Coldplay is revolutionizing touring with sustainability initiatives

Coldplay is pursuing a holistic agenda to make music touring sustainable - an interim result promises success of the ambition


Author: House of Eden

  • Coldplay's "Music Of The World" tour sets an unparalleled example of sustainable touring
  • Collaboration and innovation steer Touring models toward Net Zero
  • Halfway through the tour, one thing is certain: live performances and sustainability can go hand in hand

Coldplay has been touring since 2000 and has been shaping the global industry ever since. However, the band owes its popularity not only to great music moments, but also to a clear value system. Interaction with fans, social commitment and environmental protection have never let her lose her fame. Rather, let it gain cultural relevance.

Today, 23 years after the first tour, Coldplay continues to write music history. With their "Music Of The Spheres" world tour (18.03.2022/04.02.2024/400.000 to XNUMX/XNUMX/XNUMX), the band is revolutionizing the traditional touring model, paving the way for a more sustainable music industry and responsible event concepts. Records from the past show how important this is: Live concerts cause more than XNUMX tons of greenhouse gas emissions every year. This does not include other touring activities such as transport.

Coldplay is now challenging this status quo through bold ambitions and strong partnerships. They use innovative technologies and partnerships with companies and NGOs to establish sustainable practices along all tour dimensions.

Coldplay defines three basic principles for sustainable touring

In order to make the world tour as sustainable and low-carbon as possible, three basic principles were defined:

  1. REDUCE: Less consumption, more recycling and 50% less CO2 emissions than the last tour in 2016-2017
  2. REINVENT: Promotion of green technologies and development of new sustainable, particularly low-carbon travel methods
  3. RESTORE: Funding of nature or technology related projects and more CO2 removal than production

Specifically, these core principles define strategic planning and actionable actions in the areas of carbon emissions, energy, travel, stage performance, fans, water, waste, food, merchandising and charity.

How live acts can reduce their CO2 emissions

As a leader in sustainable transport, DHL supports the tour with solutions to minimize logistics-related emissions and other environmental impacts. In addition, all emissions are minimized in accordance with scientific knowledge. For example by using clean energies and sustainable biomaterials. Data collection and compliance with reporting standards also make it possible to reduce unavoidable emissions in accordance with the Oxford Principles for Net-Zero Aligned Carbon Offsetting.

Despite efforts, it is clear that the tour will leave a drastic carbon footprint. That's why Coldplay is committed to removing more CO2 than it produces. To this end, the band supports projects for afforestation, reforestation, conservation, regeneration of the soil, as well as carbon capture and storage. A tangible example: every ticket sold means a tree is planted.

Also, the band pays a surcharge for the use or delivery of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) on all flights - whether commercial or chartered. This consists of 100% waste and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from aviation by up to 80% over the entire life cycle.

Why not only the sun, but also fans can supply stages with sustainable energy

Unlike conventional stage production, the "Music Of The Spheres" world tour will be powered almost entirely by renewable, low-emission energy. Means: Clean energy sources instead of fossil fuels wherever possible:

  • The batteries for the shows are charged by solar panels installed behind the stage
  • Renewable diesel (100% renewable, palm-free biofuel) is used throughout the tour to reduce emissions from generators and transportation by 75-95%
  • Sustainable energy systems, for example the first mobile, rechargeable show battery - developed in cooperation with BMW - which can supply the show with 100% renewable energy, regardless of location
  • Kinetic floors and electricity-generating power bikes directly convert fans' dancing or riding into energy that drives the show

100% natural materials that promise 100% show effects

Coldplay obliges each location to choose and design the building materials of the stage and the show effects with regard to environmental friendliness:

  • The stages are made from a combination of lightweight, low-carbon and recyclable materials
  • Fans receive reusable LED wristbands made from 100% compostable, plant-based materials that are collected, sterilized and recharged after each show
  • The show uses high-efficiency devices such as B. Energy-saving LED screens, laser and lighting systems
  • The confetti is 100% biodegradable and requires little pressurized gas to ignite
  • A new generation of sustainable pyrotechnics that can greatly reduce or eliminate harmful chemicals

Interactive and educational: Coldplay not only wants to entertain, but also to educate

In terms of a holistic approach, the commitment also refers to promoting a conscious mindset among the fans. In cooperation with SAP, Coldplay is providing its fans with a free tour app that encourages them to use low-emission transport to and from the event. Anyone who commits to this even receives a discount code. Based on the app, the band calculates fans' carbon footprint and commits to reducing all of these emissions by supporting climate initiatives. In addition, the merchandising comes from sustainable and ethical production.

The band also maximizes the water efficiency of their concerts by providing fans with water refill stations. In doing so, they strive to stop the use of single-use plastic bottles and promote recycling.

Coldplay takes stock of tour sustainability goals

To prove that the sustainability agenda is more than lip service, Coldplay recently released a report detailing emissions data for the last 12 months of their tour. This was evaluated and independently validated by John E. Fernandez, Professor of Environmental Solutions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. According to the report, the initiatives have already resulted in a 47 percent reduction in direct carbon emissions compared to the previous tour. This is progress, but leaves room for growth and improvement. The reduction target of 2% has not yet been reached.

Other achievements include the planting of approximately 5 million trees, the restoration of 5.000 hectares of land in 17 countries and 21 planting projects, the elimination of 158 tons of waste and 13 tons of plastic in the sea, and an 86% response rate for the reusable plant-based LED bracelets . In addition, the band was able to generate an average of 15 kWh of electricity per show with the help of the solar systems, kinetic dance floors and power bikes.

Finally, the plan to pay 10% of the proceeds into a fund for good causes and to split these funds between environmentally and socially conscious projects was also implemented. To date, it has funded a number of charities including ClientEarth, The Ocean Cleanup, Sustainable Food Trust and Conservation Collective. In addition, the band donated 770 meals and 73 kg of toiletries from tour catering to the homeless.

What's next?

With its interim assessment, Coldplay has already proven at the "halfway point" of the tour that the conventional touring model can be steered in a sustainable direction by ambitious projects. As a band that is not only globally renowned, but also performs worldwide, the band can not only set an example within the industry, but also create broad awareness. For industry, other artists and fans. "We won't do everything right, but we're committed to doing what we can and sharing what we learn," said Coldplay.

By working together, the band ensures that any sustainable practices developed on this tour are shared, adopted and scaled up throughout the industry.

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