The O2 reveals new sustainability measures

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The O2, which is owned and operated by AEG Europe, has announced a series of new measures to make the London venue more sustainable for fans, bands, and brands.

The O2 will be implementing various changes within the arena to reduce single use plastic, promote a plant-based menu, and better enable customers to make informed and responsible choices.

Within The O2 arena, together with the venue’s catering partner Levy UK + Ireland, the venue has committed to going 100 per cent vegan on all available food items for six Billie Eilish shows, with The O2 being the only venue on Eilish’s UK tour to make this commitment. Working with the artist and tour team on their Green Rider, The O2 has gone above and beyond in delivering every requirement and surpassing in certain areas, including a fully vegan food offering available for fans on both the concourses and on suite level, and the removal of non-vegan food items from the menus. Following Eilish’s run, The O2 will continue with a plant-forward philosophy, which will see the concession stand staple beef burger being removed from the menu permanently.

Through its partnership with Levy, The O2 arena is also working with Klimato to calculate, communicate and report the climate impact of the food available for fans to purchase, to enable them to make conscious and sustainable choices – which it says is a first for a venue of this scale.

This commitment to go fully plant-based for Eilish’s shows at The O2 arena has also been supported by The O2’s venue partners, with drinks sold in the arena by Budweiser Brewing Group and Champagne Lanson already offering vegan products, and Nestlé providing vegan sweets and alternative vegan milks at the NESCAFÉ Azera Coffee Shop.

Looking ahead, Levy has committed to reaching net zero at The O2 arena by 2025. This commitment will see Levy continue to support The O2 arena in using technology to track its environmental performance and reduce waste through Levy’s reduce, re-use and review policy. Achieving net zero for food and beverage at The O2 by 2025 will be an integral part of the venues overall strategy to hit net zero. The O2 and AEG Europe are currently working with A Greener Festival on establishing an accurate scientific baseline for scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions before publishing its full plan for net zero later this year.

Throughout The O2 arena, the venue will be installing several water dispensers for fans to easily access on their visit, thereby reducing the need for plastic water bottles. Visitors to the arena will be encouraged to bring soft, reusable water bottles which will need to be emptied prior to entry and fully collapsible.

The O2 is also taking strides to reduce the amount of single-use plastic used in the arena moving forwards and has committed to using recyclable paper cups in all areas of the arena, including backstage. The venue has also removed all plastic bags from merchandise units and is implementing fabric wristbands made from 100 per cent recycled PET plastic for standing arena attendees for the first time this month.

John Langford, COO at AEG Europe, said: “Finding ways to make both our venues across Europe and worldwide, as well as the wider live entertainment industry, more sustainable has never been more important, and we’re proud to be leading the charge as a company to help find and trial innovative solutions and help reduce our impact on the planet.”

Steve Sayer, VP and general manager at The O2, said: “We’re so proud to be taking real strides this month to becoming an even more sustainable venue here at The O2. Going fully vegan in the arena for six sold out show dates with Billie Eilish is no small task and is something that we know will really resonate with fans attending the shows. The reduction in single use plastic in The O2 arena is another huge step forward for us, as we work towards our A Greener Arena accreditation, and ultimately one day towards becoming net zero as a venue. As one of the world’s leading venues, it’s important that we help drive industry change in the space of sustainability and show that we can all make a difference, whilst continuing to still provide a best-in-class experience for the fans and artists.”