World’s first carbon-free orchestra?

World’s first carbon-free orchestra?


norman lebrecht

September 08, 2015

Wind powered, perhaps?

Press release:

To mark Sibelius’s 150th anniversary year the Lahti Symphony Orchestra has initiated a project – a contribution to the efforts to reduce the pace of global climate change – by gradually making the orchestra’s activities carbon-neutral. Behind the project is Myrskyvaroitus – Storm Warning ry, and the project is being carried out in collaboration with the Lahti-based Environmental Technology unit of the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT).

The Lahti Symphony Orchestra is taking the lead as an environmentally responsible artistic organization by adopting carbon neutrality as one of its operational objectives. The orchestra’s general manager Teemu Kirjonen sees the orchestra’s climate project as a natural part of the City of Lahti’s environmental strategy, according to which the city is committed to halving per capita greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, compared to 1990 levels. The Lahti Symphony Orchestra’s musicians and administrative staff have been involved in making the decision to launch the project, and in associated brainstorming activities.

During the first phase of the project, the orchestra’s carbon footprint will be calculated. This calculation is based on a life-cycle assessment, a diploma thesis by the LUT student Pilvi Virolainen. This is undertaken under the guidance of the postdoctoral researcher Ville Uusitalo and supervised by Professor Lassi Linnanen. The work will be completed by the end of November and its primary aims are to identify the orchestra’s principal sources of greenhouse gas emissions, to examine how these could be reduced or compensated for, and to explore the orchestra’s potential to influence its partners to reduce their carbon footprint. In accordance with the results of this research, the orchestra’s activities will be designed to cause minimum damage to the environment.