Where do you think the world is at now with sustainability? What has changed so far, and what needs to change?
That’s a really tough question. Currently, I think there’s a better a realisation that our collective futures can not be divorced from the natural world. Having said that, there appears to be a distinct lack of urgency and leadership by our elected decision makers. The systemic issue is that the environment has become politicised—which has lead to a perilous decline in understanding exactly what we need to protect, when and why. As powerful as individuals’ actions can be, we also need leaders who can hear, relate and react to the the evident groundswell that is demanding change—they need to inspire and support the new technologies required to sustain a burgeoning global population but also safeguard the fundamentals of functioning healthy ecosystems as foundations for creating policy.
We’ve recently been working to improve the harbour that the Opera House sits in and its biodiversity. How do you think your sustainability efforts directly impact the areas and venues where you tour?
We like to think that our tour has the potential to make positive impacts wherever we tour. Obviously, the band and crew implement a lot of sustainable initiatives on the road—but the real impact is the engagement with fans at shows. This is why the Village Green is such an important part of our tour. The Village Green is a dedicated space at each of our shows where we invite a number of non-profit groups, active in those communities, to set up displays and activations. Generally the groups are focused on marine conservation issues or sustainable food production—both of which Jack is very passionate about. It creates a space where fans engage with these groups, which often leads to active involvement and participation after the show and beyond. Those relationships and what might follow can have profound impacts.
Your team offers simple ways for punters to participate in sustainability (allowing people to offset carbon emissions on buying tickets). How can concert-goers be more conscious of the environment when they’re actually at your shows on the Forecourt?
We will have many sustainable activations fans can participate on the Forecourt. We encourage fans to:
Bring their own reusable water bottles to the show so they can visit our WeRefill water stations for free filtered or sparkling water, and support our plastic-free initiatives;
Spend a few minutes visiting the Village Green and connect with some of our amazing non-profit partners- including free ‘rescued’ bananas from OzHarvest;
Make a pledge in front of our photo wall;
Thoughtfully dispose of their recycling and food scrap at our waste stations (we aim to minimise or eliminate waste bound for landfill; and
Use alternative transport to get to the show (trains, bike, carpool).
All At Once, which is Jack’s social action network made up of all the non-profit groups he supports, has the by-line “individual action, multiplied by millions, creates global change”. I think that pretty much sums it up.
Jack Johnson plays the outdoor Forecourt on Thursday 30 November, Friday 1 December and Saturday 2 December. Get your tickets on our website.