London’s O2 Arena removed over 540 tonnes of carbon during the world’s first ever carbon-removed arena events, which took place earlier this year.

The pilot events took place in February, with O2 owner AEG Europe teaming up with carbon removal experts CUR8 and sustainable event specialists A Greener Future.

Now the results are in, and over 540 tonnes of residual carbon were removed and safely stored during The 1975’s four-night residency at the O2 as part of the initiative.

Broken down, over 136 tonnes of residual carbon per show was extracted. In total, this amounts to the equivalent yearly electricity usage of 395 average homes.

The initiative used scientifically-viable carbon removal methods, including enhanced rock weathering (the breaking down of rocks), meaning the venue could extract carbon generated by each event.

Drilling down into the figures shows 75.7% of emissions came from fan travel. The cost of covering the carbon removal for those emissions was covered by a combination of venue investment and a 90p contribution from fans, incorporated into the original ticket price.

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The venue, which has also recently launched a ‘green rider’ to help performers make sustainable choices, said it was able to predict the approximate carbon emissions of each show in advance. This allowed it to develop a commercially and sustainably conscious event model that meant each relevant party take responsibility for their own contribution to the event’s carbon footprint.

The O2 and CUR8 each donated an additional 1% on top of the cost for each tonne of carbon removed to EarthPercent, a climate foundation geared towards identifying and funding impactful climate solutions in the live entertainment industry.

In light of the results, The O2 is now offering the initiative to all promoters at the arena. It is also planning to launch the initiative across several other AEG venues.

AEG Europe director of sustainability Sam Booth said: “With the success of this world-first pilot series of arena events, we’ve proven that it’s possible to run an arena-size live show which doesn’t compromise on a great fan experience but still 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.

“We’re fully committed to continuing to innovate and find even more ways to make our world-class events across AEG Europe more sustainable, as we strive for a low-carbon future for the live industry.”

Circular economyClimate crisisEnergyHospitalityInnovationMarketingNature and the environmentNet zeroNewsPropertySocial sustainabilityTech

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