The O2 and OVO Arena Wembley secure Greener Arena certification

The O2 and OVO Arena Wembley have become the latest UK venues to achieve Greener Arena certification for their commitment to sustainability.

The certification is awarded by AGF, a not-for-profit company that is committed to helping events, festivals, and venues around the world become more sustainable.

For The O2, the certification highlights the arena’s 100% renewable energy usage and also considers the health and wellbeing of staff, as well as equality, diversity and inclusion. As part of the assessment, AGF will share actionable next steps for The O2 to implement in 2023.

In June, The O2 announced a series of new sustainability initiatives to coincide with Billie Eilish taking her ‘Happier Than Ever’ tour to the venue. The measures included reducing single-use plastics and the introduction of plant-based menus.

The O2’s catering partner, Levy UK + Ireland, has also committed to reaching net zero at the arena by 2025, which will be a first for the company.

Steve Sayer, vice-president and general manager at The O2, said: “We’re so proud to have achieved our Greener Arena certification, and to be paving the way for other arenas in England and around the world. Sustainability has been an integral part of our business strategy this year, and with events like Overheated we’ve been able to make real strides in this space.

“Becoming a more sustainable venue is a constantly evolving task, and we know there’s still a lot more work to do, which is why we’re hiring new, dedicated resource next year to help take on this challenge. We’re looking forward to working closely with AGF following the actions from their certification report and publishing a comprehensive Green Rider for The O2. This will ensure that we provide a best-in-class experience for both artists and fans in an even more sustainable way.”

The O2 became the first English arena to achieve the certification, and it was joined today (Thursday) by fellow London venue, OVO Arena Wembley.

OVO Arena Wembley has officially been certified as ‘IMPROVERS’, which, according to AGF, signifies great strides on the green arena journey, with positive actions and improvements that show the arena exhibits a significant engagement with reducing negative environmental and social impacts, and enhancing positive impacts.

Since April, the arena has delved into the process via a baseline CO2 analysis and impact assessment to develop and guide its strategy towards achieving its sustainability goals.

The arena supports OVO Energy’s commitment to becoming a net-zero business by 2035, and to drive progress towards zero-carbon living. OVO also sponsors Glasgow’s OVO Hydro, which in April became the first arena in the world to achieve Greener Arena certification.

The certification process aims to further educate and equip teams at OVO Arena Wembley and other ASM Global venues, updating operations to reduce the carbon footprint of its venues. It was announced earlier this year that ASM Global’s entire portfolio of UK-operated venues will undergo certification as part of a long-term strategy and pledge towards greener operations.

John Drury, vice-president and general manager at OVO Arena Wembley, said: “We are incredibly proud to be recognised as a Greener Arena in 2022, even more so to be the longest-standing arena in the UK to achieve this certification. This shows that reinvention of existing buildings and a focus on sustainability lowers impact dramatically while also paying back the embodied carbon in its build emissions.

“Sustainability is at the heart of our operations and we’re on a journey that we’re sharing with visiting productions, artists and promoters, to ensure our environmental practices align. This enables us to work together to put on shows in a greener way, as should be the industry standard now and even more so in future as we learn and evolve.”

Last month, spoke to Marie Lindqvist, senior vice-president of operations for ASM Global in Europe, to discuss sustainability initiatives at OVO Arena Wembley.