In Warner Music Group‘s sprawling 2023 ESG report, released Tuesday (Jan. 30), the label outlined plans and goals for its workforce, artists and environmental impact.
“We are determined to transform our business and spur industry change to mitigate the effects of the climate crisis,” the report states in an expansive section on sustainability practices. “This includes measuring and understanding WMG’s environmental footprint, setting science-based targets to reduce emissions…and leveraging our scale, experience and partnerships to foster cross-industry cooperation to minimize the environmental impacts of making and distributing music.”
For the company, these changes start with the company’s brick-and-mortar spaces, with the goal that “WMG will source 100% renewable energy for our operations” by 2030.
The plan is to first implement this initiative in WMG’s global offices and workspaces before rolling it out to WMG-owned and operated facilities. The company also plans to decarbonize its workplaces through 100% renewable energy-based power by 2030.
The report cites WMG joining with Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group in 2023 to establish the Music Industry Climate Collective. The first initiative of this working group has been supporting the development and implementation of sector-specific guidelines for calculating Scope 3 GHG emissions within the recorded music industry. “Scope 3” refers to indirect emissions that occur in the value chain, such as those from product manufacturing, distribution and licensing.
The company also noted a previously announced partnership with MIT, Live Nation, Coldplay and Hope Solutions to understand and mitigate the environmental impact of the live events.
The company cites a goal of increasing public transportation utilization by 20% at Warner Music live events. This effort has already resulted in a partnership between Warner Music Finland Live and Helsinki City Public Transportation, which has provided fans with free public transportation included in their concert tickets.
With its environmental impact data independently reviewed and assured by a third-party auditor for the first time in 2023, WMG reports that in the past year, it has made “significant strides” in its Scope 1 and 2 data collection, analysis and methodology. (Scope 1 and 2 refers to emissions that are owned or controlled by the company and indirect emissions that result from activities of the company.)
“Despite our return to office,” the report says, its efforts “have led to an overall decrease in our reported Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions for 2023.”
The report also cites successful employee-driven initiatives, including its U.K. Wrights Lane office eliminating single-use plastic and switching to reusable cutlery and serveware. The WMG office in France has eliminated paper cups and improved waste management to increase recycling.
Regarding sustainable products and merchandise, the company outlines “an industry-first method” of creating vinyl albums using PVC alternatives. Says the report: “We are delivering these changes in partnership with our artists and songwriters, many of whom are increasingly looking for ways to share music with their fans in a sustainable way.”
Read the full report here.