Concerts are probably one of the last things I associate with being environmentally friendly, what with all the electricity used for stage lighting and all the trucks needed to move equipment and all those roadies around.
But many musicians have some sort of environmental sensibility, a fact that UPS and Live Nation are playing to through an alliance they formed in late spring. And now, the Dave Matthews Band has become the first high-profile act to sign up for the companies' joint services.
Under the arrangement, UPS is handling all of the logistics and moving plans for the stage, lighting and production equipment used by the band as part of its "Caravan" tour. The tour was in Chicago a few days ago. It is moving to New York at the end of August and Seattle in the beginning of September.
Said Patrick Jordan, spokesman for the band:
"We've worked so hard to reduce our carbon footprint over the last two decades. Every year our mission is to figure out how to make our touring even more sustainable."
When I spoke with Sunny Nastase, vice president of customer solutions for UPS, about her company's new service offering, she said it isn't unlike what the company does for the rest of its green shipping services. That is, it considers each route and load logistics and then picks the most energy-efficient, sustainable, multi-modal method to get things where they need to be.
In the press materials for the services, Ron Rogowski, vice president of sponsorship and events for UPS, said:
"Managing the logistics of a concert tour is not unlike what UPS does for other high-stakes customers that require flawless execution, such as the healthcare and high-tech industries and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. More and more of our customers are depending on UPS to help them find more efficient and sustainable ways to manage their entire supply chains."
Nastase said that UPS will use the mode of transportation that creates the smallest carbon footprint. It will also help them measure, manage and mitigate the overall impact of their concert activities through appropriate offsets. UPS uses a carbon calculation methodology and processes that are verified by Societe Generale de Surveillance. The offsets are certified by The CarbonNeutral Company.
Under its arrangement with Live Nation, UPS is acting as the official global package, shipping and logistics sponsor for the live entertainment and e-commerce company. This starts with purchasing offsets for the impact of emissions created by ticket orders for venues owned by Live Nation, which controls Ticketmaster.com, Live Nations Concerts, Front Line Management Group and Live Nation Network.
"We know you have fans on one side who are looking at sustainability issues," Nastase said. "Then you have artists who are very sustainability-focused. Now, both fans and artists can achieve a result they deserve."
I have absolutely no idea what impact a concert has on the environment, but I can only imagine -- between the transportation to get there, the electricity for all those technostages and so on. But at least this service goes beyond carbon offsets.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com