The O2 London has today announced the launch of its own Green Rider, by its own admission “an industry-leading document intended to drive real change in live events and touring.”
The rider “is being shared with promoters and artist teams visiting The O2 from now onwards,” according to the announcement. It “acts as a guide for incoming productions and tours, outlining considerations and recommendations of how to make more sustainable choices and reduce the environmental impact of live events, whilst continuing to create best-in-class experiences and events for fans, bands, and brands.”
This includes recommendations on how to reduce CO2 emissions; make sustainable choices for equipment and materials used; reduce waste and energy consumption; monitor the carbon footprint of events; alongside an appendix containing useful resources and local suppliers.
The creation of the Green Rider follows the announcement that The O2 will be hosting “carbon-removed” events as part of a worldwide arena first, in collaboration with carbon removal experts CUR8, and sustainable event specialists A Greener Future. These pilot events, taking place at The 1975’s headline shows at the venue in February 2024, will use “a portfolio of carbon removal methods to physically extract the carbon generated by the events from the atmosphere and durably store it out of harm’s way,” according to the announcement.
The O2 was the first arena in England to achieve the Greener Arena certification from A Greener Future in December 2022. Among other things, the building was recognized for the procurement of green electricity, the implementation of digital ticketing, and major reductions in single-use plastic within the arena.
The O2, which is visited by over 9 million people a year, also boasts a back-of-house recycling program; state-of-the-art waste compound, green cleaning program, and an onsite wormery and Eco-Digester, which all contribute to none of the venue’s waste going to landfill.
Sam Booth, director of sustainability at AEG Europe, said. “As a world-famous venue and industry-leaders in live entertainment, we have a responsibility to help drive forward the sustainability agenda for international touring and live events, and that’s exactly what we’re trying to do with The O2’s Green Rider. Working closely with organisations like A Greener Future, we’ve identified key areas where the environmental impact of a tour can be significantly reduced, and this document has been designed to directly address this. Our ambition is to create a blueprint for shows visiting the arena moving forwards, and for the wider live industry, whilst also working collaboratively with artists and touring crews to make events at The O2 more sustainable, but still a great experience for the bands and the fans.”
Adam Pearson, commercial director at The O2, added, “The O2 arena hosts over 200 events a year with some of the biggest acts in the world, so we have a massive opportunity here to really drive the sustainability agenda forward in our industry. Sustainability forms a core part of the venue’s business strategy as we strive to reduce our overall environmental impact and ultimately achieve net zero, but we need to be aligned with the artists, promoters and touring crews that come through the door to produce truly impactful change. We’re really excited about the launch of our Green Rider and have received a really positive response from the industry so far, but the document will be ever evolving, so we welcome any suggestions for how to improve this further from the industry.”