Coldplay Reduced Its Carbon Footprint Of Live Shows By 47%

Chris Martin of Coldplay performs at Hampden Park on August 23, 2022, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Euan Cherry/Getty Images)

Coldplay has gone to great lengths to reduce their carbon footprint as they sell out stadiums across the globe with their “Music of the Spheres World Tour” the past year, and their efforts paid off as the band reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 47% compared to their previous stadium tour in 2016-17.

An MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative team led by Professor John Fernandez collated and assessed the data to confirm the figure, endorsing the band’s “effort as critically important, scientifically rigorous and of the highest quality.”

“MIT ESI endorses this work as an important and substantive step toward a new era of eventually achieving carbon-neutral music events by major artists,” Fernandez said in a statement. “The band deserves significant praise in commissioning the work and acting as the vanguard for the global music industry as it begins to take seriously the reality of living and making music in the Anthropocene.”

Some of Coldplay’s sustainability efforts include planting five million trees (one for each concertgoer), deploying a solar-powered River Interceptor in Malaysia’s Klang River to help remove tons of waste and plastic, diverting 66% of all tour waste from landfill, donating meals and toiletries from the tour to the unhoused and unsheltered, an 86% average return rate of reusable, plant-based LED wristbands and solar installations powering dance floors, stages, electronics and power bikes.

However, the band believes there is room for improvement as they fell just short of their goal of achieving a 50% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

“This is a good start – and something that our incredible crew should be very proud of – but clearly there’s still room for improvement,” Coldplay said. “Thank you to all the brilliant people and creative minds who’ve helped us so far.”

They are well on their way to making strides in 2023 as the band started to use electric battery systems to run shows and uses 100% renewable energy. Coldplay went on to thank environmental organizations for their support as well as the fans for doing their part in making concerts greener.

“You have helped charge the show batteries on the power bikes and kinetic dance floors; traveled to shows by foot, bicycle or public transport; used the recycling bins; ride-shared; brought refillable water bottles; returned the LED wristbands after the show. And just by coming you have had a tree planted, and helped a range of environmental organizations like The Ocean Cleanup and ClientEarth (a team of lawyers who defend the environment),” the band said.

The “Music of the Spheres World Tour” has been a massive success, grossing more than $407 million, according to reports submitted to the Pollstar Boxoffice. They performed six sold-out shows at Estadio Cicero Pompeu de Toledo in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from March 10-18, moving nearly 440,000 tickets and grossing $40.1 million. The band was No. 5 on Pollstar’s Year-End Top 200 Worldwide Tours with a gross of $217.7 million.