In 2016 196 countries signed the UN Paris Accord agreeing to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions at the national level. The Accord requires countries to make drastic reductions every 5 years, involving all industries including entertainment. The UK rock band, Massive Attack, are pioneering this change with support from experts at the University of Manchester. Products from Energy Floors are designed to help the industry.
Actions to achieve climate change goals are often targeted at big businesses and large corporations who have a heavy hand in emissions. But there are ways that we can all make a difference in our day-to-day lives that are not always readily considered. Though the pandemic stymied a lot of entertainment initiatives, the reopening of the live music industry makes it imperative that they do so mindfully and sustainably.
Creative ideas have sprung up as a result of the need to be more climate-conscious when planning concerts, tours and gigs. For example, live streaming has taken heed (largely owed to the lockdowns), but nevertheless provides a nuanced approached to enjoying live music. More recently, the Scottish venue SW3 announced that it will be using renewable energy to power the venue. The body-heat emitted from visitors will be redirected into thermal energy, ultimately fuelling the building. Construction is underway to make this happen in time for the COP26 conference in Glasgow this November.
3 important actions
Climate change experts at the university provided a roadmap alongside a list of recommendations for the music industry after reviewing the tour data from Massive Attack. They also conducted interviews with a number of stakeholders involved in managing and facilitating the tours. Three key recommendations include:
- Tour venues need to attain zero co2 emissions by the year 2035.
This can take the form of, for example, minimising electricity use by appliances (such as lighting, sound equipment and refrigeration); ‘generating renewable electricity onsite with technologies such as solar PV’ or increasing data sharing and awareness of electricity used in productions to all stakeholders.
- Reduce audience travel – this makes up the largest proportion of live music related emissions when all sources associated with events are aggregated.
This can be overcome by offering incentives for taking public transport or collaborating locally for shared transportation. Walking, or cycling to and from the venue were also included, and for those travelling from further afield, a package offer can be offered to contain the emissions.
- Reducing business travel
Though this point is perhaps the most obvious, of interest to note is that transporting equipment is included as a key contributor. The initiative of ‘Plug and Play’ is a solution that can be adopted or adapted across event venues. Plug & Play is a venue whereby everything an event organiser would need is already set up and ready to go, reducing the need for transporting lots of equipment and organising logistics.
How can we help?
Energy Floors raises awareness about the energy transition in fun and exciting ways. We do this through two sustainable products. Firstly, through our Sustainable Dance Floor which primarily serves the entertainment sector. Each floor module produces 20W – 35W of energy when stepped or jumped on. It reinforces the message that energy can be produced anywhere, including from ourselves as humans. Installing our Sustainable Dance Floor is a perfect way to both attract and educate customers about renewable energy. It makes energy production visible.
Our second solution is solar panel floor modules which we call The Walker. It is designed specifically for smart cities and smart buildings and speaks directly to innovating event venues by using renewable energy on site. The solar tiles can be programmed to show real-time data and provide awareness to those stepping on or looking at them.
Join the movement
The five-year milestone set by the Paris Accord is fast approaching and we need to ensure we are on track in all industries we engage with. Other artists such as Coldplay, Billie Eilish and The 1975 have also pledged to include carbon reducing efforts in their upcoming tours. The attention drawn to these issues by global artists aims to encourage fans to change their behaviour too.
It is important to state that although this roadmap and recommendations were written and targeted to the UK context, their implications are far reaching. Indeed, the objective is to influence and start the conversation across entire industry, globally. You can read the full report here.
Read more about our work to support greener festivals.