- The question has shifted from whether companies should rise to the challenge of environmental sustainability; instead, it’s evolved into how, and crucially, when it’s time to act.
- That “how” question has become a barrier to entry for many in the automotive space, where the reduction of motorsport-related hobbies, passions, and livelihoods has been the primary rhetoric above more inclusive solutions.
- Turn 14 Distribution, true to its track record of innovation, has spearheaded the effort to meet and exceed sustainability efforts, earning the global standard Carbon Neutral certification in 2022.
- Turn 14 Distribution aims to facilitate sustainability initiatives for its partners through education and direct Green Certification benefits to create change within our industry.
Sustainability is not a problem; it’s a response initiative based on a growing consciousness for our planet and our future. Our actions today ensure both remain plausible for generations to come. Although it’s an initiative that challenges us all, the automotive industry has received some of the highest scrutiny. That criticism has also been almost singularly focused on the reduction of motorsport-related activities, dismissive to the two million people who call the industry a livelihood in greater measure than a passion or hobby.
That narrow lens is certainly an issue; however, blaming the system’s perspective does not create a pathway to a healthy response to our industry’s contribution to sustainability. Turn 14 Distribution has realized that problematic trajectory and the barrier it has created for our industry to respond. Over the last handful of years, it has worked diligently to find a way forward, not just for itself, but also to create viable opportunities for our industry to act, too.
A HISTORY OF CHANGE
By most measures, the automotive industry is slow-moving in the way it has traditionally approached challenges. Jon Pulli and Chris Candido, Turn 14 Distribution’s founders and current CEO and CTO respectively, saw this as an opportunity. The pair stepped into the automotive aftermarket industry sixteen years ago and chose to work at a different pace with tangential commitments to relentlessly and efficiently pursue excellence, prioritize its valuable workforce, and do business the way it should be done.
Setting that internal expectation has propelled Turn 14 Distribution toward a meteoric rise. Today, it is an undisputed industry leader, both in terms of its market influence and the corporate responsibility that comes with it.
While this sustainability discussion is acutely aimed at addressing environmental impact, the term is far more immersive than that; gender equality, workforce well-being, health, and continued education are all measures of sustainability as a whole. Turn 14 Distribution’s aforementioned corporate responsibility efforts have put it at the forefront of these facets as well.
Turn 14 Distribution is committed to nurturing a workplace that fosters diverse perspectives, inclusion, and innovation; all of which have encouraged its employees to continuously set new goalposts for themselves and approach challenges or differing opinions with opportunistic eyes. As a result, its infectious desire to advocate for positive change is pervasive, not just within the offices of Pulli and Candido, but throughout the building and the motorsport athletes and activities we support outside of it. In this way, sustainability has been a part of Turn 14 Distribution’s rhetoric for some time; the environmental portion of that initiative is a crucial next step.
NEUTRAL SINCE 2022
Saying “next step” in this context alludes more to Turn 14 Distribution’s additional efforts over the next few years — the distributor had already earned the global standard CarbonNeutral® certification in 2022. As you’ve probably been able to understand by now, Turn 14 Distribution isn’t a company that rests on its laurels. After achieving carbon neutral status via compliance with International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA) standards, Turn 14 Distribution remains focused on powering operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025. That goal is well ahead of the established Paris Agreement benchmarks and further supplants the distributor’s commitment to not just meet, but wholeheartedly exceed expectations.
A CALL TO ARMS
Indeed, Turn 14 Distribution prides itself on solving problems. Part of that endeavor required the company to approach environmental sustainability from a different vantage point. “Regressing our distribution model or decreasing our support of the racing and aftermarket industries is out of the question,” said Erin Robbins, Chief Operating Officer of Turn 14 Distribution. Rather than being in front of the gun, Turn 14 Distribution has taken the aforementioned challenge of minimizing motorsport and the aftermarket industry as a whole and flipped it on its head.
In layman’s terms, its solution is akin to passive savings: it strives to offset its carbon footprint by investing and supporting environmental initiatives around the globe. “Racing is a passion worth protecting,” confesses Pulli. “We aim to protect our passion by making sound environmental choices in the more mundane areas of our lives so that we can enjoy the racing industry for years to come.”
Turn 14 Distribution has undergone carbon audits over the last few years to prepare for the effort, and ensure that its subsequent actions are productive. The company recognized that this process would be a cost of doing business in not too distant future. By measuring its current footprint, Turn 14 Distribution set a baseline for what it’d need to offset.
That process led Turn 14 Distribution in several strategic directions. In addition to investing in solar power at its headquarters and distribution center in Pennsylvania — which generate a combined 2.5 megawatts of energy per year — Turn 14 Distribution has made significant contributions toward international carbon reduction efforts like the Eolo Wind Project in Rivas, Nicaragua which delivers zero-emissions renewable electricity to the country’s national grid, investments in carbon financing in Delhi’s electric rail systems in India, a gas leak reduction project in Bangladesh, and the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) forest conservation project in the southern part of Amazonas, Brazil.
In this context, the distributor has realized that it also needs to facilitate solutions for others in the industry. The company is challenging those within the automotive aftermarket to analyze what they’re doing to mitigate or offset any carbon footprint so we can continue racing while preserving the world for younger generations. Those who wait too long will have mountains to climb.
One way that Turn 14 Distribution will create opportunities for the industry is through Green Certifications. By facilitating benefits for its direct industry partners, it will make it easier to recognize and embrace the importance of carbon neutrality moving forward. “If we don’t reduce our environmental impact as an industry ourselves we will be forced to by others and in ways that will have no regard for the protection of racing,” confesses Pulli. “If industry participants truly care about our industry they should take steps to protect it by becoming carbon neutral themselves.” More on what this certification is and how Turn 14 Distribution’s industry partners can earn it will come soon.
At present, that care is often compartmentalized away from discussions about sustainability. Admittedly beyond our industry, sustainability is largely an “out of sight, out of mind” consideration here in the United States. To many, a global warming threshold of 1.5° Celsius (2.7° Fahrenheit) “doesn’t sound like much”. But think about it differently: we are 2.7° away from catastrophic effects. That proximity clearly illustrates the extent of our neglect.
Indeed, there are many reasons to focus on sustainability. Within our industry, it prevents the racing world, and the livelihoods within it, from attack. At large, these considerations prepare us for the financial burden it will impose in the future and help protect and prepare the planet for the next generation.
As daunting as sustainability initiatives may seem, Turn 14 Distribution has proved that there are several pathways forward, and we, as automotive enthusiasts should see this as an opportunity to step up in our own right.