St. Augustine Amphitheatre’s Green Hands Initiative Partners with We Are Neutral
As part of the St. Augustine Amphitheatre’s ongoing commitment to reducing its ecological impact on the environment and community, the venue’s pioneering venue conservation program, the Green Hands Initiative, has launched a partnership with We Are Neutral and embraced carbon neutrality through We Are Neutral’s local carbon offsetting program.
“The staff of the St. Augustine Amphitheatre is always working to find new and innovative ways to minimize our carbon footprint,” said Megan Murphy, Green Hands Initiative coordinator. “That being said, our venue will always have some sort of footprint, which is why we made the very important decision to offset our venue footprint.”
In May 2017, Green Hands Coordinator Megan Murphy received the St. Augustine Amphitheatre’s carbon footprint report from We Are Neutral, a Gainesville, Florida-based non-profit organization, charged with calculating carbon footprints and then creating meaningful local carbon offsets to neutralize the impact. We Are Neutral’s website explains that a carbon footprint is the scientific measurement of how much carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere from an activity. That measurement is expressed as CO2e, or carbon dioxide equivalent.
For We Are Neutral partners, going neutral means for every ton of carbon emitted into the atmosphere through an activity, We Are Neutral will take a ton of carbon out of the atmosphere through local carbon offset programs like planting native trees on local conservation lands and performing energy efficient upgrades in local low-income housing. Taking into account the Amphitheatre’s daily electric, water and wastewater usage as well as the impact of artist and patron travel to the Amphitheatre, the carbon footprint of the Amphitheatre equaled 15,886.65 tons of CO2e annually. The largest contributor to this calculation was airplane and automobile transportation. Seeking to make an immediate impact, the Amphitheatre took its first steps towards carbon neutrality by officially offsetting its daily electric, water and wastewater footprint via We Are Neutral’s local carbon offsetting program.
“Over the past few months, we’ve been working with We Are Neutral to calculate the carbon footprint of the Amphitheatre and begin our journey to carbon neutrality,” explained Murphy. “Now that we know what our footprint is, we are so excited to have taken the first step by officially offsetting the Amphitheatre’s daily carbon footprint. We’ve joined other community leaders such as the University of Florida, Changeville, Brave Space Design and many others who are doing their part to reduce their impact and work towards creating a healthier environment. It’s thrilling to announce that the St. Augustine Amphitheatre is officially a Carbon Neutral venue.”
Murphy adds that it was no surprise that the largest aspect of the venue’s footprint was the travel of artists and patrons to the Amphitheatre. “The next step is to introduce creative ways for artists and concert goers to help offset their own ‘show day’ footprint,” she said. Murphy encourages people and businesses interested in the Amphitheatre’s journey towards carbon neutrality to follow the Green Hands Blog found online at www.staugamphitheatre.com.
The Green Hands Initiative is a commitment made by the SJC Cultural Events Division, which owns and operates the St. Augustine Amphitheatre and Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, to establish and maintain operating practices that align with the mission of conserving valuable resources and reducing unnecessary waste within our industry, our community and our world.
For additional information on the Green Hands Initiative, please visit www.staugustineamphitheatre.com and follow Green Hands on facebook at www.facebook.com/greenhandsfla or stop by the Green Hands table at the next concert event.