Researchers at the University of Glasgow have teamed with arts and sustainability charity Creative Carbon Scotland to launch an initiative that aims to unite Glasgow’s UNESCO City of Music identity with the city’s ambition to become net zero by 2030.

The Towards A Just And Green Music City initiative has won the backing of many of the city’s music businesses and organisations including DF Concerts & Events and the SEC’s OVO Hydro – which became the first arena worldwide to gain A Greener Arena accreditation.

The team behind the initiative said the aim is to identify what Glasgow’s music sector needs to thrive in the future, co-design projects to support the sector’s shared needs, and investigate the role music and culture can play in a broader environmental transition.

A website has been launched, which hosts resources and guidance for stakeholders including musicians, venues, music ensembles, policymakers, and researchers, environmental organisations, and fans. It also contains a directory of music businesses in the city and a map showing more than 200 spaces for live music in Glasgow.

Matt Brennan, professor of popular music at the University of Glasgow, said, “We know there is appetite from other music cities to better understand how music and culture can be leveraged to address the climate crisis, and we’re excited to share a vision of what this might look like in practice.

“We’ve been lucky to have the feedback and participation of many of the city’s key music organisations including DF Concerts and Events, 432 Presents, the SEC Hydro, SWG3, Celtic Connections and Glasgow Life. We’ve also had input from grassroots venues like St Luke’s, the Rum Shack, and the Glad Café, as well as local labels and shops like Last Night From Glasgow, Monorail, and many others. We are now putting out a call to other interested music stakeholders – either within Glasgow or those from other cities hoping to do similar work – to get involved in the initiative via the contact form on the website.”

DF Concerts & Events CEO Geoff Ellis said, “In 2023, we asked fans, staff and contractors to ‘Play Your Part’ in taking climate action at our events. This campaign encouraged circular fashion, use of public transport and active travel, the use of reusable water bottles, plant-based eating and composting. Next year, we will be continuing on our decarbonisation journey, enhancing our data collection in food and transport whilst expanding our ongoing investment in 100% HVO biofuel with trials of power technologies. Collaboration is key to a thriving Glasgow music scene and we are happy to support this initiative as part of our ongoing commitment to meaningful change in the city.”

Scottish Event Campus director of Live Entertainment Debbie McWilliams said, “We are committed to sustainability, as evidenced by Glasgow’s OVO Hydro becoming the world’s first arena to achieve A Greener Arena (AGA) certification for its commitment to sustainability earlier this year. Our ambition to become net zero by 2030 aligns with the broader ambition of the city of Glasgow to do the same, and we are therefore happy to see this initiative showing what role the city’s music sector can play in this goal.”

Andrew Fleming-Brown, MD of Glasgow’s SWG3 venue, said, “We are happy to be involved in this new collaboration, which aligns with our own plan to become a net zero venue. In 2024 we are aiming to implement an Active Travel Initiative for SWG3, and that’s a goal that requires support from the city’s policymakers. The Just and Green Music City initiative is a good step towards realising that wider collaboration and cooperation.”