Coldplay, Warner Music Group and Live Nation join MIT’s study of live music’s carbon footprint

Featured Image: Stevie Rae Gibbs

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Environmental Solutions Initiative (MIT ESI) is set to conduct a comprehensive study of the live music industry’s carbon footprint, which will be co-funded and supported by British band Coldplay, Live Nation and Warner Music Group. 

Following the study, a report will be published with practical solutions to help reduce the environmental impact of live music events at every level, from pubs and clubs to stadiums.

The report – which will be focused on the UK and US markets – is expected to be completed in July, and will begin with an initial research phase. The report will aim 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 provide a detailed analysis of the latest developments in green technology and sustainable practices.

MIT’s Environmental Solutions Initiative is a climate and environmental academic research and solutions group. The ESI will aim to create scientifically-informed actions and policies that can be implemented and replicated across the live music industry.

“I’m delighted to receive support from our funders 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 – whose current Music Of The Spheres world tour has the aim of reducing emissions by 50% – have also pledged to manufacture all physical records of their upcoming 2024 album from recycled plastic bottles.

Additionally, WMG has committed to lowering carbon emissions and reducing waste. The global music entertainment company will also provide its industry expertise, as well as internal data and insights to MIT for the report.

Olga LaBelle, WMG’s vice-president of ESG (Environment, Social, Governance), strategy integration and operations, said: “This support for MIT ESI 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.

“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 already supported its own venues and festivals in reducing their carbon emissions, energy use, waste and plastics. The entertainment giant will share its best practices and solutions for the report.

Lucy August-Perna, director of global sustainability at Live Nation, added: “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.”