Warner Music Group unveils 2023 ESG Impact report

Warner Music Group unveils 2023 ESG Impact report

Warner Music Group has released its 2023 Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) Impact report. 

The third annual report is divided into three key areas focused on empowering the company’s people and creative talent, using WMG’s cultural influence for good, and reducing the major's negative impact on the environment.

Robert Kyncl, CEO of WMG, said: “2023 was a year where we set in motion new plans for the long-term success of WMG. We’re sharpening our focus on delivering for our artists and songwriters, employees, and shareholders, while giving back to the communities in which we work and reducing our impact on the planet. As a global company, we understand how much music matters – not just as a force in entertainment, but for its power to influence positive changes in society, technology, and commerce.”

In August 2023, WMG named Olga LaBelle vice President, ESG. The function was first formed after the company went public in 2020.

LaBelle added: "I am very proud to share WMG's progress and impact in this report. We’re supporting and developing our people, using our voice to promote diversity and integrity, and galvanising the industry to reduce its environmental impact – starting with improvements in our own operations and supply chain. I look forward to scaling many of the initiatives that we’ve started, and am excited to work with our industry partners to drive innovation.”

In terms of empowering people and creative talent, the 2023 report highlights include:

–  Advocated for the responsible use of AI, including working with the digital platforms, the AI engines, and governments around the world, to provide an appropriate framework for the use of an artist's name, image, likeness, and voice (NILV) rights. WMG is also a founding member of the Human Artistry Campaign.  

– Broadened the company’s Employee Assistance Programme and instituted a parental leave policy in the UK and a flexible time-off plan in the US that starts in 2024.

– Scaled the senior leadership training programme, Top Line, while investing in training and coaching for all employees and continuing the successful Go Contribute programme for the fourth year. Continued the company’s focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion – including rolling out a mandatory DEI Foundations course in 10 markets and launching internship programs for women in A&R.

– Focused on ways to better support the mental health and wellbeing of the company’s artists and songwriters, including partnering with Xception in the UK and launching Warner Cares Denmark, as well as Warner Chappell introducing the Better Up programme.

– Hosted songwriting camps around the world to foster inclusivity, build connections, and provide tools for artists and songwriters to build careers. Camps included SheSounds in Spain, which brought together more than 2,000 attendees, and the MSG Writing Camp in Los Angeles, which brought together over 50 Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander producers, songwriters, and artists.

The Warner Music Group/Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund supported non-profits like Gender Amplified, Black Lives In Music, Janelle Monáe’s Fem the Future, Nile Rodgers’ We Are Family Foundation, and other organisations that cultivate social justice through education, arts and culture, and criminal justice reform.

In terms of reducing WMG’s impact on the environment, measures covered in the report include:

– Committed to sourcing 100% renewable energy for all of WMG’s offices globally by 2030.

– Co-founded the Music Industry Climate Collective (MICC), which aims to use data, science, and collaboration to provide practical recommendations and science based strategies specifically tailored to the unique requirements of the music sector.

– Innovated with Sonopress to create the industry-first EcoRecord, a greener vinyl that saves 85% CO2 emissions in the manufacturing process and replaces the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with an innovative and recyclable material (PET).

– Announced a 2024 partnership with MIT, Live Nation, Hope Solutions and Coldplay on a scientific study of sustainable touring, to identify where the music industry can reduce the carbon footprint of live events.


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