Koktail Archive: Coldplay's "Music of the Spheres Tour" Takes a Leap Towards Sustainability

Coldplay's revolutionary tour sets new standards, significantly reducing the band's carbon footprint

When you're a musician embarking on a journey across the country, or even the globe, becomes an intrinsic part of your career. However, extensive touring also leaves behind a hefty carbon footprint, exacerbating the climate crisis.

Amidst the worsening climate crisis, numerous artists are striving for change. Coldplay stands among these forward-thinking musicians, following in the footsteps of Billie Eilish, who partnered with Reverb for her Happier Than Ever World Tour 2022, successfully curbing the environmental impact of her grand performances. These mindful artists not only use their platform to advocate for climate change, but they also take tangible steps towards addressing the issue.

Guided by three fundamental principles, Coldplay's Music of the Spheres World Tour endeavours to:

Reduce: Lower consumption and cut CO2 emissions by 50%

Reinvent: Support and pioneer low carbon touring methods

Restore: Maximise the tour's environmental benefits by funding nature and technology-based projects

As part of their sustainability initiatives, the band has pledged to slash the tour's direct emissions by over 50% compared to their previous tours in 2016-2017. Additionally, Coldplay collaborates with partners and suppliers to minimise impact and emissions as much as possible. For an in-depth exploration of Coldplay's extensive environmental goals, click here.

Now, after a year of touring, the band provides an update on the sustainability initiatives for their Music of the Spheres World Tour, which commenced in March and has already sold over 7 million tickets.

According to their website, the current tour has achieved the following:

- Show-by-show, a remarkable 47% reduction in direct CO2e emissions compared to their previous tour (2016-2017).

5 million trees planted, with One Tree Planted committed to nurturing each tree to maturity—one for every concert attendee. Across 17 countries and 21 planting projects, an impressive 5,000 hectares of land have been restored.

- In March 2021, the band deployed 1 solar-powered River Interceptor in the Klang River, Malaysia, in partnership with The Ocean Cleanup. Since the tour's inception, this initiative has successfully removed 158 tonnes of waste and 13 tonnes of ocean-bound plastic.

- An average return rate of 86% for the reusable, plant-based LED wristbands.

- In-venue solar installations, kinetic dance floors, and power bikes collectively generate an average of 15kWh of power per show. This is enough to energise the C-stage performance each night and provide the crew with charging stations for phones, laptops, and tools.

95% of shows offer free water refill stations for fans.

- By purchasing Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for flights, the band has saved 553 tCO2e (the amount of greenhouse gases emitted during a given period).

- An impressive 66% of all tour waste diverted from landfill.

- Tour catering has donated 3,770 meals and 73 kg of toiletries to support those who are unhoused and unsheltered.

- Coldplay provides financial support to various environmental organisations, including ClientEarth, The Ocean Cleanup, Climeworks, Sea Shepherd, Project Seagrass, Sustainable Food Trust, Cleaner Seas Group, Food Forest Project, Knowledge Pele, Conservation Collective, and others.

- Fans have taken a collective total of 707,288 actions through Global Citizen.

The band's efforts have received validation from Professor John E. Fernandez of MIT's Environmental Solutions Initiative, who expressed full endorsement, stating, "We recognize this effort as critically important, scientifically rigorous, and of the highest quality. The band deserves significant praise for commissioning this work and serving as a vanguard for the global music industry."

Furthermore, Coldplay has shown immense gratitude to everyone who has attended their shows, acknowledging the collaboration of all the remarkable individuals and creative minds who have made all of this possible.

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