The following article is part of the ongoing Sustainability Matters series on the FirstCarbon Solutions (FCS) blog, which focuses on those who share a commitment to sustainability, the environment and our planet. The series concentrates on companies and organizations that conduct routine, everyday business in an exceptional, sustainable manner, as well as those offering unique products and services in a sustainable fashion. FCS hopes that the Sustainability Matters series can open eyes to those striving to make a difference. Click here to find previous articles from the Sustainability Matters series.
The past 20 years for Pearl Jam has been a steady wave of chart-topping albums, critically applauded music, and sold-out concerts. Two decades of success has its price, however, the seemingly endless recording, touring, and press interviews can take its toll, not only on the members of the band, but also on the environment. Realizing their environmental impact has encouraged Pearl Jam to help protect the environment through a committment to offset their significant carbon footprint left in wake of their world tours since 2003.
Ten years ago, Pearl Jam partnered with Michael Totten, Senior Advisor at Conservation International, to calculate the amount of carbon emissions produced during the band's extensive tour schedule. Totten calculates the carbon emissions from the band including: crew flights and hotel stays, truck and bus mileage, shipping weight, mode of transport, and the number of concertgoers. Using the overall carbon emission calculations from their concerts, Pearl Jam then reserves a portion of their profits from the tour to fund environmental efforts to offset their carbon footprint.
Here’s a sampling of the band’s past carbon reduction efforts:
Pearl Jam first started minimizing their carbon footprint by embarking on a carbon neutral world tour in 2003. The band offset the carbon emissions from their concerts by funding the protection of rainforests in Makira, Madagascar. The band’s donation helped prevent deforestation in the area, allowing Pearl Jam to offset 5,700 metric tons of CO2.
In 2004, Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard led the band’s Vote for Change Renewable Energy Project, where they performed around the US to raise funds for small-scale renewable energy projects. The band was able to subsidize the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems for the Family Center in Madison, Wisconsin and for the Palm Beach Central High School in Florida.
To unify all of their carbon offset programs, Pearl Jam launched their comprehensive Carbon Portfolio Strategy in 2006, and allotted a total of $100,000 worth of monetary donations for nine environmental organizations. The band’s beneficiaries include the American Solar Energy Society, Bonneville Environmental Foundation, Conservation International, Green Empowerment, Honor the Earth, Cascade Land Conservancy, IslandWood, EarthCorps, and the Washington Clean Energy Initiative.
From 2007 to 2008, Pearl Jam helped restore the Mache-Chindul Ecological Reserve in Ecuador. The reserve holds the Laguna de Cube, an ecologically-diverse wetland included in The Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. Through their financial aid, the band helped reforest the Esmeraldas Province, protecting plant and animal species along with offsetting 6,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions.
To offset the 20,000 tons of CO2 emissions from their 2011 and 2012 world tours, Pearl Jam helped plant over 3,000 native confer trees in Seattle’s Discovery Park by joining Forterra's C3.
Through their strong commitment to all of their environmental projects in the past 10 years, Pearl Jam has influenced their fans, other musical artists, and businesses to also reduce their carbon footprint and engage in sustainability initiatives. Pearl Jam is proof that there are many ways to help save the environment. Like Pearl Jam has done over the past decade, ordinary citizens and businesses can contribute to many different environmental projects for various beneficiaries. At the end of the day, there is only one Earth, and all sustainability efforts in any part of the world help protect and preserve the planet.
Like Pearl Jam, you too can “rock” at protecting the environment. FCS can help you reduce your carbon footprint and minimize your environmental impact. Simply click below to talk to an FCS expert: