How to Green Your Concerts Without Breaking the Bank - Reverb.org

How to Green Your Concerts Without Breaking the Bank - Reverb.org

How to Green Your Concerts Without Breaking the Bank Created for NACPA Fall 2011 Introduction Ok, so the term “green” has been thrown around a lot ...

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How to Green Your Concerts Without Breaking the Bank

Created for NACPA Fall 2011

Introduction Ok, so the term “green” has been thrown around a lot lately—perhaps to the point where you roll your eyes into the back of your head. Or maybe you like the idea of lightening your concert event’s load on the planet in theory, but aren’t sure where to start the process or feel like it simply isn’t feasible. If this sounds familiar, then this document was made for you. In the following pages, we’ll walk you through some simple steps that will result in real and measurable benefits not only for the earth, but for your business as well. You read that right: you can improve your bottom line, increase fan satisfaction, and strengthen relationships with artists, all while doing better for the environment! We understand the hurdles you face financially, contractually, with regards to time management and staffing. Our goal is simply to help you get started down the path—it’s not an “all-or-nothing” proposition. And if you have already initiated some greening efforts, this may help you add a few more.

6 Ways You Can Go Green

1 2 3 4 5 6

Provide fans alternative ways to get to the show like ridesharing & public transportation.

Amplify the effect of your actions by connecting fans to local environmental groups.

Adopt energy efficient practices and incorporate new products and technologies, to save money in the near term.

Background

Set up a comprehensive recycling program with your waste management provider.

NACPA partnered with the non-profit group, Reverb, to speak with various promoters and venue operators across the country to get a “lay of the land” as far as their interests, challenges and abilities to go green. In addition to the data collected in this process, Reverb has extensive experience in the live music industry: greening over 100 major tours and thousands of concert events including Jack Johnson, Coldplay, Dave Matthews Band, Drake, Arcade Fire, John Mayer, Maroon 5, Sheryl Crow, Phish, John Legend, the Honda Civic Tour and many more.

Conserve water by retrofitting restrooms and reduce plastic waste from single use water bottles.

After gathering a rich and textured picture of the situation along with many great success stories from the field, NACPA asked Reverb to present the following suggestions to help encourage concert promoters and venues start down the path of green. We identified the top six areas of impact with simple solutions, specific examples of where the proposed solution has been shown to be effective, and a few resources to get you rolling.

Apply the same principles of greening your concert events to your office work environment.

So without further ado…

1 fan transportation

Provide fans with alternative ways to get to the show (like ridesharing & public transportation). This will reduce parking staff costs and allow fans to get in and out of the show more quickly, resulting in a happier fan! Amazingly, up to 70% of the carbon footprint of an average concert is from fans traveling to and from the show. The average trip to and from a concert is around 70 miles round trip. Multiply this by 2,000 cars and you’re looking at over 140,000 lbs of CO2 being produced from one concert! By promoting and incentivizing the use of existing public transportation infrastructure (buses, trains, subways, etc.) and ridesharing, you will not only cut down on the carbon footprint of your event, but also will be giving fans the tools to implement these changes in their own lives on a daily basis.

There are virtually no additional costs for sharing this information with fans since many online ridesharing services are free of charge and public transportation information is readily available online. As an added benefit, fans who take public transportation can buy that extra beer since they won’t be driving!

Environmental Impact High

Implementation Difficulty Low

Financial Benefit Medium

Cost Low

Simple Solutions Integrate an online carpooling program into your website. It’s free for you and will give fans an easy way to travel to and from the show.

effective solutions in action

resources

The Comcast Center (Mansfield, MA) has implemented an incentive-based carpooling program. When fans arrive at the venue, vehicles containing four or more passengers are allowed access to an express lane to drive directly to a preferred parking lot nearest to the gates. The use of this express lane and reduced inventory has actually decreased the number of parking attendants needed! The venue has also received great feedback from carpoolers who were happy not to wait so long to get in and out of the venue!

Zimride.com

Free online ridesharing for events, organizations and businesses

PublicTransportation.org

Information on all types of public transportation in many markets

Google Maps Public Transportation

Integrated public transportation directions to and from just about anywhere

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How to Green Your Concerts Without Breaking the Bank

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2 environmental education

Amplify the effect of your actions by connecting fans to local environmental groups. By bringing wider attention to these community groups at your events, you will show how your company is a conscientious and friendly corporate citizen.

There are almost 200 environmental non-profit organizations in the state of California alone! One of the largest challenges for every grassroots environmental organization is reaching large numbers of people at once. You have the solution to their problem! By inviting environmental organizations to connect with fans at your events, you’re ensuring that the positive environmental actions you have taken on site will be seen and appreciated by thousands of fans, and those fans will take these same actions home to share with families, friends, coworkers and school-mates. There are relatively no costs involved with inviting local organizations to provide important sustainability information at your events. All you need to do is provide a table and they will do the rest! This is good PR, helps the local groups and spreads goodwill about your efforts.

Environmental Impact Medium

Implementation Difficulty Low

Financial Benefit Low

Cost Low

Simple Solutions Connect with four local non-profit groups and set up a weekly rotation for tabling at your concerts.

effective solutions in action

resources

Best Buy Theater (New York, NY) is located in the heart of Times Square, which is not exactly top on the list of anyone’s 100 best environmental locales. This hasn’t stopped them from inviting a number of local and national environmental groups to their lobby to educate guests during shows since they opened six years ago. “As a venue, many of our environmental efforts like energy-related best practices and the use of green cleaning products are behind the scenes, so it means a lot to us and even more to our fans when we can bring out a great environmental group to share in the concert experience and provide our fans with some interesting and useful information” says Blake Henry, GM of Best Buy Theater.

Guidestar.com

The definitive list of non-profit organizations along with access to financial records, annual reports and more

DoSomething.org

Just like the name says, pick a topic and this site will help you find a group who’s out there working on it

CauseCast.org

A great list of non-profit organizations in many markets

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How to Green Your Concerts Without Breaking the Bank

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3 energy efficiency

By shifting some common practices and incorporating new products and technologies, you can save money in the near term. If there’s one thing a concert uses a lot of -- it’s energy. Whether it’s electricity for sound and lights or heat for a drafty old venue, energy consumption not only creates a negative environmental impact, but a financial one as well. There are many quick and easy solutions to keep your energy bills in line: installing motion detector light switches, maintaining a dark stage when possible and switching to more energy efficient Energy Star appliances (air conditioners, bathroom handdryers, refrigerators, etc.) If you control heating and cooling, make sure you’re using a programmable thermostat to control the temperature when you’re not around. Unbeknownst to many, the Federal government, along with states and municipalities, have a myriad of programs in place to encourage businesses to go green. From tax incentives to rebates, the next time you consider making a capital improvement, investigate the many energy efficient options that are available to you. Some of these choices might be more expensive on the front end, but will likely save big bucks in the long run!

effective solutions in action

Environmental Impact High

Implementation Difficulty Medium

Financial Benefit Medium

Cost Medium

Simple Solutions Check with your utility to see if you qualify for any grants, subsidies or rebates for going green. You’d be surpised how much money is out there for the taking!

DSIRE.org

In depth database of all state, local, federal and Utility energy efficiency rebate programs

EERE.Energy.gov

The US Department of Energy guide for all kinds of information on energy efficiency and renewable energy projects

EnergyStar.gov

The EPA’s guide to energy efficiency for your home, business and many products and appliances

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LED Lighting

technology

resources

Midland Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri is an historic theatre built in 1927, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Even with the challenges of maintaining the aesthetic of the original marquee, Midland staff exchanged over 4,400 25-watt incandescent bulbs with new 8-watt compact florescent bulbs that will put out more than 25 percent more light. The initial investment was $36,000, but it will save them over $28,000 per year paying them back in 1.2 years.

Uses at least 75% less energy than incandescent lighting, saving on operating expenses.

Motion Detector Light Switches With a low investment you can save big!

CFL Light Bulbs Last up to 10 times as long and can save up to 75% per year for equivalent wattage

Weather Stripping Low tech, Low cost, but significant yields, paying for themselves in only one year!

How to Green Your Concerts Without Breaking the Bank

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4 recycling

Garbage is expensive! By setting up a comprehensive recycling program with your waste management provider, you can cut down on your waste-hauling bill, while putting forward a concrete and visible environmental effort for the fans.

Environmental Impact

You know how the floor or lawn looks at the end of a show. Much of what goes into the trash at the end of the night could be recycled. Ask local waste providers what is recyclable in your area (it varies by municipality), and try to match what is readily recyclable with what products you are distributing to fans. Working with concessionaires to use recyclable catering products to increase the percentage of recyclable content will significantly reduce the amount of garbage (and garbage hauling costs) that you create.

Financial Benefit

Once you have the back end ready to rock, the other key element to a successful recycling program is proper waste “capture.” Amazingly, in 2008, Americans generated about 250 million tons of trash and only recycled and composted 33% of this waste! Clearly marked bins, signage and properly trained staff will go a long way toward fans disposing of garbage and recycling in their respective receptacles. When implementing a new waste management and recycling system, consider bringing in local non-profit recycling experts who can not only train your staff, but also the general public. Some fun recycling contests can go a long way too!

Simple Solutions

effective solution in action

High

Implementation Difficulty Medium Medium

Cost Medium

Check in with your waste management company to find out what can be recycled in your area. You might be surprised to find out that some of the items that you’re throwing away can be recycled!

resources

When Steve Liberatore of U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, OH, was tasked with finding a creative solution to promote the venue’s recycling program, he enlisted the help of their waste management provider, Rumke. Together, they created a unique sponsorship that allows both parties to benefit, while engaging fans at the same time. The first fan spotted recycling at many events is now treated to a prize from Rumke highlighting their green action. “We were really excited to inform our patrons of our recycling efforts and we came up with a clever way of showcasing it. The ‘Caught Green Handed’ promotion that we run during our hockey games has been well received by fans and has been an easy way to let everyone know that we recycle here at U.S. Bank Arena.” says Kristin Ropp, GM of U.S. Bank Arena.

Your Local Waste Management Provider Start the conversation with your local waste management provider. You might be surprised by what they offer!

WasteManagement.com A leading national waste management provider that has a number of environmentally beneficial programs

ClearstreamRecycler.com The makers of some of the most solid, simple, inexpensive recycling bins out there

Earth911.com Online search engine for those hard-to-recycle items

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How to Green Your Concerts Without Breaking the Bank

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5 water conservation

Bathrooms are water hogs. Single-use water bottles are expensive and create waste. Here are some ways to tame the water beast… Over the next 50 years, the cost of water will skyrocket as the worlds population continues to increase and access to fresh water decreases. Installing low-flow sinks, showers and toilets is a great place to start, and while you’re at it, look into purchasing an Energy Star rated water heater. Water-free urinals are an excellent solution saving up to 60,000 gallons of water per unit annually. Where possible, consider collecting rainwater to irrigate your lawn or green spaces. After rest rooms, one of the next largest uses of water at a concert is single-use plastic water bottles. In 2007, bottled water production in the US alone used enough energy to fuel about 1.5 million cars for the year! In an effort to curtail the waste from these bottles (even if they are recycled, we have needlessly created another piece of petroleum based plastic) many events have offered water stations to artists, staff and fans where reusable water bottles can be refilled. You will be pleasantly surprised at the financial savings you see as the cases of single-use plastic water bottles disappear and you don’t have to deal with recycling so many bottles!

effective solutions in action

Environmental Impact Medium

Implementation Difficulty Medium

Financial Benefit Medium

Cost Medium

Simple Solutions Fill a plastic water bottle or two with sand, cap it and put in the toilet tank to reduce the amount of water used per flush.

Water-free Urinals

Water Sense (epa.gov/watersense)

An EPA-run wastewater efficiency program with numerous resources and tips

Surfrider.org

The Surfrider Foundation has great tips on reducing your water use

BritaHydrationStation.com

One of the simplest solutions for a mobile water station for any type of location

WaterEfficiency.net

The journal for water resource management, with tips and articles

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technology

resources

It’s hard to not think about water when you’re at The Gorge Amphitheatre (George, WA) perched majestically above the Columbia River. With such an immediate connection to water, it’s a good thing the venue practices water efficiency. In addition to low-flow sinks and toilets, The Gorge actively recycles grey water from showers and introduces it back into the ecosystem.

Believe it or not, these don’t smell any worse than traditional water-waster urinals and can provide 60,000 gallons of water savings annually!

Low-flow shower head & Sinks

85 billion gallons of water per year could be saved if everyone in the United States used just one less gallon of water per shower each day!

Water Stations

Install water stations backstage for artists and front of house for fans. Encourage everyone to use reusable water bottles to cut down on plastic waste.

How to Green Your Concerts Without Breaking the Bank

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6 office greening

Now that you’ve implemented changes at your concerts, don’t forget your office! Many of the same simple changes can add up to some environmental and financial savings! Each of the five areas of greening actions mentioned above can be very easily translated to apply to just about any office space. While recycling, water conservation and energy efficiency programs for 15,000 fans might be a bit more visible to the public, it’s just as important to practice those same good habits backstage and in the office as well. Simple steps can go a long way when added up over time. Turn off the lights when leaving a room - or even better, install motion detectors that will do this for you! Did you know that even when you turn off an appliance, it often continues to use power? Instead of flipping the switch, pull the plug! Use less paper in the copier when possible, making sure to print on both sides. When purchasing office products, try to buy environmentally friendly products like eco-friendly cleaning supplies, recycled paper and recycling bins. Consider implementing employee incentives and contests to reward good behavior. You will be surprised how much folks are willing to do for the right carrot!

Environmental Impact Medium

Implementation Difficulty Low

Financial Benefit Medium

Cost Low

Simple Solutions As each of your lightbulbs burns out, make sure to replace with an energy efficient CFL model. They’ll last longer and save you money!

effective solutions in action

resources

Here at the Reverb office, we’ve taken some simple steps to make our operation a little greener. Each employee is outfitted with a reusable water bottle to fill up at our office bubbler, all of the cleaning products used in the office are either homemade or environmntally friendly, we’ve swapped out all of our overhead lights with energy efficient CFLs and lastly we all ride our bikes or walk to work almost every day.

NRDC.org

The Natural Resources Defense Council has a number of excellent recommendations for ways to keep your office space green while saving money

Treehugger.com

If you’re looking for information about how to keep your work place and home green, this is a great site

USGBC.org

The US Green Building Council is the organization behind the LEED certification standard. They have many tips on their website about the best ways to go green in your work space.

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How to Green Your Concerts Without Breaking the Bank

Page 8

Reverb Commentary Since starting our work in 2004, we’ve seen many positive changes in the live music community as we move toward more earthfriendly practices. In the beginning, much of the progress was made by touring musicians engaging in environmental efforts to rectify the lack of standardized greening practices from venues and promoters at the time. We are excited to see increasing numbers of venues and promoters “catching up” to the way many green-minded artists are doing business and responding in a manner that is not only positive but collaborative. For instance, where once touring artists had to carry their own recycling bins and find their own way to properly dispose of those items, it is now commonplace to find proper recycling facilities at most venues. If you don’t have proper recycling yet, we hope you take a look at #4 on our green list and try to make it happen - it’s the most eyecatching effort you can make to bands and fans alike! As these greening programs continue to develop, and expand to venues across the country, there is no question that collaboration is the best way forward - not just between artists and promoters but also amongst promoters themselves. Even direct competitors benefit from sharing best environmental practices. This is “a rising tide lifts all boats” situation where everyone wins: the fans have a better concert experience, the bands appreciate the efforts they see around them, and the promoter is the big hero to both fans and bands while saving money and the planet at the same time! Reverb is honored to have worked with so many great folks in the live music sphere and look forward to seeing the tide continue to turn toward a more sustainable live music industry.

Additional Project Background As you now know, NACPA has partnered with Reverb to analyze the potential impact that promoters could have with a framework designed to assist with the implementation of an environmental strategy. In the previous pages, we’ve walked through some simple steps that will result in real and measurable benefits not only for the Earth, but also for your business. We also want to give a bit more context around the development of this project as well as proper credit to those who have helped make this project a success.

Phase 1 Reverb provided a detailed synopsis of the current concert industry regarding sustainability challenges and opportunities by developing an online survey that was distributed to over 30 promoters and venues across the country. Following the online submission, Reverb followed up with individual phone calls to review answers and dig a bit deeper.

Phase 2 To provide an insider view of the peculiarities of the industry and how the concert business is different than other businesses with regard to implementing sustainability solutions, Reverb conducted interviews with Reverb staff members on the road with the 2010 & 2011 tours to get a true sense of how far the industry had come with regard to environmental sustainability.

Phase 3 With data from Phases 1 & 2, Reverb developed a detailed yet concise list of effective environmental solutions for concert promoters and venues to consider. Additional resources were provided, including local and national partners as well as links to resources that concert promoters and venues can contact for further information.

Reverb owes a debt of gratitude to all those parties who took part in the online survey earlier this year. The information presented in the pages above is a direct result of the time and energy shared by a number of promoters and venue operators. We would also like ot extend a special thank you to Ben & Cynthia Liss for their patience, input and guiding hand in this project.

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How to Green Your Concerts Without Breaking the Bank

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