Along with presenting his 2020 album Wonder to the masses, Shawn Mendes’ upcoming Wonder world tour will feature a slew of sustainability initiatives, Billboard can exclusively reveal. Mendes is following in the footsteps of artists like Coldplay and Billie Eilish, as the music industry aims for greener and more climate-positive tours.
The Wonder tour, which kicks off in Portland on June 27, will reduce its per-show carbon footprint by implementing simple but effective practices that can be done by both fans and tour crew.
In order to achieve its reduced emissions goal, the tour will offer merchandise with sustainable fabrics and fewer dyes, along with energy-efficient lighting and power for the show itself. The crew will also use sustainable fuel options when traveling from show to show, while food will be sourced from local farms, and any excess will be composted or donated to the appropriate organizations. Fans are also encouraged to carpool or use sustainable transportation to shows in order to make the tour carbon negative.
“No plan is perfect, but we see this as a starting point,” Mendes said in a statement. “We are in a pivotal moment for climate, and it’s crucial to me that this tour is a step in the right direction.”
Andrew Gertler, Mendes’ manager and founder of AG Artists, believes that now is the time for larger acts like Mendes to prioritize sustainability in the industry, so it can become the standard as more acts begin to tour again after a pandemic hiatus.
“We have the power to lead by example, not just for our fans and our industry, but for others as well,” Gertler tells Billboard. “The goal is that truly green touring will become the norm sooner than later and that as technology, and as our practices progress, it will continue to also become more and more cost-effective so that it can be implemented across all tours, big and small.”
“From amending how our merch was designed and created, to how the tour and our production travels and the fuel we use, to equipping our tour team and our fans with actions and information to make their tour experience more sustainable, we set a goal to reduce our per-show footprint 50% per show from the last world tour,” adds AG Artists general manager Jordan Wolosky. “From there, we were able to calculate our remaining CO2e footprint and are planning to offset above and beyond what we are emitting to ensure the tour is not just carbon neutral but actually carbon negative.”
For his 2019 world tour, Mendes teamed up with Reverb on sustainable initiatives like water refill stations, which eliminated over 1 million single-use plastic water bottles that would otherwise be left in landfills. Mendes will be joining forces with Reverb once again as he sets out on the 80+ show tour across the globe, setting up an “Impact Village” at each North American tour stop that will feature booths from The Shawn Mendes Foundation, Reverb’s Music Climate Revolution, and local activists and organizations encouraging fans to pledge to take action against climate change. Mendes and his team will also invest in and donate to various causes that aim to offset emissions, including Gold Standard, Cool Effect, ACES, and Pachama.
“Shawn has shown a deep commitment to protecting the planet and taking serious climate action,” Reverb founder and co-executive director Lauren Sullivan explains. “We also can’t wait to interact with Shawn’s fans all across the globe in the Reverb Eco-Village at shows. They’ve shown an inspiring enthusiasm and dedication to taking meaningful environmental action and we’re thrilled to see what we can accomplish together.”
“I have been empowered by youth leaders and my peers, and I hope our collective choices inspire industries and individuals to prioritize our planet,” adds Mendes. “ Let’s continue to grow together.”
Fans can read an in-depth outline of the sustainability practices on the Wonder tour website. Read more about Mendes’ future plans and the Wonder tour in his recent Billboard cover story.