Since the human being began to walk, hundreds of thousands of years ago, an ancient tribe of warriors with prodigious leaps and colorful tunics has lived between Kenya and Tanzania and has become an icon in the heart of Africa. In this spectacular enclave, the Masai graze with their cattle in search of the best grass with which to feed their herds. Tremendously rooted in their territory and aware of all that nature implies for their way of life, one of the proverbs of this town is quite a declaration of intent. “The land we live on is not inherited from our parents, but borrowed from our children.” The phrase is a sample of the great respect they have for their environment and for the planet.
More than 10,000 kilometers from there, in Granada, a team of engineers led by Professor Fernando Moreno has launched a pioneering investigation that shares its name (and philosophy) with the African tribe. Moreno is the alma mater of the Masai project, which is an acronym for Smart, Automated and Sustainable Asphalt Materials. Heading the Construction Engineering Laboratory of the University of Granada (LabIC.UGR), this group of researchers has developed what they call an asphalt green from recycled components that come from waste such as worn vehicle tires. With them they are able to create a more durable road pavement, with greater grip than traditional ones and, above all, respectful of the environment. Goals shared with Banco Santander which, working with Ferrari and Formula 1, is focused on reducing emissions both in competition and in the automotive sector.
In each kilometer of conventional highway, explains Moreno, thousands of tons of components that come from natural resources that will one day run out are usually used. “However, with Masai materials, around 50% of those elements are replaced by sustainably sourced raw materials,” he insists. The benefits of the asphalt mixes devised by these Spanish engineers go even further: in addition to tire rubber, they reuse milled material from deteriorated roads and recycled polymers and plastics, thus offering a new life to tons of waste that otherwise way they would end up in a landfill.
Recycling for a better world
This experience, says Moreno, shows that “it is possible to change towards a circular economy model” in which recycling, the reuse of waste and the reduction of environmental pressure on the planet are advocated. In his opinion, a perfect setting to test all these innovative and sustainable materials is the Formula 1 championships. In his circuits, he points out, tires made with recycled rubber could be reintroduced and evaluated under the highest demanding standards. In fact, already today, the tires that the teams use every weekend are returned to the factory to be completely recycled, which is evidence of the paradigm shift that a constantly evolving sport is undergoing.
Currently, the tires that the teams use each weekend are returned to the factory to be fully recycled, which is evidence of the paradigm shift that a constantly evolving sport is undergoing.
After all, innovation is one of the hallmarks of this motorsport competition, as recalled by former Formula 1 CEO Ross Brawn. In this sport, he points out, “innovation equals performance, so if you want to win races, you have to innovate.” And sustainability is an essential element that all the teams and actors that are part of the Great Circus have already assumed, such as Banco Santander through its sponsorship of Ferrari.
A committed alliance
The project promoted by Fernando Moreno and his collaborators from the University of Granada shares commitments, objectives and values with the team made up of Banco Santander, Ferrari and Formula One Management (FOM), competition owner. The three work hand in hand to reduce emissions in both Formula 1 and the automotive sector.
Banco Santander offers Ferrari a wide range of solutions to support its plans to be carbon neutral by 2030
The goal is to achieve a model based on zero emissions. One more step on the path Santander has taken over these years in search of solutions that contribute to the transition towards a green economy.
Within the sponsorship of Banco Santander with the Italian team, the entity offers Ferrari a wide range of solutions to support its plans to be carbon neutral by 2030, something that the entity has already achieved in 2020. Now, it is working to reach the net zero in 2050 for all the issuances of its clients derived from any of the financing, advisory or investment services it offers.
Because the more effort is made to accelerate innovation and find new technologies that contribute to ending dependence on fossil fuels, before the goal of zero emissions will be achieved. An effective recipe to fight climate change and move towards a clean planet.