Live Nation's Industry Green Venues
Live Nation has operated at the forefront of the music industry’s response to climate change for several years, clearly signalled by its 2007 appointment of the first full-time sustainability officer in the music industry. Its “Green Nation” environmental strategy articulates the strategic importance of environmental sustainability to Live Nation’s status as the largest live entertainment company in the world.
During the last few years Live Nation has reduced its built estate in the UK, while developing promotion and production, management and ticketing, all of which offer opportunities for improving environmental performance and setting an example to its global operations and the entertainment industry more broadly.
Recognising the value of a standardised approach to measuring environmental performance in the industry, Live Nation’s sustainability staff worked closely with Julie’s Bicycle to develop our Industry Green certification programme, and now the five UK Live Nation venues are signed up to Industry Green assessments alongside their standard environmental policy, creating a baseline for its built estate against which both internal and industry-wide progress can now be measured.
Paul Latham, President of UK Music & Venues at Live Nation says, “we at Live Nation Entertainment believe that it is vitally important to pay more than lip-service to addressing the issues before us. Hence we have been major supporters of Julie`s Bicycle since inception and try to do our best to both follow their guidance, and lead on initiatives. By engaging dedicated staff throughout our venues and festivals as “environmental champions” we hope to improve our performance wherever we can. Live Nation Entertainment is happy to share our learnings with anyone in our industry as the global ecological challenge goes way beyond competitive advantage.”
Wembley Arena was built in 1924 and after 50 years of hosting live shows the 12,500-venue is the third largest in London, and has seen over 48 million people pass through its doors.
Activity on this scale requires dedicated environmental action, and Wembley Arena, as part of the Live Nation group, has been steadily improving its environmental impacts, becoming the first commercial venue to undergo the Industry Green certification process, and the first to meet the Industry Green criteria for 2 stars.
They gained this distinction by evidencing a substantial per show reduction of 10% with 2008’s primary carbon emissions of 5.6 t CO2e dropping to 5 t CO2e emissions per show. This reduction included substantial improvements in water and waste management: during 2008 1.1 tonnes of waste went to landfill per show, compared to 0.5 tonnes in 2009. Water efficiency was also improved, from 11 litres per show per seat in 2008 to 8 litres in 2009.
Wembley Arena’s environmental policy includes a commitment to reduce 2010’s energy use per show by 5% compared to 2009. Some of the management measures in place to achieve this include: weekly measuring of its energy use weekly via SMEasure.org.uk, continuing to raise staff awareness and offer training, and working towards engagement with show designers.
Wembley Arena is also commended for tracking information about its audience travel. A 2009 survey showed that the majority of audiences visiting Wembley Arena already use public transport: 1.4% travel by coach, 11.4% by Car, 20% by Bus, 20% by Train and 47% by Tube. This provides a baseline by which to compare 2010 emissions against and allow for tailored interventions in future years.
Cardiff International Arena
Cardiff International Arena has nominated an environmental champion, shares its environmental policy and carries out annual audits of its premises using Live Nation’s “Green Nation” developed internal assessment system.
A number of environmental initiatives are currently underway at the Arena including monthly monitoring of electricity use where the venue has invested in upgrading it’s Building Management System, which controls lighting, heating, extraction and air conditioning throughout the building in a far more efficient manner; the use of energy saving light bulbs; a switch off campaign; recycling schemes which are advertised to the audience and incoming productions; urinals with flush motion sensors; and bicycle storage facilities and a cycle to work scheme to name a few. The Arena also communicates environmental obligations to contractors and producers. Its established environmental management systems and the clear baseline from its Industry Green assessment provide a golden opportunity to aim for further improvements in the coming year.
Motorpoint Arena Sheffield
The Motorpoint Arena was built in 1991 with a capacity 13,200. Its staff are recycling waste, installing energy-saving light fittings and committing to reducing its energy usage. The Arena have increased their recycling rates from about 5% to 85%; food waste is separated out, and all waste is processed through a Materials Recycling Facility.
The venue’s box office and reception were recently refurbished and fitted with panel LED lights, which last longer and use less energy. The Arena has commissioned two lighting surveys to identify investments to maximise efficiencies.
Despite the number of shows and ticket sales increasing in 2009, the Motorpoint Arena managed to reduce its overall (absolute) primary greenhouse gas emissions by 55 tonnes CO2e (3 tonnes less per performance), equating to savings of £2,860 in mitigation costs (at £52 per tonne CO2e). That means the Arena has managed to reduce its emissions per performance by 15% from 2008 to 2009, due to a 5% reduction in energy use in the same period.
Overall, the Arena’s greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 2% from 2008 to 2009, and based on its progress across all areas the Motorpoint Arena is awarded Industry Green 1 star for its initial period of assessment. The progress already shown in tackling emissions reductions means it is well placed to achieve 2 stars if it continues to implement environmental management strategies across the venue.
O2 Apollo Manchester
The O2 Apollo Manchester (opened in 1938 with a capacity of 3,500) has appointed a “Green Nation” champion who concentrates on environmental issues, works with the technical team and encourages and informs staff on best practices. It also carries out an annual audit and sets new targets on an annual basis using a Live Nation developed ‘Green Nation’ internal assessment system.
Energy-saving initiatives include the installation of “last man out” switches, energy-saving light bulbs throughout the venue, and dual flush systems with flow restrictors in the restroom facilities.
The O2 recycles cans, cardboard, paper, light bulbs, batteries and print cartridges, and information on the recycling capabilities of the venue is communicated to reps for every incoming production in the venue’s Technical Specification document.
Electricity consumption per performance has been reduced by 7% from 2008/09 to 2009/10, and primary greenhouse gas emissions (discounting audience travel) have decreased by 29 tonnes, saving £1,508 in carbon mitigation costs (at £52 per tonne CO2e).
Based on these reductions, and the venue’s commitment to energy-saving initiatives, the O2 Apollo Manchester has been awarded Industry Green 2 stars.
The Guildhall is the South's largest multipurpose entertainment venue combining Comedy, Classical Orchestras, Family Entertainment and Rock/Pop. Southampton Guildhall, which opened in 1937 and was refurbished in 1989, has applied a tailored version of Live Nation’s environmental policy to its operations and undertaken a number of initiatives including: installing PIR lighting controls, updating lighting (including the working lights) to be more energy-efficient; and is currently recycling paper, card (including the Tuborg paper cups), PET plastic, glass bottles and batteries. E.on power down kits have been installed in the offices, which ensure that computer peripherals are turned off when computers are shut down.
Southampton Guildhall’s direct greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 2% from 2009 to 2010, due to a decrease in electricity emissions (there is no gas consumption as the venue is on a district heat network). However, per performance, the direct greenhouse gas emissions of the venue have increased from 2009 to 2010.
On the basis of the commitment to achieve reductions and actions to date the Guildhall is awarded Industry Green 1 star. The Guildhall is a complex and historic building, which houses a library and Council offices as well as the venue. This makes accurate measurement of many of Industry Green criteria difficult, but the venue is committed to working closely with Southampton Council to continue to find cost-effective ways to improve the venue’s performance and achieve 2 stars.