The entertainment industry is often progressive and (usually) on the right side of history, putting on events promoting peace, equality, justice and for many decades a safe and healthy environment.
More and more these days, the major corporations behind the touring business are gearing up their efforts to conserve, reuse and reduce coinciding with a growing concern over the future and safety of our environment. Live Nation, the world’s largest concert promoter, venue owner/operator and ticketing company with its Ticketmaster division, in 2018 eliminated all plastic straws at all of its owned and operated venues as well as House of Blues locations.
The major talent agencies are also believers, with Paradigm Talent Agency planting 708 trees as part of its Green Campaign, CAA boasting a fully LEED-gold-certified headquarters, WME eliminating plastic water bottles and UTA hosting a climate change discussion from noted environmental activist and performer Bill Nye, among the many initiatives.
Here’s a rundown of what some of the major concert players are doing to further the cause – both on the road and in-house.
Paradigm made donations to One Tree Planted, with 708 trees planted, one for every employee of Paradigm, Coda and X-ray Touring. There will be a weeklong Earth Day Employee Spotlight where staff will discuss what it means to them. A documentary screening will take place.
Environmental-friendly practices within the company’s offices include ordering only recycled paper, using Pilot pens made from recycled water bottles, recycling k-cups, and switching to biodegradable materials at the Beverly Hills coffee bar.
“We’re always looking for ways to assert our commitment to sustainability,” said Paradigm’s director of social impact, Denise Melanson. “Whether through charitable activities or internal initiatives, Paradigm strives to enhance our communities through conservation on Earth Day, and every day.”
Live Nation, along with the elimination of plastic straws, in 2018 created the “Sustainability Rocks” program as a platform to educate fans, employees and artists on the importance of protecting our environment. The program is tailored for each venue and includes:
Venue-wide compost programs to reduce food waste emissions was implemented in 2018. Free Flowater stations were installed to help reduce waste from single-use bottles, and more than 900 Zero Waste Stations were deployed across Live Nation venues. The company became the first to offer the plant-based Impossible burger and brought Questlove’s Cheesesteak, with responsible food sourcing since 2014.
In support of Earth Month, AEG just launched the #GoGreen Challenge, a month-long social media campaign that urges people to calculate their carbon footprint and take action by conserving more, using less and recycling.
Talent agency WME is likewise committed to reducing its carbon footprint. In a concerted effort to go green, the agency has switched to recyclables and compostable products in breakrooms, eliminated plastic water bottles, increased its number of EV charging stations from three to 15, switched to natural cleaning products in kitchens and implemented an employee rideshare program. In addition, WME’s in-house commissary Jack & Ben’s sources its to-go products using all bio-based, 100% biodegradable cutlery, paper straws and cups, and boxes made with biodegradable paper and corn lids.
United Talent Agency on April 5 hosted its 10th annual Green Expo at its Beverly Hills HQ, with more than 60 local brands and businesses to educate and share their latest eco-friendly and sustainable products. UTA Foundation is hosting a volunteer event with the Surfrider Foundation to clean up beaches in Santa Monica, the New York office plant and harvest an urban rooftop garden with The Earth Day Initiative, and Nashville will be making natural bath, body, and home products to benefit the organization Thistle Farms, which sells these products to help women survivors recover and heal from prostitution, trafficking, and addiction.
CAA’s LEED-gold headquarters sets the tone at its Los Angeles headquarters, while the agency also makes efforts to donate food to local community shelters, as well as providing electric vehicle charging stations, incentives for those making use of carpool and public transit, composting and recycling and conserving energy as much as possible.
While venue construction has gone exponentially greener in recent years, facilities still stand out, such as the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. The Saint Paul RiverCentre Convention Center and Roy Wilkins Auditorium are the only complex to be certified by Leeds, Green Globes and GMIC. The facility is the No. 3 purchaser of Windsource energy in Minnesota, and 40% of its staff commutes via bus, bike, carpool or efficient vehicle.
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