The 1975's shows at O2 saw over 500 tonnes of carbon removed

Analysis of four shows by The 1975 at the O2 arena has found that 546 tonnes of carbon was removed, with 75.7% of nightly emissions coming from fan travel to and from the venue.

The cost of emissions removal from fan travel was covered by a combination of venue investment and a 90p contribution from fans, which was incorporated into the ticket price.

AEG Europe said the pilot shows saw 136.46 tonnes of residual carbon per show removed, equating to 545.9 tonnes across the four shows – equivalent to the yearly electricity usage of 395 average homes. The research found that only 3.95% of the nightly carbon footprint came from arena operations – driven predominantly by electricity usage and staff travel.

The O2‘s hospitality partner, Levy UK + Ireland, accounted for the removal costs across its operations, with carbon emissions for food & beverages across each show coming in at 7.46%, of which 85% was down to beverages. It said the overall figure was aided by the introduction of several recent initiatives, including a new food menu which generated 30% less carbon compared to the regular offering, as well as the launch of Notpla 100% biodegradable serveware that can be processed in The O2’s on-site biodigester and wormery.

The O2 has also invested in a permanent reusable cup scheme and cup-washing machines powered by electricity from renewable resources.

In September 2023, the arena announced the carbon-removed events, which used 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.

AEG Europe director of sustainability Sam Booth said in the original announcement : “We’re incredibly proud to be hosting the world’s first carbon removed events here at The O2. The perfect large-scale carbon-free event does not currently exist, but while the industry continues to innovate and improve to reduce emissions to their lowest possible level, carbon removals will remain an important piece of the puzzle.

"As a world-leading venue, we have a responsibility to create a path for real change, and it’s our hope that this event will not only deliver the same best-in-class experience that fans expect at The O2, but also one that’s supporting vital climate work and is better for the planet. Thank you to The 1975, CUR8, A Greener Future and all of our partners who have collaborated with us on this – it’s going to be game-changing not just for us but the industry as a whole, and is a fantastic way to kick off an exciting 2024 at The O2.”

Booth added that the pilot shows had proven it’s possible to run an arena-size live show that doesn’t compromise on a great fan experience but accounts for the impact it has on the environment: “We hope this serves as a wakeup call to the wider industry that carbon removals are a viable solution that can be used to operate live events, but they need buy-in from everyone in the live ecosystem in order to be a success – from venues and promoters right the way through to artists themselves.”

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