Impact NextGen: Eleanor Anderson

Eleanor Anderson
Music Sustainability Association


This is Eleanor Anderson’s second stint in the music industry. She started working for manager Howard Kaufman in 2016 before choosing to pursue academia, where she was working towards her PhD in Economics.

However, the industry called her back, and Anderson hoped that by returning, she could also work to find ways to better the environment.

“Even though I love academic research, there is no denying that the music industry shapes culture and behavior,” she says. “Having access to a highly visible industry, where musicians shape and change the beliefs of millions of people, makes it so that my work indirectly influences millions of people. As someone passionate about making an impact, there is no industry I would rather be in.”

Anderson, who runs the Music Sustainability Association, believes her age is a massive advantage. While the topic is frequently buzzed about in many spaces, inside and outside of the music industry, the field itself often changes, and Anderson finds herself quickly able to adapt to the change.

“Because I have no preconceived notions about what sustainability looks like in the corporate world, I am able to come up with solutions and go places that others may not go,” Anderson says.

She believes that focusing on sustainability can have an impact outside of just the music industry. While the music business itself can generate a large carbon footprint due to touring, powering stages and production, the whole world can benefit from sustainability practices.

“If we are looking to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint, the first step is to create a baseline and have measurement standards that can be used across the board,” Anderson says. “When something is tangible instead of nebulous, it forces you to grapple with and digest the reality of the situation, which in return changes the way you behave. The second shift is that having a public baseline creates a social norm. As more companies start to use this standard and benchmark against it, it creates the belief that using this standard is what is typical. This will cause a snowball effect that will influence the music industry at large.”