Beggars Group and Ninja Tune have unveiled plans to transform their operations to become carbon negative.
The news arrives at the beginning of Music Declares Emergency’s Turn Up The Volume week, which brings the music industry’s sustainability efforts under the spotlight and aims to encourage further action.
Beggars Group and Ninja Tune are founder members of IMPALA’s Sustainability Programme, which was set up in March this year to drive collaboration among the independent sector over climate issues.
The two companies – both stalwarts of the UK indie world – are focusing on areas that impact the environment most. They will be encouraging pressing plants to switch to renewable energy, reducing the impact of freight and reducing travel. Both Ninja Tune and Beggars have installed renewable energy systems in their London headquarters.
Comprising 4AD, Matador, Rough Trade, XL and Young, Beggars has drawn up an operations strategy based around climate science. The company has hired its first head of sustainability, Will Hutton, who has spent the past six months working on the strategy. Beggars has enacted a policy to become a carbon negative business, pledging to reduce emissions by 46% by 2030. It has released further details in a full emissions report.
Ninja Tune, which is home to Big Dada and Technicolour and works closely with Brainfeeder, has committed to becoming carbon neutral by the end of 2021 and carbon negative after that.
The climate crisis is already affecting millions of people
Peter Quicke, Ninja Tune
The label will measure its environmental impacts, work on reductions and offset its impact using tree planting, rainforest protection and other methods. The company removed CD jewel cases from all releases 12 years ago, has switched to 140g vinyl and uses sustainably sourced FSC card and paper in packaging. Ninja Tune is a long-term supporter of Greenpeace, Extinction Rebellion, The Rainforest Trust and more.
Ninja Tune chair Peter Quicke said: “The climate crisis is already affecting millions of people, governments need to act now. Ninja Tune's net zero commitment reflects an active drive towards sustainability, but it's also a call for widespread change."
Music has the power to help catalyse action, so it’s vital that businesses like ours do all we can
Paul Redding, Beggars Group
Beggars Group CEO Paul Redding said: “Music has the power to help catalyse societal action on the climate crisis so it’s vital that businesses like ours do all we can to help protect the environment. We can’t do it alone. We’re just one small part of a broader community made up of artists, music associations and suppliers, and it’s essential that we work in a coordinated way to address sustainability issues together as an industry.”
Will Hutton, head of sustainability at Beggars Group, said: “To get to work on measuring and reducing our impact as quickly as possible, we took the decision to focus on UK-managed operations (about two-thirds of our business) at the outset of the project in September 2020. Over the summer of 2021, we will expand our data collection and analysis efforts to cover US-managed operations too, giving us a comprehensive oversight of the global business.
“We’ve worked hard to make sure the pathway we have established is built on rigorous analysis of available data. We will continue to collaborate with partners across our supply chain to improve the availability and accuracy of information for the benefit of the whole record industry.”
Read Music Week’s recent feature on Big Dada here.