Striving to Reduce the Environmental Impact of Music.
Mauricio Lizarazo Prada / Music producer and event organizer
Making “Sustainability” the Norm.
“The people running the music industry seldom pause to think about the environment...” Alarmed by the environmental impacts of musical production and events, Mauricio Lizarazo Prada began to develop a tool to support the concept of sustainable music. Realizing sustainable music, he believes, is at the top of the to-do list for his generation. We asked him what lies behind his passion for the concept.
The music industry imposes significant environmental burdens.
As I continued my career as a music producer, I was often surprised to see how seldom the people in the industry pause to think about the environment. A live-music event or CD release consumes considerable energy and produces tons of waste. No person in their right mind would feel good about working in this industry if they believed that nothing was ever going to change. It was obvious to me that the awareness of the problems in the industry must be raised and action needed to make things right. This sense of crisis led me to a series of initiatives to make sustainable music a reality.
I joined like-minded colleagues and friends to continue researching how our industry was impacting the environment. By breaking down the processes that the business encompasses, I drew up a model called Sustainable Music C・A・R・E・S.
With fellow music professionals, we also set goals for making the industry sustainable, such as raising awareness of the environmental issues at stake and mitigating CO2 emissions. The Sustainable Music C・A・R・E・S model is congruent with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted at the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Summit – especially No. 12, Responsible consumption and production. I’ve presented this model at the World Music Expo Conference in 2016 and at a TEDxTalk in 2017. And I continue to do so whenever the opportunity rises. The Sustainable Music C・A・R・E・S policies are gaining recognition in society, slowly but surely, through this approach.
Creating a tool to support a sustainable music movement.
While the initiative seemed to be making good progress, I was chagrined to often meet people who agreed with the concept of sustainable music but didn’t know what they could do. The solution, I decided to create an app for the people who planned and produced live music events. This app will facilitate venue selection, equipment procurement, and other processes that go into producing music events from the vantage point of sustainability. The application database will keep track of event venues that run on renewable energy and work to reduce carbon emissions, instrument manufacturers that take active steps to conserve forests, catering companies that offer vegan menus alike. I think of the app as a one-stop information source for event organizers committed to taking sustainable actions and significantly reducing the environmental footprints of their events. It would be interesting if the app could also quantify and show the carbon emissions mitigated through the selection of sustainable third-party vendors and services.
To help with promotion, the app will suggest recommended venues and services at more competitive costs, so that it will also offer economic incentives to those who may not be environmentally aware. Though the app will be time-consuming and costly to develop, I am determined to change the music industry by bringing it to market.
To make the future a place where our children can enjoy music without constraints.
I am going to continue producing live music events as before. A live musical performance is a powerful experience that can raise awareness and move people to change their behavior. Musicians can reach out their hopes and feelings into the collective mind of the audience, just as Paul McCartney did years ago for me. By collaborating with environmentally ambitious artists, we ourselves will be moved to stir positive changes in the world.
We need to work on environmental issues as the calling for our generation. My two daughters also love music and may want to have art/music-related jobs in the future. If their generation is to appreciate music without constraints, the music industry of today must strive toward sustainability. I dream of the day when an awareness of sustainability guides the actions of people not only in music, but in all walks of life and every part of life. Our journey with music will continue towards that day.
- Mauricio Lizarazo Prada / Music producer and event organizer
- The Colombian-born Lizarazo Prada produces music groups and events mainly in Berlin, Germany. Lizarazo Prada strives to realize “sustainable music” with a strong commitment to environmental and economical issues.