Earlier this year we asked an Oxford company called Best Foot Forward to look at the carbon and ecological footprints of two recent Radiohead tours, with the aim of reducing our carbon output. Touring is very important to us, a large part of the joy and passion of what we do, and we are committed to finding more responsible ways of doing it.
We asked Best Foot Forward to compare two different kinds of tours we’ve done recently in America: an out of town ‘big gig’/amphitheatre tour, and a smaller theatre tour in city centres.
We wanted to find out which kind of touring has the lowest carbon and environmental impact ‘per person entertained‘. We had lots of information to work out our own carbon footprint, but we had to make some assumptions about the fans’ footprint; how they travel, and how much beer they drink when they get to the show!
This is what we found:
- Fan travel and consumption made up 86% of the Theatre tour and 97% of the Amphitheatre tour.
- Of the band’s touring impact – Travel and energy use accounted for 60% (Theatre tour) and ~40% (Amphitheatre tour)
- International travel accounted for a further 34 – 40% of impacts.
Short of no-one coming to see us, we’d like to share with our fans some ways of reducing this – our early research suggests that how you come to our shows can significantly reduce the tour’s carbon output. To help achieve better results, we’re trying to play as many shows as possible in city centres because of their better transport links. From the Best Foot Forward report, the rough figures below give you an example of how much of a difference you can make.
For the big shows:
- If average car occupancy increased from 2.2 to 3, the whole tour’s overall CO2 output would be reduced by 22%.
- Halving fans flying would reduce overall CO2 consumption by 5%
- And if 10% of car users travelled by bus it would reduce CO2 emissions by 7%
Where we can, we will be reducing our own carbon emissions, starting with sea freighting our gear. It’s 93% more efficient than air freighting, and if we ship our equipment to and from America, we save 47 tonnes of CO2. We will be doing this for touring in 2008, along with travelling as little as possible by air, avoiding chartered flights, and investigating more efficient road and rail transportation. You can download the whole report here
We’re aware that this study is tentative and partial, but it’s a start, and we’ll share with you more information as we get it.
The download area that is “In Rainbows” will be shutting its doors on the 10th December 2007.
A big thank you to everyone who came and downloaded the music. It’s been the most positive thing we’ve done and we hope you shared the experience with others.
The discbox will still be available from the w.a.s.t.e store here
until they have all gone. We then have no plans to make further stock.
For those of you who wish to buy In Rainbows in the usual way, it will be available on CD/Vinyl and download from traditional outlets from the 31st December 2007.
The record will be released by TBD Records in North America and XL Recordings for the rest of the world.
Thanks for everything.
the new look is purely cosmetic. but the 'tour dates
' bit should be better.
.. after a long burn out day doing interviews here i feeling like my head is exploding...
and my brain has been rep[placed by and expanding vacumn.. is this normal doctor?
"yeszzz ziss is qwvite normal.."
anyway thankyou to everybody who keeps coming up to me that like IN RAINBOWs and what we've done x
i heard today that the british prime minister, gordon his name is, has finally stopped faffing about and is talking about climate change as the inconvenient truth that it is,
which ,being as i am involved with friends of the earth and the campaign to get a good law passed that really commits in the uk us to DO SOMETHINGfast, is (at least on the surface) a Good thing..
for the sake of all the people who have been helping in the campaign and have written to their letters i do hope that this is genuinely meant ....
up until now there has been not a lot of not a lot..
if there is a law then we all have to act. imagine if there was a similair law in the US? in AUstralia? in Japan? then there would be a giant ball rolling.. perhaps this one would be going in the right direction..
am i dreaming? i am not the only one.(ahem~)
heres what friends of the earth had to say if your innerested
Gordon Brown's pledge to make Britain a world leader in tackling climate change has been welcomed today by Friends of the Earth. But the environmental campaign group said his words must now be matched by urgent action to cut UK carbon dioxide emissions, which have risen since Labour came to power. This must include a comprehensive review of all Government policies and strengthening its proposals for a new law to cut UK carbon dioxide emissions, which is due to be discussed by Parliament next week.
"After a summer of lobbying, wriggling, and confusion, the Government's apparent change of heart on renewable power is fantastic news, but will only be credible if new policies emerge to actually meet targets. Britain lags a long way behind most of our European neighbours on renewable power, despite having the greatest wind, wave and tidal resource in Europe. We should be able to contribute our fair share of the EU-wide renewable energy commitment and source at least 20% of our energy from renewables by 2020."
Friends of the Earth is calling on the Government to take urgent action on climate change including:
Strengthening proposals for a new climate change law.
Following a campaign led by Friends of the Earth through The Big Ask climate campaign (www.thebigask.com
), the Government has agreed to introduce a new law to tackle climate change. This will be the first national legislation anywhere in the world to set legally-binding targets for cutting carbon dioxide emissions. Friends of the Earth says it must be strengthened to ensure a cut of at least 80 per cent in emissions by 2050, include pollution from Britain's share of international aviation and shipping, and set annual milestones to ensure that we stay on track. The bill is due to be discussed in Parliament next week and could be law within six months.http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/climate_change_bill_friend_29102007.html
2. Boosting renewables, including
* Expanding offshore wind tenfold by 2020
* Rolling out CHP and micro-renewables to homes, community and public buildings - through grants, public procurement and a feed-in tariff to guarantee a premium price for the electricity they generate.
* Backing projects to demonstrate the potential of promising technologies such as vertical axis offshore wind turbines and tidal lagoons
* Increasing by tenfold research and development into new technologies - such as wave, solar, and energy storage, and transmission technologies, such as hydrogen fuel cells and advanced cables.
* Championing major international renewable infrastructure projects - including concentrated solar power (CSP) in North Africa; offshore wind in the North Sea; and an extensive high- voltage direct current grid so that renewable electricity can be distributed across Europe and surrounding regions.
3. Surface transport
The Government must tackle climate change from transport. This should include scrapping motorway-widening schemes and increasing investment in public transport and other low-carbon transport solutions.
Plans to allow airports to expand should be frozen and more must be done to make the cost of flying reflect the environmental damage that it causes. Greater investment in rail could make this an attractive alternative to short-haul flights.
5. Budgetary measures are required to make it easier and cheaper for people to go green