Low Carbon Music Tours poster

With just a few prudent measures in many areas, a real difference can be made

Music tours make a small contribution to the climate crisis compared to other industries. However, musicians are prominent role models for many people. Taking genuine action, big or small, in a way that resonates with fans, will contribute to tackling the crisis far more than we can know.

The be-all and end-all of every successful green tour is the fit between the performer and their green activities: Any measure will appear forced if it does not fit the performer’s image. Hence, only things that are important to the performer and their team personally and which they can credibly represent should be placed in the limelight.

There are many ways a tour impacts the climate, and they generally fall into two categories; those you can control or have some influence over, e.g. merchandise and band travel, and those you can’t control, e.g. fan travel. We focus on the areas you can tackle now, and the actions you have more control or influence over. Underpinning all environment and climate action is a sound understanding of the tours’ carbon footprint.

The steps below outline Borrowed Time’s approach to a tours’ first transparent and honest sustainable tour through reducing its GHG footprint.

Step 1 
Build a reference case

Gather data and screen the Greenhouse Gas emissions impact of the tour.

Step 2
Reduction pathways

Model different pathways to reduce emissions by assessing impacts of energy and emission reduction actions.

Cost benefit analysis of projects, to support development of business case.

Step 3
Set target strategy

Agree an overall carbon reduction ambition for the tour.

Build a strategy based on the results of the reduction pathways.

Step 4
Carbon neutrality

Consider what to do with the remaining emissions that can’t be tackled.

Step 5

Develop communication that transparently outlines the green strategy in an authentic way that matches the performer’s profile.

Develop guidelines for robust carbon neutral claims.

It is important to bring all work to life through the authenticity of the artist. Without engaging, digestible, communication, the story won’t be told, and the opportunity to widen the impact and bring others along will be lost.

Communications must be tailored to specific audiences. A press release shouldn’t have the same voice as your social media posts. The details of your GHG reductions shouldn’t be on a poster, but they do need to be on your website to back up your claims.