At Merlin, we are passionate about reducing our environmental impact and playing a role in moving the independent sector towards a more sustainable future. In January 2023, we formed a working group, called Merlin Green, to explore how to integrate sustainability into our company goals, reduce our environmental impact, and find other means to promote sustainability at an industry level. Our group is responsible for environmental assessments, goal setting and monitoring, internal environmental policy development and implementation, and exploring partnerships to promote sustainable practices.
As an organization, our first step was to conduct an environmental assessment of Merlin. You can review the results of this assessment in our 2022 Carbon Emissions Report, which details our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across all scopes, including Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.
We then looked at how to incorporate sustainability objectives into our company’s goals to address sustainability issues, including energy and waste management, minimizing the impact of travel, sourcing from sustainable supply chains, and promoting industry action.
We’re proud of the steps we’re taking to implement sustainable practices across all aspects of our organization. Yet we recognize that sustainability requires a collective effort and that Merlin’s efforts are only a small part of the solution. We will be reviewing and updating our environmental initiatives while continuing to collaborate with our members and other stakeholders to drive urgent and necessary changes towards an environmentally sustainable future. We hope that our public commitment serves as an example to encourage greater environmental awareness throughout the independent music industry.
Here is how we are deploying sustainability initiatives across our organisation:
1. Implementing Sustainability Objectives
• We have integrated sustainability into Merlin’s organisational objectives. The Merlin Green working group plays an instrumental role in providing input and insights into Merlin-level decisions to put sustainability practices into action.
• Starting in 2023, we now conduct and publish Merlin’s Carbon Emissions Report on an annual basis while actively monitoring our progress toward achieving sustainability targets.
2. Focusing on Energy and Waste Management
• We aim to reduce energy consumption by 15% by 2025 using our 2022 Carbon Emissions Report as the benchmark data.
• Merlin promotes a paperless working environment and continues to recycle paper, plastic, glass, and other recyclable materials at our office locations and coworking spaces.
• To minimize electronic waste, Merlin properly disposes of obsolete electronic equipment following responsible recycling practices.
• As part of Merlin’s London office relocation in May 2023, we donated and responsibly recycled our office furniture and equipment that was not destined for our new office.
• Merlin’s London offices are now located in a WeWork space. WeWork has implemented sustainability practices, including the use of energy-efficient smart lighting and HVAC heating systems.
3. Minimizing the Impact of Travel
• We are exploring ways to take accountability for unavoidable carbon emissions, a commitment we’ve already undertaken for board travel. We are also investigating this for other business-related travel.
• We encourage the use of public transportation among our employees and board members to reduce carbon emissions from commuting.
• We seek to conduct board meetings from locations that minimise travel for our board members.
4. Sourcing From Sustainable Supply Chains
• We aim to work with suppliers and vendors who share our commitment to environmentally responsible practices.
• Where possible we source production of Merlin promotional products using environmentally sustainable materials and from businesses who implement sustainable business practices.
5. Promoting Industry Action
• Merlin is a Supporter of the Music Climate Pact. An initiative launched by the Association of Independent Music (AIM) and the BPI in response to COP26 and the urgent need for united action across the industry to address the climate crisis.
• Merlin is proud to have provided financial support in 2023 towards the development, expansion, and promotion of IMPALA’s Carbon Calculator. This tool is specifically designed to aid the independent music sector to quantify their carbon footprint and identify actionable areas for improvement. Merlin conducted and published its 2022 Carbon Emissions Report using the tool.
• We are exploring ways to champion sustainability initiatives undertaken by our members by providing a platform for our members to showcase their initiatives on Merlin’s social media channels.
“Merlin applauds the numerous Merlin members, the trade associations, and our digital partners who are taking urgent action to address their environmental impact. We believe it is critical for each of us to find ways to continually reduce our energy use, minimize waste, and champion eco-friendly practices. We are pleased to make public our commitment to sustainability as one more step for independents to drive meaningful change.”Charlie Lexton, Merlin COO