Coldplay smash sustainability targets for Music of the Spheres world tour

Featured Image: Rob Ridley

British band Coldplay have revealed that their Music of the Spheres world tour saw a 59% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in its first two years compared to their previous tour. 

In 2021, Coldplay announced a 12-point strategy to reduce the carbon footprint of touring (across show production, freight, band and crew travel) by 50%. The direct CO2e emissions are some 59% less than the band’s previous stadium tour in 2016 and 2017 on a show-by-show comparison. The figures have been verified by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative.

The band also revealed that seven million trees had been planted (one for each concert-goer), with the trees supported to maturity via One Tree Planted. This means that approximately 10,000 hectares of land have been restored across 24 countries and 48 planting projects.

Two solar-powered Ocean Cleanup River Interceptors have been deployed, while 86% of fans returned the LED wristbands waved around during the concerts, allowing them to be reused for future shows.

A total of 18 shows were powered entirely using the pourable battery system, which is made from recycled BMW i3 batteries, in 2023.

Some 23 partnerships have been established with green travel providers to help fans travel to shows via low carbon transport, while 17kWh of energy on average has been generated per show via in-venue solar installations, kinetic dance floors and power bikes. This is roughly enough to power the band’s C-stage performance each night.

Additionally, all shows featured free water refill stations for fans.

Over 3,000 tCO2e was saved by purchasing Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for flights, and 72% of all tour waste was diverted from landfill and sent for reuse, recycling and composting. Related to waste, 9,625 meals and 90kg of toiletries have been donated from tour catering to the unhoused and unsheltered.

There has also been a 33% reduction in freight impacts.

As part of the sustainable touring initiative, financial support has been given to a number of environmental organisations including ClientEarth, The Ocean Cleanup, Climeworks, Project Seagrass, Sustainable Food Trust, Cleaner Seas Group, Food Forest Project, Knowledge Pele, Conservation Collective, and more.

In a statement, Coldplay commented: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to our incredible touring family and to all the brilliant people who’ve made this possible.

“Most of all, we’d like to thank everyone who’s come to a show and helped charge the show batteries on the power bikes and kinetic dance floors; everyone who’s arrived by foot, bike, ride share or public transport; everyone who’s come with refillable water bottles or returned their LED wristband for recycling; and everyone who’s bought a ticket, which means you’ve planted one of seven million trees so far.

“As a band, and as an industry, we’re a long way from where we need to be on this. But we’re grateful for everyone’s help so far, and we salute everyone who’s making efforts to push things in the right direction.”