Concerts and music festivals are notorious for having a negative impact on the environment, from the amount of carbon emissions it takes to pull off a show and populate a venue, to the single-use plastic pollution that comes from food and drink consumption on site. It’s no surprise that as a result of this impact, there’s been a global call to make them more sustainable.

Global Citizen has long heard this call, and as Global Citizen Live took place over the weekend of Sept. 25, we implemented strategies to ensure environmental protection at our Paris festival, and at all our live events around the world

Over the years, we’ve taken several steps to make sure that sustainability is prioritized at all of our festivals, and our once-in-a-generation event was no exception. 

Defending the planet has been an essential pillar of the Global Citizen Live campaign, and environmental protection is an issue that lies at the core of what we do as an organization. That’s why it remains important to us that we do what we can to put the planet first at all times. At our Paris event in particular, the eco-conscious solutions we integrated into Global Citizen Live were both sustainable and innovative. 

Here are three ways that we put the planet first at Global Citizen Live in Paris. 

1. 100 Trees Used in the Production Will Be Planted Around the City

We worked with entertainment architecture company Stufish to pull off an incredible stage design that framed the Eiffel Tower in the background, making it part of each and every performance. 

Stufish also made sure that the theme to defend the planet was clear throughout the event. On the Paris stage, creating a wonderfully green and organic backdrop throughout all the performances, were 100 tree saplings representing the need to plant, restore, and protect trees in order to tackle climate change. 

These saplings served a dual purpose — not only were they used to help create a beautiful stage design, but they will also be replanted across the city to continue their all-important job of reducing emissions. 

2. Coca-Cola Spearheaded a Recycling Initiative

One of the biggest pollutants at concerts and festivals is food and beverage packaging, and with this in mind, Global Citizen partner Coca-Cola implemented a recycling strategy at our Paris event. 

Not only were there designated bins at the Champ de Mars where attendees could discard plastic bottles to be recycled after the show, but Coca-Cola also put together dedicated teams who regularly emptied the bins throughout the event, looked out for and collected stray bottles that were improperly disposed of, and after the festival ended, picked up all the remaining empty bottles around the venue. 

Coca-Cola went one step further by situating 60 people near the garbage areas who could explain to the public which bins they could use to dispose of certain waste in order to optimize recycling efforts, and they placed signs across the venue that reminded festival-goers to throw their refuse away rather than littering. 

The Champ de Mars after Global Citizen Live in Paris.

3. Carbon Offsetting for All of Our Events

We’ve already offset our 2019 Global Citizen Festival in New York as well as our 2020 One World: Together at Home broadcast, and we plan to do the same with the 24-hour Global Citizen Live broadcast — for all of our events, not just Paris.

What this means is that we’re planning to compensate for greenhouse gas emissions that were produced through our global production by reducing emissions through other projects and arrangements. 

Global Citizen has partnered with South Pole, a leading carbon offset and climate advisory company, to identify impactful projects in the forestry and sustainable agriculture sectors for us to invest in. 

The offsets we’ve invested in have benefitted the Envira Amazonia Tropical Forest Conservation in Brazil, which protects the tropical forests, aims to preserve rich biodiversity, and mitigates the release of carbon emissions.

You can join the Global Citizen Live campaign to defend the planet and defeat poverty by taking action here, and become part of a movement powered by citizens around the world who are taking action together with governments, corporations, and philanthropists to make change.

Global Citizen Life

Defend the Planet

How We Kept 'Global Citizen Live' Sustainable in Paris

By Khanyi Mlaba