James McAulay, CEO of talent agency Encore Musicians, tells Access how it has double-offset all emissions from its acts travelling to gigs.

The small-scale booking agency, through its work with environmental organisation Ecologi, has so far planted more than 7,000 trees since August 2021 – one for every artist booked. Its goal is to have planted 20,000 by the end of this year.

After realising the environmental impact of his company’s work, McAuley decided action had to be taken and he hopes other larger agencies will follow suit.

The agency asks musicians how they are travelling to a gig and then calculates the emissions of that journey. Once it has calculated the total CO2 emissions, it doubles that number and pays Ecologi to offset.

“We got to a point where we were doing nearly a thousand bookings every month and we were thinking ‘that’s a lot of musicians travelling around the country to these gigs’,” says McAuley, who co-founded the company in 2014.

“If every musician was travelling an average of 50km to and from their gig every month that’s about 50,000km of driving as a result.”

Encore books artists for thousands of small-scale gigs every year, but McAuley says the issue is prevalent on a much larger scale – especially with promoters such as Live Nation.

“We’ve had other agencies get in touch with me and that’s what we hoped would happen,” he says. “It’s not just about us covering our own emissions, I wanted other agencies to copy what we’re doing and look at their own emissions.

“I’m hoping that if we can start from this small level of platforms and agencies, then the bigger ones will take note and listen.

“We wanted to show that we’re a tiny company and we can do this – if we’ve got 20 people then what’s stopping a company with 2,000 people also getting their act together and sorting things out?”