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Coldplay's pledge for sustainability

Words by Cheyanne Bryan

We’ve heard of many celebs and musicians thinking about their environmental impact, but have we actually seen any create a full report on their sustainability practices? 

Well Coldplay has taken the win here, and it is no small feat. 

Back in 2019, rock band Coldplay announced that they will not tour until they found a sustainable way to do so. Fast forward five years and they reported to various outlets that they have surpassed their eco-touring targets.  

Before we break down the key takeaways of their eco-conscious approach, let’s stage dive into what the ecological footprint of the music and entertainment industry currently looks like.  

Entertainment on the environment

As we are in peak festival season, let’s start there: every year the amount of waste that gets left behind at festival sites always makes headline news. Not only is this unsightly, but the litter can expose wildlife to toxins and contaminate soil quality. 

However, the impact is not only on the shoulders of consumers. Putting on a live music show uses a lot of electricity, so organisers and venues can make a simple swap to more renewable energy sources, or additionally advocate for eco-friendly transportation options. Any simple step adds up if there is collective action. 

Live concerts and performances produce 405,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually. The venue accounts for 34% of these emissions, while audience travel contributes 33%. Additionally, band travel, accommodation, merchandise, and promotions also play a role in generating emissions.

Coldplay’s big plan 

With over 20 years touring experience under their belt, Coldplay is shaking up the game. When they announced their most recent tour, they wanted to do things differently, and it was during this time they made a lot of big actions towards being green-thinkers. Here is a breakdown of their sustainability journey so far: 

2019 – Coldplay announces their sustainability plan with main goals: committing to carbon-neutral concerts, using sustainable merchandise, and working towards making their tours environmentally friendly. Coldplay also pledged to not tour until they can ensure that their concerts are sustainable and actively contribute to positive environmental change.

2020 – In February 2020, they unveiled their ambitious plan to make their future tours environmentally beneficial. 

2021 – The British band fronted the Playlists For Earth campaign with ClientEarth which sought to increase awareness of environmental concerns and advocate for sustainability through thoughtfully curated playlists. Many other artists and organisations were involved.

2022 – During the Music of the Spheres World Tour, the band emerged as leaders in sustainability within the live entertainment industry, achieving a 59% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to their previous concert series.

2023 – Listed amongst many others, by Time magazine and as one of the most influential climate action leaders in the world. 

2024 – Their most recent update is that their targets have been exceeded exceptionally, reducing over half of emissions as compared to their previous tour. Out-of-the-box thinking such as opting to travel by train, recyclable wristbands, and using kinetic dance floors that allow dancing fans to generate electricity transcended the ba results the band 

While this is a plan that they are integrating into how they operate as a band, it is unfortunate to say they have been met with some backlash. On the other hand, many people have noted that they could be bringing about the new standard which we could soon see adopted by many of their peers in the music industry.

Find out more information via their focused website,

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Charity check-in

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article. 

FWRD. This is a UK charity dedicated to reducing and diverting waste from festivals and events through engagement, motivation and kindness. Learn more here.

EarthPercent. This is a charity that invites all artists and music-based organisations and artists to pledge a percentage of their income to climate causes. Find out more here.

REVERB. This nonprofit organisation is formed by a community of music-makers and lovers to create a better future for people and the planet through action at concerts and beyond. Support them here.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Climate Action.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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