Before hitting the road last March for their massive Music of the Spheres World Tour, Coldplay set forth some rather ambitious environmental goals — to reduce the carbon footprint from their 2016/2017 Head Full of Dreams stadium tour by more than 50 percent.
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One year later, Coldplay has nearly made good on their goal, by so far reducing carbon emissions by 47 percent. And according to Professor John E. Fernandez of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who is monitoring the study, the results are “scientifically rigorous and of the highest quality.”
Green measures that the band had taken on included implementing an electric battery system to run the entire show, using electric vehicles and alternative fuels where possible, and reducing waste and plastic. Additionally, Coldplay has also funded the planting of more than 5 million trees—one for each concert attendee.
In a statement regarding the tremendous feat, Coldplay said, while the numbers are a “good start… and something that our incredible crew should be very proud of,” they noted there is definitely still room for improvement. “Now that we’re into the second year of the tour, we’ve started to run the entire show (audio, lights, lasers, etc.) from an electric battery system that allows us to use 100% renewable energy as efficiently as possible,” it continued. “We have been using electric vehicles and alternative fuels wherever we can, as well as reducing waste and plastic usage to a minimum.”
They also thanked the crew that has allowed them to achieve their goals, as well as the fans who have helped power the stage batteries using the exercise bikes and kinetic dance floors, and those who’ve walked, used bicycles, ride-shares, or public transportation to get to the gigs, and those who brought their own refillable water bottles and returned their LED wristbands after each concert.
The 47 percent reduction is calculated on a show-by-show basis compared to their 2016-17 stadium tour.
In an accompanying statement from MIT's Professor Fernandez, the institute’s Environmental Solutions Initiative, “endorses this work as an important and substantive step toward a new era of eventually achieving carbon-neutral music events by major artists. The band deserves significant praise in commissioning the work and acting as the vanguard for the global music industry as it begins to take seriously the reality of living and making music in the Anthropocene.”
Check out the update on Coldplay’s sustainable touring initiatives below.