BRIT Awards expands industry initiative for sustainability with Music Declares Emergency partnership

BRIT Awards expands industry initiative for sustainability with Music Declares Emergency partnership

The BRIT Awards has been building towards its big show at the weekend with a series of announcements about performers, hosts, categories, nominations and more.

But perhaps the most far-reaching move by the BRITs has landed today with a comprehensive strategy for sustainability that could prove to be influential for the entire music sector.

As well as a new Music Declares Emergency partnership, there’s a direct appeal to The BRITs’ audience to get involved to help reduce CO2e emissions and air pollution by taking public transport to the event.

It comes as The O2 – which will stage the BRITs on Saturday (March 2) – has just teamed with The 1975 on the first carbon-removed shows at the venue

Major music companies have ambitious targets on emission reductions, while the live sector is also tracking its carbon footprint. But there is still much progress to be made across the UK industry, as the country moves towards net zero by 2050 (and 2030 in London under the plans put forward by the Mayor Of London).

The BRIT Awards 2024 with Mastercard has outlined its commitment to environmental sustainability, with new and continuing partnerships to support long-term goals for a more environmentally sustainable ceremony, creating a pathway to improve year-on-year.

This long-term vision will see The BRITs constantly “review, innovate and adapt to deliver the awards’ sustainability goals”, according to a statement.

To help The BRITs improve its sustainability, a significant amount of data will be collated across the 2024 ceremony by environmental action organisation Julie’s Bicycle

This work is supported by carbon calculating companies Lowr and Inspired Efficiency, BRITs TV’s use of environmental organisation Albert, BRITs Digital’s use of AdGreen and The O2’s own data on energy and waste. All this crucial data which will be utilised to inform the staging of future events. 

The commitment goes beyond the event itself with The BRITs announcing a partnership with Music Declares Emergency to launch the first public call to action for their global No Music On A Dead Planet campaign. 

No Music On A Dead Planet will encourage fans to take positive action, get involved in volunteering at music events and be rewarded with the chance to win prizes. A brand partnership with Tony’s Chocolonely will see a limited edition run of bars handed out at the BRITs.

Other initiatives adopted this year include: a 5% reduction target for emissions made by production vehicles and front of house catering. Companies and partners of the BRITs, including headline sponsor Mastercard, broadcast partner ITV and The O2, have also supported the commitment to incorporate sustainability into their own planning. The BRITs airs at 8.30pm (March 2) on ITV1, STV, ITVX and STV Player.

Dr Jo Twist OBE, BPI chief executive, said: “The BRITs have given us many iconic moments over their history, but their legacy should also be to drive progress across our industry to be more sustainable. Music fans, like the artists they love, care hugely about our planet and its future, so the positive actions announced with our partners today show how we can act together to use the transformative power of music for meaningful and lasting change.”

The BRITs have given us many iconic moments over their history, but their legacy should also be to drive progress across our industry to be more sustainable

Dr Jo Twist

Initiatives new and ongoing for 2024 to support an environmental policy that will help The BRITs and their partners create a sustainable event include:

– Commitment to the LIVE Beyond Zero declaration, the music sector’s commitment to deliver measurable and targeted action on climate change, with the ultimate aim of reaching net zero emissions by 2030

– An environmental impact strategy managed by Creative Zero

– All production suppliers have a specific environmental plan, policy or targets from the BRITs 

– All production suppliers requested to have environmental policies for their companies provided in advance or published on their website

– Asking The BRITs’ audience to get involved to help reduce CO2e emissions and air pollution by taking public transport to the event, and taking part in a travel survey powered by Lowr on the O2 app distributing the tickets

– Measuring and working towards reducing the event’s CO2e emissions, working with or using the tools of Julie’s Bicycle, Lowr, Albert, AdGreen and Inspired Efficiency, with efforts overseen by Creative Zero

– Food served to all guests, will be plant-forward and meat-reduced menus, with locally sourced ingredients

– Thanks to the O2 arena’s innovation, reusable cups will be served at this year’s ceremony, minimising single-use plastics further since introducing Notpla 

– Backstage passes and branding boards using recyclable foamcore for the first time

– Specialist communication training via Heard available to artist teams, production and other suppliers

– Elements from the show’s stage set donated to The BRIT School so they can be recycled and reused by students

– Working with global agency Eco-Age to provide style guidance for artists and talent 

– Each TV programme (ITV1 and ITV2) will be Albert-certified, with emissions measured using Albert’s Production calculator. 

– The O2 green rider used to inform suppliers – an industry-leading document, created by The O2, intended to drive real change in live events and touring 

– The O2 is renewable energy powered and they have a comprehensive on-site composting and recycling programme

These new and ongoing actions build on the event’s existing environmental commitments.

The BRITs have been working with not-for-profit organisation Julie’s Bicycle since its inception more than a decade ago, to apply its environmental expertise to calculate the ceremony’s carbon output and to make decarbonisation and nature restoration recommendations. The partnership has allowed The BRITs to track its progress in line with the live music industry’s Beyond Zero pledge, committing to decarbonising towards a collective goal of Net Zero by 2030.

Over the same period, the awards have also collaborated extensively with Life Water, helping to lead the ceremony away from single-use plastics. This partnership has seen The BRITs donate over 10,000 cases of clean water to parts of the world where access to drinking water is extremely limited.

Lewis Jamieson, co-founder of Music Declares Emergency, said: “Launching No Music On A Dead Planet to fans at the biggest night in UK music is the perfect way to encourage them to become part of a movement that draws on the positivity of music to help make the world a better place for everyone. We are thrilled to be a part of this year’s awards and are honoured to be a part of the BRITs ongoing journey towards an environmentally sustainable ceremony.”

Roxy Erickson, co-founder of Creative Zero, said: “The BRIT Awards are laying a strong foundation for their positive environmental and social impact to grow in an exponential, non-linear way. The team is gathering committed stakeholders, from creative sector leaders to artists to crew and fans, as it builds engagement and looks to make meaningful decarbonisation and nature restoration normal parts of everyday strategy. 

“While The BRITs know there is much more to be done, it is actively working to make production of the show progressively more sustainable, taking environmental concerns into each decision. They understand they have a hand in creating a brighter future for artists and fans if they point their spotlight at great organisations like Music Declares, Julie's Bicycle, Heard and Eco-Age.  A working future filled with gorgeous music is still possible if we all act with bravery.”

Chiara Badiali, music lead for Julie’s Bicycle, added: "Aligning the countless moving parts that come together for The BRIT Awards towards climate action is a huge creative and operational effort, and one that is vital in the context of a rapidly warming world. We're excited to continue our long-standing journey with the many people making it happen and unlocking new momentum and inspiration that recognises both the urgency and the potential of what can happen when the creative community acts together."

Attitude Is Everything

In a separate initiative, Attitude is Everything, Julie’s Bicycle and A Greener Future will publish a new toolkit which supports the UK’s events industry to implement practical solutions that tackle both climate change and accessibility.  

The toolkit, which provides guidance on how to make disabled people’s access to live events environmentally sustainable, will be launched today at the GEI conference with a presentation by Julie’s Bicycle and A Greener Future. It will be followed by a panel discussion with Attitude is Everything Patron Blaine Harrison of Mystery Jets, Arts Council England’s senior manager for environmental responsibility Feimatta Conteh and Forwards Festival’s accessibility manager Harry Jones.

Suzanne Bull MBE, founder, Attitude is Everything, said: “Just like there’s no music on a dead planet, there’s no access either. Public demand is growing for businesses to take their environmental and access responsibilities seriously, and that public includes disabled people.  More than one billion disabled people worldwide are more impacted by climate change than non-disabled people due to the additional access requirements and health concerns many of them have when disasters strike countries and our cities become clogged with polluted air.  My hope is that this collaboration and the toolkit will be the catalyst for change.”

Farah Ahmed, climate justice lead, Julie’s Bicycle, said: “We’re really proud to launch this toolkit with Attitude is Everything and A Greener Future. As the urgency of the climate crisis accelerates, we have to ensure that our responses are accessible, just, and inclusive. Live events and festivals have a responsibility to ensure that disabled people are included in shaping bold new ideas for climate action that leave no one behind.” 

Subscribers can read our Attitude Is Everything feature here.


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