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Scottish Classical Music Green Guide Launched by the Scottish Classical Sustainability Group

Set up during the pandemic, the Scottish Classical Sustainability Group (SCSG) is putting the welfare of our planet in the spotlight with the launch of its first ever Scottish Classical Music Green Guide, and the MU is proud to have contributed.

Published: 30 July 2021 | 6:13 PM
Photograph of a persons hand turning the tuning peg on a guitar, in the background is wild countryside.
The guide aims at changing behaviours not only in organisations, but in individual musicians and audiences across the country. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Given the events of the past eighteen months, both in terms of how the Covid-19 pandemic has made us reconsider our impact on the environment, and the natural disasters – from floods through to wildfires – that we have witnessed taking place across the globe, the issue of environmental sustainability has been top of the agenda for many, and not least Scotland’s musical sector, who have come together to discuss how they can reduce the impact of their work on the planet.

The SCSG brings together more than 30 of Scotland’s music organisations, alongside Creative Scotland, Creative Carbon Scotland, MU and Association of British Orchestras (ABO) and was set up in July 2020 by Nevis Ensemble and Scottish Ensemble. And it has just launched its first ever Scottish Classical Music Green Guide.

Aimed at changing behaviours not only in organisations, but in individual musicians and audiences across the country, and for both professional and leisure-time ensembles, the guide is the culmination of discussions around how the sector can best address the Climate Emergency as we aim for a Net Zero society.

Established in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the work of the SCSG has already seen it win the Environmental Sustainability Award at the 2021 Scottish Awards for New Music hosted by New Music Scotland.

Ideas, knowledge and tips

The Green Guide, building on the 2010 Green Orchestras Guide, put together by the ABO, Julie’s Bicycle and Orchestras Live, shares ideas, knowledge and tips on how organisations can engage with staff, musicians and audiences, but also on how individual musicians can exert influence, whether as freelancers or as part of a larger organisation.

Examples of best practice from across the Scottish classical sector, including Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Drake Music Scotland, Live Music Now Scotland and the National Youth Choir of Scotland are also highlighted.

The guide ends with a series of pledges from members, detailing actions they plan to take in the next twelve months to concretely reduce their emissions. Actions include stopping all staff flights within the UK, engaging international promoters in discussions about how the greater costs of more sustainable land travel can be covered when planning tours, and replacing one-off performances from international guests with longer residencies

Find out more and download the full guide on the Creative Carbon Scotland website.

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