations that One Tree Planted does not cover. They also work very closely with local experts and national forest agencies, like the Woodland Trust in the UK. There’s no doubt that getting a Chrome Carbon subscription is one way of responsible motoring.
RC: Do you lead by example?
JL: Of course, I am also Chrome Carbon’s subscriber number 1, with a personal triple subscription for all of my vehicles. Through Chrome Carbon, I prevent more than 5 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere every year and plant more than 150 trees a year. In 5 years, I will have planted 750 trees, which – when they reach maturity – will absorb 30 tonnes of CO2 every year.
RC: What do you currently drive?
JL: Having been a teenager during the nineties, I’m a big fan of that era and it is reflected in the vehicles I own. First in the fleet was my 1997 Maserati Ghibli Cup. I have always been a fan of Marcello Gandini’s design and these boxy and over-inflated wheel arches left a strong impression on me as a kid. This specific car is now approaching 180,000 kilometres. I bought it in quite a poor state and slowly rebuilt it into the very reliable and performing car it is today. It is
a surprisingly easy car to drive and the Getrag 6-speed gearbox is an absolute blast. All in all, it is an efficient saloon with tons of boost under the pedal. Next is a 1997 Ferrari F355 Berlinetta manual. This is a beast – a pure analogue driving experience amplified by a timeless design and a Capristo exhaust. It’s a genuine grand tourer that does not like getting stuck in traffic. To me, this is the last nimble and humble Ferrari. Time will tell how long I will be the guardian of that fine machine. Meanwhile, I strongly lobby my friends who work at Google to add on Maps the option to choose a route according to maximum airflow!
In terms of motorcycles, I own a 1976 Honda CB750 Four. It is completely stock, and my go-to if I have to get across London. It’s a very good bike that sounds great and provides loads of feedback to make even the shortest drive around town a true driving experience. I also own a 1989 Yamaha Tenere XT600Z that I took to Morocco to complete the Scram in 2019. The organisers were not so happy with me as contenders are supposed to turn up on inappropriate motorcycles for the terrain! I had a very appropriate machine and don’t regret my choice. The bike behaved faultlessly, and I had a blast. It is also perfect to go around London without worrying about the many speed bumps. In 2015, I also commissioned the AutoFabrica Type 10 based on a 1992 BMW R80 RT. I love this bike, and it feels very close to my heart as I have been directly involved in the design process. I completed the Great Malle Rally on it in 2018, which was a memorable experience that left me with lasting friendships. Over the years, I also developed a great relationship with
Bujar and Gaz, the owners of Autofabrica, who I regularly catch-up with.
Check out Chrome Carbon at www.chromecarbon.cc or Julien himself as a member on the RC.