Analysis of four carbon removed pilot shows by The 1975 at The O2 arena has found that 546 tonnes of carbon was removed, with 75.7% of nightly emissions coming from fan travel to and from the venue. The cost of emissions removal from fan travel was covered by a combination of venue investment and a 90p contribution from fans, which was incorporated into the ticket price.

AEG Europe said the pilot shows saw 136.46 tonnes of residual carbon per show removed, equating to 545.9 tonnes across the four shows – equivalent to the yearly electricity usage of 395 average homes. The research found that only 3.95% of the nightly carbon footprint came from arena operations – driven predominantly by electricity usage and staff travel.

The O2‘s hospitality partner, Levy UK + Ireland, accounted for the removal costs across its operations, with carbon emissions for food & beverages across each show coming in at 7.46%, of which 85% was down to beverages. It said the overall figure was aided by the introduction of several recent initiatives, including a new food menu which generated 30% less carbon compared to the regular offering, as well as the launch of Notpla 100% biodegradable serveware that can be processed in The O2’s on-site biodigester and wormery.

The O2 has also invested in a permanent reusable cup scheme and cup-washing machines powered by electricity from renewable resources.

“We hope this serves as a wakeup call to the wider industry that carbon removals are a viable solution that can be used to operate live events.”

A partnership between the venue’s owner AEG Europe, A Greener Future (AGF) and UK-based climate tech start-up CUR8, the project saw The O2 become the first arena in the world to host ‘carbon removed’ concerts.

The Access All Areas mainstage conference at Event Production Show in February hosted a case study of the pilot shows during which the details of the pilot project were discussed at length, and the case made for it being a model for the future. Speakers included CUR8 co-founder Mark Stevenson, AGF co-founder Claire O’Neil, and Sam Booth who was hired in January last year by AEG Europe as its first director of sustainability.

Booth said the pilot shows had proven it’s possible to run an arena-size live show that doesn’t compromise on a great fan experience but accounts for the impact it has on the environment: “We hope this serves as a wakeup call to the wider industry that carbon removals are a viable solution that can be used to operate live events, but they need buy-in from everyone in the live ecosystem in order to be a success – from venues and promoters right the way through to artists themselves.”

Sam Booth is among those interviewed for the forthcoming AAA Explores film on The O2 arena, the latest in a series that has already included the Royal Albert Hall, Ascot Racecourse, M&S Bank Arena and Outernet London.