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Coldplay's Sustainability Scorecard: How the Band's Sustainability Report is Striking the Right Chords?

Coldplay Sustainability report
Published on Aug 09, 2023

ESG has become a top priority for the industry, and businesses are constantly making headlines by introducing new measures to fulfill their promise of being sustainable. Businesses are truly leading the way in this space as innovators. And the entertainment business is slowly contributing to this part. 

One such news that is attracting all eyeballs is Coldplay's Sustainability Report. 

Yes, you heard it right. A British pop band that has dominated the charts for over 20 years and is currently touring the world has published a sustainability report. What is more refreshing is how simple, thorough, and ambitious the report is as it states all the measures, they have taken along with the value chain and tangible goals, thereby empowering the reader to make a difference.  

Coldplay is among the most environmentally friendly major touring artists across the globe. The group recently published an update on the sustainability initiatives incorporated in their “Music of the Spheres” World Tour that started in March 2022 and has sold more than 7 million tickets so far.

coldplay sustainability report

How Coldplay’s Sustainability Report Strikes the Perfect Chord with the Audience? 

Coldplay's The Music of the Spheres Tour is as sustainable and low-carbon as possible. The sustainability strategy of the concert was guided by three key principles: 

  • Reduce: Reducing consumption, recycling extensively, and cutting our CO2 emissions by 50%. 

  • Reinvent: Supporting green technologies and developing sustainable and low-carbon touring methods. 

  • Restore: Make the world tour as environmentally beneficial as possible by financing a portfolio of nature- as well as technology-based solutions. 

The stage production during the world tour is being powered entirely with renewable and super-low emission energy. As per the published sustainability report, the current tour has: 

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  • produced 47% fewer CO2e emissions than their previous tour in 2016-17. 

  • almost 66% of the tour waste has been diverted from landfills. 

  • 5 million trees were planted (one for every concertgoer). The trees will be supported to maturity through One Tree Planted. 

  • The power for the show’s production, including audio, lighting, and lasers, is provided by an electric battery system that utilizes 100% renewable energy. 

  • 86% of the reusable, plant-based LED wristbands used by the concertgoers during the show have been returned.  

How Coldplay’s Sustainability Report Strikes

  • 3,770 meals + 73 kg of toiletries have been donated from the World Tour catering to the unhoused and unsheltered. 

  • each show generated an average of 15kWh in power generated in-venue via solar installations, kinetic dance floors, and power bikes. The generated power is enough to power the C-stage performance each night and supply the crew with phones, laptops, and tool-charging stations. 

The comprehensive sustainability report, ahead of their current tour, highlights other critical components such as: 

  • Solar 

Solar photovoltaic panels were built up for each show - behind the stage as well as on top of PA and delay towers to charge the show batteries. 

  • Sustainable Biofuels 

Across the tour, renewable diesel - a palm-oil free HVO-type (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) biofuel was utilized that was produced 100% from renewable raw materials, primarily waste and residues like used cooking oil. Renewable Diesel helps in lowering generator carbon emissions significantly. Renewable diesel was also used to fuel the tour trucks in as many locations as possible. 

  • Battery Systems 

In partnership with BMW, the committee worked to develop the first-ever mobile, rechargeable show battery - made from recyclable BMW i3 batteries. The batteries were used to power 100% of the show with renewable energy. 

  • Kinetic Energy 

Kinetic floors were installed in locations around the stadium. Fans dancing on the kinetic floors generated energy and helped power the show. Electricity-generating power bikes were also installed so that fans could actively charge the show batteries. 

Coldplay’s Sustainability Report

  • Performance Stage 

The world tour stage was built from a combination of lightweight, low-carbon, and reusable materials, such as recycled steel, that can be reused or recycled at the end of the tour. 

  • LED Wristbands 

The reusable LED wristbands distributed and worn by the fans as part of the show were made from 100% compostable, plant-based materials. The wristband production was reduced by 80% by collecting, sterilizing, and recharging them after every show.  

  • Special Effects 

The confetti used during the show was 100% biodegradable and required less compressed gas for ignition. The band has also displayed the use of a new generation of sustainable pyrotechnics that require less explosive charge and new formulas that further aid in reducing or eliminating harmful chemicals. 

While being critically important, these efforts are also scientifically rigorous and of the highest quality. Coldplay truly deserves significant praise for commissioning the work and acting at the forefront of the global music industry. 

Measures and Alignments 

The report highlighted in the first aspect is the emphasis on measurement, processes, and alignment with internationally recognized frameworks. Coldplay adopted the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and benchmarked its current tour against the previous one. They have set clear goals to reduce their CO2 emissions by almost 50%. The report also outlines initiatives and partnerships that have empowered them to reach the set goals, thus providing readers with transparency and accountability. 

Coldplay’s Sustainability Scorecard

Vital Clarity 

Another remarkable feature of the sustainability report is the clarity of set objectives and goals. Sustainability reports tend to be dense with information making it difficult to navigate. They are filled with complex jargon and technical language. However, Coldplay's report breaks away from this trend and presents a clear and concise manner that is accessible to all readers. It also offers a well-structured overview that emphasizes the key achievements, challenges, along with future goals.  

By simplifying the report structure and focusing on the essential information, Coldplay ensures that its message to contribute towards sustainable actions reaches a wider audience. This approach enhances transparency and fosters engagement, further encouraging stakeholders to act. 

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Inspiring Efforts and Action  

Coldplay's sustainability report goes beyond numbers and statistics. It portrays a compelling story that inspires stakeholders and audiences to become agents of sustainable change. The report emphasizes the band's commitment to reducing the carbon footprint and supporting renewable energy projects. The report also acknowledges the challenges and areas for improvement. By presenting honest shortcomings, the band demonstrates their willingness to learn and grow. 

Translating Clarity into Reporting: Key Highlights  

  • Streamlining Complexity:  

Businesses mostly fall into the trap of using technical jargon and language in their sustainability reports. By streamlining and simplifying complex concepts and using plain language, they can effectively communicate sustainability goals and progress to the readers.  

Sustainability Report coldplay

  • Narrating a Compelling Story:  

Sustainability reports go beyond data and numbers. The report should connect with the readers on an emotional level and inspire them to take necessary action. By emphasizing the positive impact of sustainability initiatives and communicating personal anecdotes, businesses can develop a sense of purpose to rally support from stakeholders.  

  • Embracing Transparency:  

Coldplay's sustainability report presents a brilliant example of transparency in sustainability data cations. Businesses should be honest about their challenges, setbacks, and plans for further improvements. This level of honesty helps in fostering a sense of trust and credibility with stakeholders, thereby cultivating meaningful engagement and support.  

  • Focus on Graphic Communication: 

Coldplay's report uses visuals and infographics to convey the necessary information. By incorporating visual elements to enhance the readability and impact of their reports, businesses can better present complex concepts and highlight key data points to make the report more engaging.  

  • Engage with the Readers:  

The sustainability report actively engages with the readers by presenting a call to action. Businesses should involve their stakeholders in the sustainability journey by interacting and seeking their views and fostering a sense of collective responsibility. 

Read more: SFDR: Understanding EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation 

Coldplay's Sustainability Scorecard

Final Thoughts 

Coldplay's sustainability report from their Music of the Spheres Tour goes beyond being mere documentation of the efforts taken to foster a balance in the environment. It sets a powerful precedent for the music industry and everyone seeking to communicate their sustainability and ESG initiatives.  

By prioritizing clarity and embracing transparency, Coldplay has displayed the positive influence a well-crafted sustainability report can have on the wider community. 

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