#SustyTalk: AEG’s Sam Booth on carbon-removed concerts

edie’s #SustyTalks series of audio interviews with industry leaders continues, with Sam Booth, director of sustainability at AEG Europe, in discussion with our deputy editor Sarah George.

#SustyTalk: AEG’s Sam Booth on carbon-removed concerts

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#SustyTalk is all about keeping edie’s loyal readers connected to sustainability leaders across the world, whilst reminding us all that sustainability and climate action must go on through the current cost of living crisis and beyond. It launched in the early stages of the pandemic in 2020 and has continued since then, keeping us connected to the leaders who are continuing to drive sustainable business and climate action.

For this latest #SustyTalk episode – our first of 2024 – edie’s deputy editor Sarah George is in conversation with Sam Booth, director of sustainability at AEG Europe – the business behind iconic events venues such as the London’s O2 Arena and Aventim Appollo.

Sam gives us an inside look at the growing trend towards formalising sustainaility strategies in the live music and events industry before exploring, in more depth, some of the key environmental projects his team have been working on recently.

Chief among them has been the delivery of the world’s first carbon-removed concerts of an arena scale. For the London dates of The 1975’s 2024 tour, AEG Europe has invested in carbon removals provided by advanced soil weathering specialists CUR8 equivalent to the emissions footprint of the concerts.

This covers emissions from all sources, including fan travel. Emissions calculations were carried out in partnership with A Greener Future, and tweaks were made to drive reductions, including a new menu.

Sam explains:“I think we’ve run out of time a little bit to tackle these issues. We need to be doing both removals and reductions at the same time and, luckily for a company of our size and scale, we do have the availability to do that. I think it’s a case of ‘yes, and’ rather than ‘either, or’.

“A genuinely net-zero event, from my point of view, is still quite a way away.”

Sam also gives an update on AEG’s ‘Green Rider’ initiative, through which incoming productions and tours are provided with the information and resources they need to minimise the environmental footprint of their events, from ditching plastic water bottles where possible to renting electric trucks and designing lower-impact merchandise.

“This shows others what the O2 is doing in the sustainability space, so we can serve as a bit of an inspiration point…. and start an open conversation,” Sam says.

“It’s also about offering up really actionable things tours can do. We’ve offered up a whole suite of our preferred suppliers who are excelling in this space. “

Click here to see our catalogue of #SustyTalk interviews

Want to be featured on a future episode of #SustyTalk? Email newsdesk@fav-house.com. Please bear in mind that our interview calendar is now booked for March 2024.

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