The UK live music industry launched the Beyond Zero Declaration campaign during A Greener Festival’s Green Events and Innovations Conference yesterday.
The new campaign is fronted by LIVE Green, the sustainability arm of the UK’s live music Industry Venues and Entertainment alliance.
All 13 association members of LIVE endorsed the Beyond Zero Declaration, a voluntary sector-specific promise to deliver on climate action and setting out the sector’s commitment to reach net-zero emissions by the year 2030.
The campaign builds on significant efforts across the sector to boost sustainability already, ranging from the end of single use plastic at festivals to sector-wide efforts to reduce the environmental impact of touring.
Beyond zero Declaration was signed in the country on September 16. The campaign was developed by LIVE GREEN. Its representatives said they would advise and assist live music companies on how best to switch to a low-carbon event.
The signatories of the declaration agree:
- collaborate with LIVE Green to set targets for reducing greenhouse gases in the air;
- identify waste generated by companies in the fields of energy, food, transportation;
- ensure awareness of employees of companies in the field of ecology.
John Langford, AEG Europe COO and Chair of LIVE Green, said we are now at the tipping point for our climate.
“This is not a rehearsal,” he said.
“We want to tap into the power of music to help deliver a step-change in the environmental impact of our sector – from carbon emissions through to plastic waste – helping us demonstrate that moving faster towards decarbonisation is a route to a competitive advantage.”
LIVE supporters include powerhouse promoters such as Live Nation, TEG mjr, and AEG Europe to name a few; organisations that truly do have the power to change standard industry practices.
LIVE Green aims to ensure meaningful climate investments are made to achieve the sector’s collective targets now and into the future, establishing an industry-wide approach on permanent emissions drawdown by 2030.
Previous research has shown that UK live concerts and performances generate 400,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year, with accommodation, merchandise, and promotions all contributing on top of that.
The campaign builds on significant efforts across the sector to boost sustainability, ranging from the end of single use plastic at festivals to sector wide efforts to reduce the environmental impact of touring.
The sector-wide campaign was launched at A Greener Festival’s the Green Events and Innovations Conference.
LIVE said it will identify and advise how live music businesses can accelerate their transition to a low carbon future, setting out a roadmap for action in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change.
All 13 association members of LIVE have ratified the Beyond Zero Declaration, a voluntary sector-specific commitment to deliver measurable and targeted action on climate change, with the aim of reaching net-zero emissions by 2030.
LIVE said the initiative will also provide research, expertise and cross-industry innovation in order to support the sector’s transition to a regenerative future. Members of LIVE Green’s working group include Julie’s Bicycle, AGreenerFestival, Powerful Thinking, Vision: 2025, The Tour Production Group and a collective of like-minded professionals from the live music sector.
AEG Europe COO and chair of LIVE Green John Langford said, “We are now at a tipping point for our climate: this is not a rehearsal.
“We want to tap into the power of music to help deliver a step-change in the environmental impact of our sector – from carbon emissions through to plastic waste – helping us demonstrate that moving faster towards decarbonization is a route to a competitive advantage.”
Paradigm Talent Agency partner Tom Schroeder said, “There can be no shying away from the environmental impact of our global business, and although there has been significant progress across the live music sector, now is the time to accelerate our efforts.
By bringing together the active specialists and initiatives under one banner, LIVE Green is pioneering a means to fast-track decarbonization across the sector through education, awareness and tangible action. We look forward to building on the sector’s progress so far, to make our low carbon future a reality. “
LIVE said previous research has shown that live concerts and performances generate 400,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year, with accommodation, merchandise, and promotions all contributing further.
It said LIVE Green will facilitate further action and engagement by providing practical resources, ongoing knowledge sharing, education and training alongside measurement tools to allow the business to study its progression towards a climate-positive position.
LIVE Green also aims to ensure meaningful climate investments are made to achieve the sector’s collective targets in the short, medium and long term, establishing an industry-wide approach on permanent emissions drawdown by 2030.
UNEP: greening the entertainment industry is music to our ears
This kind of initiatives is supported by the UNEP.
Like with other industries, the live music sector has been hard hit by COVID-19, as concerts and festivals were postponed because of social distancing measures and artists forced to take their gigs online.
But it’s not all bad. Virtual concerts can be a more sustainable way of enjoying music as the entertainment industry consumes an enormous amount of energy and concert-goers produce tons of waste. As shows leave the arena and enter the livestream, the music world is transforming the industry. In a post-pandemic world, this raises questions about what entertainment itself could be as we work to build back better.
The music industry began addressing its environmental footprint even before COVID-19. UNEP partner REVERB – a nonprofit organization that unites with musicians, festivals, and venues to green the concert industry – was founded on the belief that music has the ability to make people feel, care, and act. From eliminating single-use water bottles at live music events to sourcing local food and sustainable biodiesel, they take practical and impactful steps to green the industry.
To reduce their environmental footprint, REVERB has launched initiatives like #RockNRefill, a partnership with reusable water bottle maker Nalgene. The initiative has eliminated the use of more than 2.4 million single-use bottles at concerts throughout North America since 2013.
They have also started a campaign to address greenhouse gas emissions related to the music industry. Known as unCHANGEit, the program empowers all members of the music community to reduce their carbon footprint and then neutralize whatever they can’t reduce by funding greenhouse gas-fighting projects around the world. The campaign looks at all aspects of live music’s carbon footprint including artist and fan travel, venue energy use, and much more.
“REVERB has been working with music-makers and music-lovers for over 15 years to make concerts and touring more sustainable, reduce their environmental footprint, and rally millions of fans to take action for the planet” said Lauren Sullivan, REVERB Co-Founder and Co-Director. “We know that climate change is the most pressing issue of our time and we believe the music community can be – and through REVERB’s unCHANGEit campaign, will be – a leading force in addressing these problems and creating real, positive change for the future.”
The nonprofit also works with musicians to educate and engage their fans on environmental issues. Through Action Villages at concerts, festivals, and venues, REVERB provides a platform for fans to connect with environmental partners like UNEP. In these spaces, individuals can learn more about helping the planet and take actions such as UNEP’s #CleanSeas pledge, which was promoted at UNEP’s kickoff REVERB partnership concert tour with Fleetwood Mac in 2019.
“Our health and that of a planet is intrinsically connected with how we choose to live, work and even enjoy ourselves,” said Elisa Tonda, Head, Consumption and Production Unit, UNEP. “Music, which is deeply part of our culture, our individual and collective identity, can inspire a shift to live more sustainably and the industry itself can play a part by reducing its footprint through minimizing waste, lowering CO2 emissions, increasing awareness and motivating action.”
UNEP’s North American Goodwill Ambassadors, including Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews Band, are also in action. With the support of REVERB, Dave Matthews Band eliminated over 121 million pounds of CO2 and 478,000 single-use plastic water bottles from their tours.
Now, the nonprofit is facilitating events online, including Après Ski music performances supporting frontline healthcare workers; a sustainable cooking series called Quarantine Kitchen; and virtual roundtable discussions on issues such as illegal logging with Goodwill Ambassador Stefan Lessard from Dave Matthews Band.
As we work to build back better post-pandemic, industries everywhere should be looking to green their practices. REVERB and the surge of virtual concerts show us that sustainable change in the entertainment industry is not only possible but already happening.
Nowadays, music festivals are becoming more environmentally friendly. You may read about the festival of electronic music of the Dutch brand DGTL which became a precedent here.