Coldplay set standard for sustainable touring

British band Coldplay have released a sustainability report detailing all of the initiatives undertaken during the ongoing Music of the Spheres World Tour.

Before the tour began in 2022, Coldplay pledged to cut emissions by 50% compared to their previous world tour between 2016-17. The band also worked with their partners and suppliers to reduce their impact further down the supply chain as much as possible. 

DHL was brought on board as the tour’s official logistics partner, with a focus on using advanced biofuels in the air and electric vehicles on land. Where the band cannot reduce their impact, they have been drawing down unavoidable emissions following guidance within the Oxford Principles for Net-Zero Aligned carbon offsetting. 

With the tour ongoing, Coldplay have pledged to continue capturing climate impact data and calculating the band’s environmental footprint. 

On stage, the band have adopted greener ways to power production from the use of solar, sustainable biofuels to grid renewables. In a partnership with car manufacturer BMW, the band helped to develop a mobile, reachable show battery made from recyclable BMW i3 batteries. This battery powers 100% of shows through renewable energy. 

Additionally, the band have been installing kinetic floors in locations around the stadiums and venues, with fans’ dancing and movement converted into energy and used to power shows. 

In June last year, Coldplay revealed that they had reduced CO2e emissions by just shy of their 50% target. 

Travel has been carefully planned to minimise flying, while the band send a sustainability rider to all venues and stadiums in advance to request best environmental practices. Stages are built from lightweight, low-carbon and re-usable materials, which can be re-used or recycled at the end of the tour. 

The reusable LED wristbands worn by the audience as part of Coldplay’s shows are made from 100% compostable, plant-based materials while wristband production has been reduced by 80% through collecting, sterilising and recharging them after each show. In the first year of the tour, the wristband return rate averaged around 86%. 

Sustainability has even beed embedded in lighting and audio production, with low-energy LED screens laser and lighting systems, as well as a PA system that uses up to 50% less power compared to the previous tour. Confetti used during the show is 100% biodegradable and uses less compressed gas for ignition. 

The fans’ role in sustainable touring 

Coldplay partnered with SAP, a provider of enterprise application software, to develop a free tour app that encourages fans to use low-carbon transport to and from shows. Fans that commit to low-carbon travel have been rewarded with a discount. Concerts have also been accompanied by activations such as the energy zone, powered by solar and kinetic energy. 

Naturally, the band have worked with venues to focus on reducing water and plastic consumption, eliminating waste and recycling where possible. 

Within the band’s crew catering operations, plant-based and locally sourced food has been provided while surplus food has been donated to local food banks. 

Merchandise has been sustainably and ethically sourced, while Coldplay have also supported good causes during the tour. The band have worked on reforestation projects, have avoided mono-culture plantations and supported ocean conservation. 

Ultimately, Coldplay have committed to being transparent and the ongoing measurement of the band’s environmental impact – negative or positive. Working alongside Live Nation’s sustainability platform Green Nation, the band hope to develop sustainable practices to share across all other artists’s tours. 

Coldplay will next perform in Manila in the Philippines on January 19.