This summer, whether your musical taste ranges from John Mayer to the San Francisco Symphony to Sarah McLachlan, or Rush to Rihanna to the Country Music Throwdown Tour or American Idols Live, you can experience your favorites at the iconic Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View knowing you’re an active participant in the greening of the music industry. Shoreline is the first major music venue in the country to be officially recognized with the Green Business certification, marking a milestone in a pilot program aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, and waste generated by music venues.
Owned and operated by Live Nation, Shoreline, which attracts approximately 330,000 visitors per year, is also the largest outdoor concert venue to receive the certification. The Bay Area Green Business Program imposes an extensive verification process, thus making the environmental benefits of implementation significant at a venue such as Shoreline, given the size and frequency of its shows.
In order to understand the environmental impact of its business operations, Live Nation SF has been recording sustainability metrics for the last four years for all of its venues, including water and energy use and diversion of waste from landfills. Venues are thereby able to quantify the impact of sustainability initiatives.
According to Aaron Siuda, vice president of marketing for Live Nation in Northern California, Shoreline has implemented multiple initiatives to reduce its environmental impact, including:
Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions from audience travel are the greatest environmental impact of any concert. At Shoreline, carbon offsets are purchased for the emissions from audience travel, as well as employee commuting and artist travel to the venue. Shoreline also purchases Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for their electricity use. For every megawatt-hour of electricity used, Shoreline purchases a megawatt-hour of renewable energy for the electric grid.
To reduce the emissions from artist trucks, Shoreline has installed shore power, which allows truck engines to be turned off and instead plug into electrical outlets at the venue. This reduces fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions from idling engines.
Energy conservation. Shoreline has insulated all hot-water pipes, water heaters, and storage tanks, as well as replaced 1,332 incandescent light bulbs with more-efficient compact fluorescent lamps. Light bulbs have also been replaced in exit signs for greater efficiency, and staff members in the office have been educated to conserve.
Water conversation. Shoreline practices weather-based irrigation control. The system responds to weather forecast data using reclaimed water for irrigation. Mulch ground cover is in place to prevent evaporation. All 172 old toilets in the venue have been replaced with high-efficiency fixtures, saving 611,460 gallons of water per month.
Waste reduction. The venue has recycling stations adjacent to every trashcan. From 2006 to 2009, diversion of waste from landfills increased from 27 percent to 39 percent. In 2010, Shoreline expects to improve these diversion rates through a training program for all concert staff and educational materials for audience members. There are battery recycling receptacles in all backstage areas, and artists and their crews are encouraged to recycle batteries from electronic equipment. All toilet paper, hand towels, and napkins are made from recycled content.
Sustainable treats. Last but not least, to keep our favorite entertainers (and their roadies) happily fed and hydrated, organic, locally sourced produce is used in the backstage kitchen where possible.
Shoreline Amphitheatre is a founding member of Green Music Group (GMG), a high-profile coalition aiming to bring musicians, industry leaders, and music fans together to create widespread environmental change within the music industry and around the globe. This a great step forward. Common Ground magazine salutes you. Rock on!