Editor's Pick

Coldplay exceed emission reduction targets for Music Of The Spheres Tour

Coldplay have beaten the target they set themselves for reducing direct carbon emissions over the first two years of their world tour.

The band, who have long taken a responsible attitude towards the environmental impact of their world tours, had set themselves the challenge of cutting the emissions from each show on their current Music Of The Spheres Tour by 50% compared to those on their 2016-17 Head Full of Dreams Tour.

Two years into the tour, the band have announced that the reduction actually stands at 59%, as verified by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative. They also point out that these are actual emissions reductions and do not involve carbon offsetting or carbon credits.

The emissions taken into account include those from the events themselves, freight and travel, although the band do not ignore the fact that the audience has to travel to the event. In 2022, Live Nation partnered with Coldplay and major public transportation providers to offer fans free or discounted rides to the venue, a move which saw a 59% average increase in public transport journeys on show days across four US cities.

On the current tour, the band have used an industry-first mobile rechargeable show battery, made from recyclable BMW i3 batteries and powered concerts by using renewable resources including solar power and even stationary bicycles.

In a statement, the band said: ‘We’d like to say a huge thankyou 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 7 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.’

The statement goes on to list some highlights of their efforts: 

  • 7 million trees planted
that will be supported to maturity via One Tree Planted – one for each concert goer. Approximately 10,000 hectares of land restored across 24 countries and 48 planting projects
  • 2 solar-powered Ocean Cleanup River Interceptors deployed
  • 86% average return and re-use rate of LED wristbands
  • 18 shows powered entirely using the tourable battery system in 2023 made from recycled BMW i3 batteries
  • 23 partnerships with green travel providers to help fans travel to shows via super-low carbon transport
  • 17kWh average power per show generated via in-venue solar installations, kinetic dance floors and power bikes – enough to power the band’s C-stage performance each night
  • 100% of shows with free water refill stations for fans
  • Over 3,000 tCO2e saved by purchasing Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for flights
  • 72% of all tour waste diverted from landfill and sent for reuse, recycling and composting
  • 9,625 meals + 90kg of toiletries donated from tour catering to the unhoused and unsheltered
  • Financial support given to environmental organisations including ClientEarth, The Ocean Cleanup, Climeworks, Project Seagrass, Sustainable Food Trust, Cleaner Seas Group, Food Forest Project, Knowledge Pele, Conservation Collective and others
  • 33% reduction in freight impacts

Prof. John E Fernandez from the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative said: ‘For some time now, Coldplay has been leading by example in taking seriously and acting on the various interrelated environmental and social challenges facing humanity; climate change, biodiversity loss, air and water pollution, environmental injustice and more.

‘With each subsequent year of their tour they demonstrate an evolving vision and expanded commitment to move the entire music industry toward true and humane sustainability and planetary resilience. From collecting unprecedented amounts of data to taking specific actions today based on rigorous analysis, Coldplay is modelling a trajectory toward a low carbon, biodiverse and equitable future.

‘I have reviewed their latest efforts and endorse and congratulate Coldplay in their dedication to positive and meaningful actions and Hope Solutions in their comprehensive and meticulous analysis and recommendations.

‘This latest analysis of Coldplay’s impact on the environment from touring is again setting a new standard for the entire music industry. The data and the methods of analysis support the conclusion that substantial progress has been made to reduce emissions in touring.’

photo: Stevie Rae Gibbs

Paul Day
Paul is the editor of Public Sector News.


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top