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UK record labels agree CO2 reduction targets

ig-master1Julie’s Bicycle, the cross music industry organisation which seeks to reduce carbon emissions within the music industry, has gained the approval of every major record company, plus the Beggars Group, to establish a benchmark initial 10% reduction in C02 emissions from the manufacture of CD packaging in 2009. This significant agreement is just one of the commendations in a wide-reaching report which has brought together the music industry in a concerted effort to undertake joint initiatives to help alleviate the problems of climate change. Further initiatives involving studies into festival travel and venues/office buildings will be announced in due course. Initial research conducted  by Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute identified that CD packaging was one of the music industry’s largest sources of direct GHG emissions, accounting for at least 10% of total emissions from the UK music market. Further research from Arup identified that packaging emissions could be lowered by as much as 95% by the simple option of switching from plastic jewel cases to card wallets. In a further piece of research conducted by the Environmental Change institute half of consumers surveyed agreed that CDs should only be sold in environmentally-friendly card-based packaging whilst a significant proportion of CD buyers who stated a preference for plastic jewel cases said that a switch to card packaging would not make any difference to their decision to buy a CD. 73% of CD buyers stated that digipack packaging was equal to or better than the plastic jewel case. Almost half of CD buyers said that a recognizable environmental symbol of accreditation would give them a more positive view of the product. Consequently, Julie’s Bicycle developed the IG Mark (Industry Green Mark), which debuts on the recently released BRIT Awards CD.  The IG mark will be awarded to packaging demonstrating “evidenced commitment to carbon reduction and environmental responsibility”. BPI Chairman and Chairman of Julie’s Bicycle CD packaging group Tony Wadsworth said this week: “Carbon dioxide levels in the earth’s atmosphere are higher than at any time during the last 750,000 years. Climate change is undoubtedly the most urgent and complex problem of our age and we are compelled to do whatever we can to help solve it. Julie’s Bicycle has brought together the UK music industry in an unprecedented show of strength and commitment to undertake joint initiatives that will significantly reduce our CO2 emissions”. Professor Diana Liverman, Director of Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University, said: “All sectors of the economy and society will need to contribute to solving the climate problem and the work of Julie’s Bicycle to reduce the carbon emissions of the music industry provides an example of how an industry can identify and implement emission reductions and sustainable practices.