The much anticipated research from cross music industry climate change initiative Julies Bicycle on the environmental impact of touring has been launched at a breakfast meeing at the Royal Albert Hall in London today (17th June 2010) introduced by JB Chair Tony Wadsworth. The research, Moving Arts, covers bands, orchestras and theatre touring. The reseach looked to quantify the current level of greenhouse gas emissions from touring and the offers practical solutions and actions for the music indstry. The report concludes that although there are concerns about the environmet these are not yet (with some exceptions) reflected in touring practces. This is partially because financial decisions and constraints alongside artistic considerations are the main drivers dictating touring and therefor these will override environmental concerns. There is also a perception that ‘going green’ will cost more. However the Repirt shows that artists have, for theatre and arena tours, a high degree of influence and at the club level promoters and especially venue operators have a strong influence on the supply chain. Maximising opportunities for reducing GHG emissions requires consideration of the environment at a very early stage when th artist, manager, agent and promoter are booking a tour as decisions taken at the stage will have ramifications on the overall environmental impact of the tour.
Catherine Bottrill, JB’s Director of Research, outlined the Report’s findings into bands which looked at 32 tours – 11 in the UK, 10 in Europe and 11 in the rest of the World. In total for 2009 it is estimated that 85,000 tonnes of C02 were generated from UK bands playing in clubs, theatre arenas and stadia in the UK and around the World, with the UK impact being about 20,000 tonnes. Unsurprisingly, flying artists, crew and equipment around the world constituted a major contribution to UK artist’s greenhouse gas emissions and the Report gives clear detail of where greenhouse gas emissions come from.
The study found that in general touring bands, orchestras and theatre have not systemically embedded environmental considerations into touring practices. They are at the start of the process of engaging, measuring, reducing and communicating their efforts to improve the environmental performance of touring. JB found that industry professionals WERE willing to take action but needed help, advice and guidance to take proper and effective actions. The Report concludes by saying that the industry currently lacks capacity, resources and tools for an informed response to reducing GHG emissions, but the will to take action is increasingly evident.
Alison Tickell, JB’s Director, outlined JB’s recommendations which include
– Environmental sustainability needs to be embedded into touring
– GHG emissions need to be scoped when planning a tour
– GHG emissions need to be measured during a tour
– Venues need to embed sustainability into the operational and investment plans
– Suppliers need to invest in and offer goods and services that have strong environmental credentials
You can download the full report at http://www.juliesbicycle.com/about-jb/research/moving-arts. Its free but you do need to register with JB.