A report due to be published in May has revealed the carbon footprint of the music industry. And it's not a pretty sight. Julie's Bicycle, a not-for-profit organisation that was set up to research the matter, discovered that the UK music industry alone is responsible for the output of 540,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases a year. That's the equivalent of 3,333 Boeing 747s. That's a lot. In a bid to tackle the problem - three quarters of the gases produced are due to live performances - music agents, promoters and managers met up in London earlier this week to discuss how to be greener without losing revenue.
Julie's Bicycle carried out the study by looking at 90 artists' tours across the UK, the US, Asia and Europe. Everything from the size of the tour to the bands' dressing room requests was taken into account. They discovered that audience travel accounts for 43 per cent of the gases produced, while live events create 23 per cent and music recording and publishing emit 26 per cent. CD distribution was also counted. Suggestions for greener tours include encouraging fans to car share, making sure merchandise is manufactured ethically and eschewing private jets in favour of more enviromentally friendly transport.
Possibly Bono could recycle his supply of sunglasses and turn the resulting mass into a huge stage complete with wheels? That might have helped to cut down on the carbon footprint of their last tour, which, according to one environmental group, was the equivalent to flying to Mars and back.