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  • Eco-records and carbon footprint calculators – the music industry is aiming for emission reductions

    20.03.2024 Mervi Vuorela
    The music sector has become increasingly responsible. The latest innovation is the eco-record made from recyclable polyethylene terephthalate.

    Sonopress, a manufacturer of records, has produced the world’s first eco-record. It is a joint album of the same name by two well-known British rockers, Liam Gallagher and John Squire, released at the beginning of March. The album was launched in collaboration with Sonopress’ long-standing customer Warner Music.

    EcoRecord is a new vinyl record that uses recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) as a base material instead of traditional polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The production process uses no natural gas or steam, reducing the environmental impact of the manufacturing process by up to 85% compared to traditional vinyl.

    The first eco-records were produced on a new injection moulding machine developed by Sonopress. The production line was completed at the end of last year and Sonopress CEO Sven Deutschmann said regular production should start soon.

    The eco-record is one attempt to reduce carbon emissions from the music industry, but its overall impact is not very significant. After all, most of the music industry’s carbon footprint comes from live music, especially the movement of people and equipment.

    The good news is that it is now possible to measure emissions from live music. The main umbrella organisations of the Finnish music industry have been producing a free carbon footprint calculator, which was launched on the Elma.live platform at the end of February. By assessing their carbon footprint, music industry players interested in sustainability can set themselves practical emission reduction targets.

    The calculator divides emissions into four categories: energy and facilities, waste, logistics and procurement. The user enters, for example, the number of litres of fuel used, the number of kilometres travelled, the number of meals eaten or the amount of euros spent on goods or services. Based on these data, the calculator provides an estimate of the carbon footprint. The calculation can be limited to a specific part of an activity (e.g. a festival, a tour, a gig, a site) or to the entire activity of a community or company.

    “The new calculator is a tool that is accessible to all actors in the music industry, enabling them to assess the climate impact of their activities, target their emission reductions effectively and set themselves concrete targets,” said Petra Piiroinen, the producer who coordinated the calculator project, in a Music Finland press release.

    “This is an important step – understanding the impact of your own activities is a necessary part of responsible action in every sector.”