14 September 2023

The Greener Arena is here – The O2 and beyond

The latest ideas for carbon-neutral, and clean, green events 

Right now, if there’s anything more sought after than a free ticket to the Paris Olympics, it’s sustainability within the events industry. Ever since event organisers realised that going green enhances their reputation and attracts environmentally conscious attendees, the topic is not only hot news, but is being put into practice… fast. 


In the UK, the O2 has been leading the charge towards a net-zero future for events.

First off, Team O2 earned the venue its ‘Greener Arena’ certification, after implementing a whole year of sustainability-driven initiatives. These included the arena going vegan for Billie Eilish’s six show dates in June, as well as a very welcome reduction in single-use plastic through the switch to paper cups and recycled PET plastic wristbands. Not only this, but the O2 arena together with catering partner Levy UK + Ireland is committed to a net zero future by 2025.  


Since then, the O2’s sustainability values, an important part of its Good Vibes All Round initiative, has gone from strength to strength.    


The O2 has been visited by over 100 million people since opening its doors in 2007, and plays host to over 300 events a year. Any carbon savings on this scale is going to make a BIG impact. This is also true of access to the venue, which is easily accessible by swathes of public transport including buses, the Tube, and for those attempting an “entrance with attitude”, you can even arrive by boat. 


Back to the ‘Greener Arena’ certificate – the O2 was awarded this by the nonprofit sustainability expert, AGF. This was the first award of its type to a UK venue, and the O2 earned its new title through careful consideration of how it reduced emissions, as well as the immense achievement of running on 100% renewable energy. Other factors included the health and wellbeing of staff, and Equality, Diversity & Inclusion policies, both of which earned it an ‘Outstanding’ rating.  


Then in June the O2 announced more new measures to strengthen its green credentials. We already mentioned that Billie Eilish’s shows were the springboard for the removal of non-vegan food items from all the menus. But that wasn’t the end of the story, for after Eilish departed the building, the O2 permanently removed the beef burger from the concession stand. 


Not only that, but in February 2024 rock band The 1975 will be headlining 100% ‘carbon removed’ shows. This will be achieved via the O2’s collaboration with carbon removal experts CUR8 and sustainable event specialists A Greener Future, and oversee the extraction of at least 100 tonnes of residual carbon emissions per event. 


And not to be outdone, festivals are following suit.  

Over 5,000 revellers at CarFest experienced the 600-person capacity bp pulse EV silent disco. 100% powered by four EVs, the dance attraction was a world-first in combining electrifying beats, electric cars and EV sustainability solutions.  


Duncan Strain, director of Silent Noize Events, spilled the beans on the action: “This is a historical moment for us, proving that silent discos can happen literally anywhere. We hope to be involved with many, many more electric powered silent discos. We are thrilled that the technology worked perfectly and so many people enjoyed it.” 


These are the new paths being forged by green event organisers towards a mean and carbon-lean future.

Do you have ideas that can put these in the shade? 

If so, mustard XP needs to talk to you about some brilliant jobs that regularly come our way. Our fabulous XP team is waiting for your call, so get your dialling finger at the ready. 0117 929 6060 is the number you’re looking for. 

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