Formula E supports St. John's Centre for Opportunity in Portland

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Formula E supports St. John's Centre for Opportunity in Portland

Ahead of the 2024 Hankook Portland E-Prix, Formula E has today announced that St. Johns Centre for Opportunity is the latest recipient of its ‘Better Futures Fund’.

Better Futures Fund Portland

Formula E will be supporting St. Johns Centre for Opportunity (SJCO) for the first time in Portland, through a donation of €25,000. SJCO primarily aims to advance equity through community building and people-centred economic development. 

Its vision is centred around breaking barriers to build a thriving, more equitable neighbourhood for all community members, recognising that economic disparities exist within society and its community members.

Initiatives that SJCO focus on include:

- Supporting small businesses and promoting job opportunities

- The creation of the Portland Small Business Hub to help Portland households, businesses and communities recover from COVID-19 and the resulting economic situation

- Providing Grants to small businesses

- A farmers market and native garden in the centre of its community, with a focus on showcasting underrepresented minority business owners

Other initiatives include; providing free food access programmes to residents facing food poverty and encouraging cross-cultural connections and dialogue to enhance the community and business vitality of St Johns and North Portland.

Fund allocation

SJCO will use the €25,000 Better Futures Fund to allocate grant funds (up to €4,250 per business) [RGS1] to small local businesses to support climate resilience projects: 

- Priority will be given to small business owners from historically underrepresented communities with Formula E being involved in the review and approval of these grants to ensure the ethos of the Better Futures Fund is upheld. 

- Through this project, all 3 impact themes of the Better Future Fund will be achieved whilst also aligning with Formula E’s purpose of accelerating sustainable human progress and leaving a legacy within communities for years to come.

- SJCO estimates that if each business supported has 5 employees and 30 patrons per day, then over 10,000 people will be positively impacted by the projects every year. 

Community Engagement

While in Portland for the 2024 Hankook Portland E-Prix, Formula E and members of its ecosystem, including team Envision’s drivers, will be volunteering on-site at SJCO’s native garden. Volunteers will be “mulching” the garden, applying a layer of mulch to improve the garden’s water retention and plant root health within the summer months. 

Amii Chong, Executive Director, St. Johns Center for Opportunity, said: "St. Johns Center for Opportunity is excited to announce a new program to improve the climate resiliency of our community. With financial support from Formula E, St. Johns Center for Opportunity will award grants to small businesses for projects that both meet local needs and produce meaningful climate benefits.

"Examples of projects could include energy-efficient HVAC upgrades, installing native gardens, adding UV-protective coating to windows and doors to reduce energy usage and costs, and other investments. These efforts will tangibly improve green infrastructure in North Portland and increase awareness about the importance and impact of small-scale climate resilience projects.

"We are grateful for the support of Formula E as we work to cultivate lasting improvements in our community's sustainability and quality of life."

Background on the fund

Established during Season 10, to extend Formulae E’s positive legacy of sustainability and social responsibility in host cities; The Better Futures Fund remains at the forefront of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship’s efforts to set new standards across the sporting and sustainability sectors.  

As the world’s first and only net-zero carbon sport since its inception, Formula E continues to pioneer environmental stewardship while driving impactful positive change in host communities.

The fund aims to deliver tangible, long-lasting impact to communities creating a positive legacy beyond each race weekend. With a core focus on initiatives aligned with Formula E’s core values and social impact strategy, the Fund prioritises initiatives that tackle social inequalities and empower resilient, diverse communities

For Season 10, the Fund continues to focus on:

- Supporting underprivileged communities in host cities, designed to tackle social inequality
- Environmental protection, prioritising nature and air quality in urban environments
- Community engagement and their transition to living more sustainable lifestyles
- A fund of €100,000 has been split across the four race locations of Berlin, Shanghai, Portland and London for Season 10, with local charities receiving €25,000 for their respective causes. In Season 11, the fund will support charities in all race locations around the world.

Alongside the funding itself, Formula E is committing to working alongside each charity, providing awareness of its causes, engaging directly with the organisation and offering volunteer support.

Organisations will feature as part of Formula E’s wider sustainability strategy, including hosting representatives at track and introducing them to the wider Formula E ecosystem as part of the series’ Inspiration Hour held every race week, to engage with local communities and educate them on environmental and social sustainability best practice.