IMPALA Unveils Carbon Calculator for Indie Music Companies

IMPALA, the European organization that represents 6,000 independent music companies spread across 30 countries, unveiled new plans to “build new climate literacy” on Thursday (Sept. 8) with the goal of helping its members reduce their carbon footprints. The initiative is co-funded by the European Union.

This is the latest step in IMPALA’s sustainability program, which aims to make the independent sector carbon positive by 2030. IMPALA members will now have access to best-practices training and the use of a carbon calculator that can help them track the climate impact of their energy and water use at the office, their commuting, their business travel and their manufacturing and distribution efforts.

“Carbon accounting should be as simple as possible and accessible to all companies across Europe,” Horst Weidenmüller, chair of IMPALA’s sustainability task force and CEO of !K7, said in a statement. “That’s why we built the first bespoke carbon calculator for independent music companies with Julie’s Bicycle [a non-profit company that works to help arts and culture organizations act sustainably].”

In a statement, Helen Smith, IMPALA’s executive chair, added that the project “will serve as a good basis for further climate projects on a more comprehensive scale and with the appropriate support from EU bodies, on the policy-making level and the financial level as well.”

IMPALA launched its sustainability program in April 2021, rolling out a 15-point charter that encouraged members to “transparently monitor and report [their] own climate impacts,” “work with digital music services to assess and reduce carbon footprint” and “explore collective offsetting solutions for the sector,” among other things. The fourth point on the charter was “develop carbon reporting tool for members” to “disclose aggregate statistics.”

“Acting early isn’t just a climate question,” Weidenmüller noted in 2021 — “it avoids disruption and carbon taxes.”

“Our guidance for members sets out common-sense steps that a company can take voluntarily and expand afterwards if needed,” Smith added at the time. “Many of the issues can’t be solved by members acting on their own, but a collective approach will make the difference.”