Tuning in to Sustainability: first training session on Sustainable Events 

News | March 5, 2024

In MERITA’s understanding, it is crucial for young musicians to gain basic competences on how to organize a sustainable event.

What is a sustainable event? The definition provided during the first training session for quartets on Sustainable Events recalls the United Nations Environment Programme: “an event is sustainable when it is designed, planned and implemented in a way that minimizes negative impact on the environment and leaves a positive legacy for the host community” (UNEP, 2019). Planet and people are therefore two fundamental dimensions when looking at the umbrella concept of sustainability applied to event organization.
While the social dimension is represented by Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) principles and practices, the environmental aspect may be underrated. In addition, there exist very diverse narratives, referred to as greenwashing, that create many nuances and gray areas.

The aim of the training was to provide musicians with general information on what is an event carbon footprint, how to calculate it and how to reduce it, while offering both a general overview on the international context and practical insights from chamber music industry. Increasing knowledge on sustainability and responsible choices is indeed part of MERITA’s core mission. 

Training session group picture, photo by @Giulia Rosina

The first training session reached out to more than 40 attendees. Musicians shared a common feeling of having very little power to take concrete decisions to reduce environmental impact throughout the life cycle of a concert event. Concert organizations, in fact, are mostly unilaterally responsible for concerts’ design, communication strategies, collateral entertainment decisions such as food and beverage, functional considerations such as location’s energy consumption and waste management. Nevertheless, musicians’ sustainable practices are crucial. They include travel, hotel selection, gadgets, musical instruments, concert clothes, scenography details.

With the awareness acquired, artists can now make more sustainable choices and influence other players in the chamber music industry on how to design and organize a sustainable event. A special thanks to MERITA’s partner Punto3 that curated the session.  

Author: Giulia Rosina, Project Coordinator @Le Dimore del Quartetto