Green Standards for Live Music

November 19th, 2010 by Ariel Schwartz

AEG issues its first ever sustainability report for live entertainment.

Brought to you by Liberty Mutual's
The Responsibility Project

The live entertainment industry has a huge environmental footprint, so why don't we hear more about sustainability initiatives from the sector? It's a problem that AEG--a facilities management, live entertainment, and sports company best known for owning the Staples Center, Nokia Theatre, LA Kings and LA Galaxy--is trying to remedy with its first ever sustainability report.

Besides simply measuring AEG's environmental impact and creating goals for the future, the report has an ambitious goal: AEG wants to "be the leaders in our sector, the sports and live entertainment industries, by establishing the environmental standards by which other such organizations can measure themselves. To accomplish this, we are attempting to detail, measure and manage all aspects of our environmental performance." AEG will, in other words, attempt to become the green example for all other live entertainment companies to follow.

The company has made strides in sustainability recently, installing a 512 KW solar array on the Staples Center and Nokia Theatre L.A (generating enough energy to power 5% of the facilities' needs each year), grabbing the first LEED Gold Certification in Existing Building, Operations and Maintenance for an arena at Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon, and installing the fifth largest vegetated roof in the U.S. at the Target Center. But these are small steps.

AEG's larger goals for 2020 include a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, 20% reduction in water use intensity, 15% of all electricity usage coming from renewable sources, and 25% of all solid waste diverted from the landfill. The company is monitoring its progress with a tracking system that gathers resource use and waste generation data from AEG-owned facilities.

It's hard to say if AEG will reach its goals at this juncture, but we have to applaud the company for bringing attention to sustainability in an industry that too often ignores it. We'll find out soon enough how serious the company's plans are--AEG is reportedly close to announcing plans for an NFL stadium in downtown Los Angeles.