The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Environmental Solutions Initiative (MIT ESI) is to conduct a comprehensive study of the live music industry’s carbon footprint.
The study is co-funded and supported by Warner Music Group, Live Nation and Coldplay. The report will suggest practical solutions to reduce the environmental impact of live music events at every level, from pubs and clubs to stadiums.
The partnership will kick off with an initial research phase, resulting in an assessment report of live music and climate change, focused on the UK and US markets, which is anticipated to be completed in July 2024.
According to the announcement, the report aims to:
• Develop a comprehensive assessment of the relationship between live music and climate change
• Identify key areas where the industry and concert-goers can make tangible improvements to reduce emissions and drive planet-positive outcomes
• Provide a detailed analysis of the latest developments in green technology and sustainable practices
MIT ESI will recommend actions and policies that can be implemented and replicated across the entire live music industry, in order to reduce its environmental footprint and establish a sustainable future for live events.
“I’m delighted that we will be working with our partners to co-create recommendations for a sustainable future in music,” said MIT professor John E Fernandez, director of the ESI. “As well as jointly funding the research, I applaud the spirit of openness and collaboration that will allow us to identify specific challenges in areas such as live event production, freight and audience travel, and recommend solutions that can be implemented across the entire industry to address climate change.”
Coldplay, who launched their current Music Of The Spheres world tour with a pledge to cut emissions by 50%, have also made a world-first commitment to manufacture all physical records for their upcoming 2024 album from recycled plastic bottles.
WMG will provide its industry expertise, encompassing internal data and insights, to MIT for this report. The major has innovated in production and distribution with a large-scale release of ‘Re-Vinyl’ for Coldplay’s Music Of The Spheres album made of 100% recycled vinyl raw materials in 2022.
“This partnership represents WMG’s proactive approach to advancing industry-wide understanding of the climate impacts of the music industry and supporting our artists' connections with fans worldwide,” said Olga LaBelle, WMG’s vice president, ESG, strategy integration & operations. “I’m pleased to be able to lend our scale and resources to further the industry's understanding and approach to climate-positive outcomes.”
Live Nation’s Green Nation sustainability division has experience supporting top artist tours, as well as readying its own venues and festivals to reduce carbon emissions, energy use, waste and plastics.
“We're proud to share best practices and solutions developed by Green Nation in this report,” said Lucy August-Perna, director of global sustainability, Live Nation. “Helping accelerate sustainable practices benefits everyone who enjoys live music, while ensuring a strong future for the industry. We look forward to sharing the report with industry partners and fans alike."
In 2022, Live Nation partnered with Coldplay and major public transport providers to offer fans free or discounted rides to incentivise and encourage green travel. This initiative supported a 59% average increase in public transport ridership on show days across four US cities.
PHOTO CREDIT: Stevie Rae Gibbs