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Music Industry Heavyweights Pledge Collaborative, Coordinated Climate Action

The Music Climate Pact marks a significant step in aligning the global music business around a coherent and industry-coordinated strategy — and unify existing climate initiatives.

A group of leading music companies has signed a wide-ranging commitment to decarbonize the global music business in alignment with the latest climate science.

Initiated by the UK’s Association of Independent Music (AIM) in collaboration with UK record labels association the BPI, the founding signatories of the Music Climate Pact span numerous areas of the music business and include all three major music groups — Sony, Universal and Warner — as well as world-renowned independents Beggars Group, BMG, Brownswood Recordings, Ninja Tune, Secretly Group, Warp and others.

By February 2022, founding signatories will be required to sign up to one of two schemes — the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) or the UN-backed Race to Zero SME Climate Commitment — to ensure signatories work with experts to set and execute actionable climate targets on which they will report regularly.

The Pact, developed with support from the UN Environmental Programme, marks a significant step in aligning the global music business, and the measures already taken by individual companies, around a coherent and industry-coordinated strategy — and unify existing climate initiatives.

For some signatories, this could include AIM’s Climate Action Group, the Group’s Near-Mint Vinyl initiative to reduce vinyl waste, and IMPALA’s (which represents Europe’s independent labels) Carbon Calculator — an upcoming tool for the independent music sector. Other signatories will look to fulfil this commitment through exploring music industry guidance for the SBTi initiative; as well as build on steps already taken by Beggars Group, BMG, Ninja Tune, Sony Music Group, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and others.

Members also commit to sharing data, insights and resources, as well as providing support for artists to engage and speak up about climate issues.

Paul Redding, CEO of Beggars Group, said: “The Music Climate Pact shows the willingness of the whole music industry to work collaboratively on climate issues. Building on IMPALA’s project to develop a carbon calculator tool, all signatories will be pulling in the same direction on sustainability topics. This will help our industry achieve carbon reductions more efficiently as we carry out the same work, in the same way, at the same time.”

The Pact hopes to grow quickly from its list of initial signatories, with hundreds more companies from around the world expected to sign by June 2022. AIM, the BPI, IMPALA and other national and international organizations will continue to provide support to encourage other businesses to sign up and deliver on the Pact.

In addition to its signatories, the Music Climate Pact also has a number of registered supporters — businesses and organizations that help create and deliver music, and which share the same vision for a cleaner, more efficient and sustainable music market. Supporters agree to work with signatories in the reciprocal sharing of data, knowledge and resources to help deliver the Pact’s goals. Initial supporters include IFPI, Worldwide Independent Network, Julie’s Bicycle, Key Production and Music Declares Emergency.

Through these relationships, the global music sector is working to innovate, put out incredible music to a mass audience and shift culture by inspiring change.

“The music community must take a leadership position on this most urgent of issues to support the work already being progressed by record labels to make their operations more sustainable,” said Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive of BPI & the BRIT Awards. “It means not just taking our own effective and coordinated industry action to respond to the climate crisis — but using the power of music to help inspire others in effecting meaningful change.”

The Pact’s founding signatories commit to:

  • Take individual and collective action to measure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (scopes 1, 2 and 3)

  • By February 2022, have either signed the SBTi standard commitment letter stating that they will commit to setting science-based targets or will have joined the Race to Zero programme

  • Work together as an industry to establish carbon-measurement methodologies, tools and frameworks backed by climate science

  • Work in partnership with shared suppliers and digital streaming platforms to obtain data and drive emission-reduction projects in a collaborative fashion

  • Support artists in speaking up on climate issues

  • Communicate openly with fans about the impacts of the music industry.

Peter Quicke, Co-CEO of Ninja Tune, said: "Music is a powerful force for community and communication, from live shows to live streams, from music on social media to the simple sharing your favourite music with friends. So, we have a responsibility to ensure the power of music is used to help combat the climate crisis, that the voices of artists and labels are used to call for change. One key part of that is for music to reduce its own footprint, and to engage with our upstream and downstream partners in reducing their footprint, and so accelerate the response to the climate crisis — the Music Climate Pact is a big step along this path.”

For more info on the Music Climate Pact and the full list of signatories, click here.