Music industry’s carbon footprint calculator released – Calculator training for Jazz Federation members on March 22nd

Valtteri Pokela

A free carbon footprint calculator aimed at music industry stakeholders has been launched on the platform on February 29th. By assessing their carbon footprint, music industry actors can set practical emission reduction targets for themselves. The calculator has been developed collectively by key industry umbrella organizations.

The music industry gains additional much-needed tools for implementing sustainability transition in practice with the introduction of the industry-wide carbon footprint calculator. Any music industry professional can use the calculator for free upon registering with Elma. Currently, the calculator is only available in Finnish.

The Finnish Jazz Federation offers its members a free carbon footprint calculator training session online on Friday, March 22nd, at 9:00 AM. Members of the Jazz Federation will be provided with detailed information about the training separately.

The carbon footprint calculation performed by the calculator is based on the consumption data entered by the user and the emission coefficient database of the calculator, which contains emission coefficients for 95 common emission sources in the industry at the time of publication. Users input data such as the amount of fuel consumed, kilometers traveled, number of meals eaten, or the amount spent on goods or services, based on which the calculator provides an estimate of the carbon footprint. The user-friendly tool accommodates the diverse needs of actors in the music industry.

“In addition to user-friendliness, efforts were made to ensure the reliability of the calculator, regardless of the user’s skill level. In practice, this meant, for example, omitting the GHG protocol scope determination,” says Outi Ugas, the lead expert of the calculator development team at Sitowise. “In climate work within the music industry, it is much more important to understand what emissions arise from, for example, energy consumption in a club space or transportation and how they could be reduced, rather than pondering whether a particular vehicle is owned by the organization, leased, rented by the company, or perhaps borrowed from a friend, which the scope categorization-based calculation easily leads thinking into,” Ugas adds.

“The essential principles of the GHG protocol regarding the quality of the calculation, selection of emission coefficients, sources of consumption data, and the structure of the calculation have also served as the basis for the development of this calculator. In Elma’s calculator, emissions are structured to provide the clearest possible picture tailored to the live music industry,” Ugas explains. The emissions in the calculator are divided into four categories: energy and facilities, waste, logistics, and procurement.

According to a climate survey conducted in the industry in 2023, the majority of emissions in the live music industry stem from transportation, with procurement being the second largest source of emissions.

“The calculator being released now is a tool accessible to all music industry stakeholders, enabling them to determine the climate impacts of their operations, effectively target emission reductions, and set concrete goals for themselves,” says producer Petra Piiroinen, who coordinated the joint calculator project in the music industry. “This is an important step – understanding the impacts of one’s own operations is an essential part of responsible conduct in any industry,” Piiroinen continues.

The project has involved a total of 14 key industry umbrella organizations. The extensive commitment to the project reflects the industry’s need for and willingness to engage in climate action. “In creative fields, we have the superpowers to drive the cultural change needed for the urgent sustainability transition in society. That’s why it’s important that we in the music industry have all the necessary tools for transitioning our operations to green practices,” Piiroinen comments.

The project has been administered by the Musicians’ Union, with collaboration from key industry umbrella organizations including Finland Festivals, Globe Art Point, Concert Centre, LiveFIN, Music Centre Finland, Finnish Jazz Federation, Finnish Symphony Orchestras, Finnish Composers, Finnish Music Creators, Finnish Music Council, Finnish Music Publishers, and Teosto. The project has also received funding from the Music Promotion Foundation and the Performing Arts Promotion Centre. The calculator was developed by Positive Impact Finland Ltd (now part of Sitowise Oy).

The initiator of the project is the KEMUT (Toolkit for a More Sustainable Music Industry) network, whose founding members are Finland Festivals, LiveFIN, Music Finland, the Musicians’ Union, the Finnish Jazz Federation, and the Finnish Symphony Orchestras. The network was established in spring 2020 to promote sustainable development in the live music industry.