A U2 global tour is a 200+ crew of people traveling the world with one shared mission, to put on a great show. Since 2009, Effect Partners has been U2’s Sustainability Director, galvanizing awareness for climate change and making this vision a reality through a comprehensive tour greening program that not only eliminates single-use plastic and reduces waste, but also educates employees and inspires action among venues and fans. As part of this campaign Effect works with U2’s crew to embrace the band’s strategic vision for being on the leading-edge in innovation and sustainability to ensure it is not just a great show but a “green” show. The greening program also tracks and measures environmental impact, carbon footprint and identifies mitigation measures and carbon offset projects to invest in.
The Effect team works with tour production, venues, vendors and environmental partners to advance the tours, measure, track and manage environmental impact on a Greening Dashboard; manage tour rider environmental protocols; negotiate sustainable pricing; provide sustainability crew managers to travel with the tour to oversee waste and recycling efforts on-site; identify partner activation and fan engagement opportunities for select markets; and share environmental content for crew and fan education via signage, emails, training, and one-on-ones.
Effect has worked with U2 to green over 315 U2 shows in over 36 countries over the course of three global tours comprising 19 legs from 2009 to 2019 (each “leg” is a different region and set of dates where a tour travels).
Effect has created entirely new CO2 offset categories on behalf of U2. One of these is now being implemented on 3 continents and in dozens of communities.
The 2019 Joshua Tree tour alone succeeded in creating a culture of environmental awareness and behavior change, including more than 36,000 single-use plastic avoided by the crew over 33 days; nearly 11,000 reusable water bottles filled over 23 days; eliminated 37,500 single-use plastic merchandise bags; diverted 2,700 pounds of compost from landfills; utilized hydrogen power supply for backline power needs for two shows in Tokyo and Japan; and committed to investing in certified carbon offset projects equal to 100% of total emissions from the tour.