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How Coldplay cut emissions by 50% on tour

Words by Smiley Team

Since Chris Martin announced last year that Coldplay would cut its carbon footprint by 50%, the band set out on an eco-friendly world tour this month. Taking impressive sustainability measures they have managed to halve their emissions from gigs across Europe, the US and Latin America.

“There’s always the argument of like ‘Why tour at all?’ and that’s where we don’t really have any comeback except, we would really like to,” the lead singer told the BBC back in October 2021.

With the launch of their tour more recently, they have shown willingness to adapt their tours in order to continue doing what they love.

Coldplay said: “We’re very conscious that the planet is facing a climate crisis. So we’ve spent the last two years consulting with environmental experts to make this tour as sustainable as possible, and, just as importantly, to harness the tour’s potential to push things forward.”

The tour for their new album ‘Music For The Spheres’ draws on this expert advice to abide by a list of sustainability initiatives set out on the website.

With the initial announcement, Chris explained how they would run their shows entirely on renewable energy, from a kinetic dance floor, bicycles, solar panels and waste cooking oil.

[Discover other great initiatives to accelerate climate action and help protect life on Earth]

Excitingly, they achieved this goal while also piloting new technologies that have never been used before. The tour is powered partly by the world’s first-ever rechargeable show battery, charged from waste oil from restaurants, solar panels and waste energy from fans.

To travel, the band carefully planned their route to minimise air travel as much as possible, favouring electric vehicles and biofuel. 

Some flying proved unavoidable, for instance, crossing the Atlantic. But they are taking additional measures to lower flight emissions. By paying a surcharge, they funded more sustainable aviation fuel. When this was not available for their own flights they invested in greener fuel for future air travel.

As promised, wristbands and other tour items are 100% biodegradable and fans are encouraged to bring refillable water bottles to cut back on plastic waste.

For all their efforts, Coldplay recognises that there is still more musicians like them can do to lower their impact.

They said: “We won’t get everything right, but we’re committed to doing everything we can and sharing what we learn. It’s a work in progress and we’re really grateful for the help we’ve had so far.”

Inspired to act?

DONATE: To help transform the music industry to make it more sustainable, donate to green music charity REVERB.

VOLUNTEER: For exciting opportunities to play a leading role in making music more sustainable, volunteer for REVERB.


This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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