This chapter will be concerned with the importance of sustainability for classical music orchestras by addressing opportunities for symphony orchestras to become more sustainable, and indicating how enhancing environmental sustainability can be advantageous at the levels of both the individual orchestras and the classical music sector as a whole.
The chapter begins with an overview of the conditions in which symphony orchestras find themselves. The UN sustainable development goals are used as an example illustrating the general consensus that it is of great importance for organizations to engage in sustainable initiatives and why there seems to be an urgent need for increasing the environmental awareness within the classical music sector. The chapter continues with a brief overview of the factors that contribute most to the environmental impact of symphony orchestras, and then move on to discuss relevant initiatives developed by nonprofit charity organizations such as the UK-based Julie’s Bicycle, which offer useful suggestions for the music sector to reduce their environmental footprint. Finally, it is argued that prioritizing sustainable practices within symphony orchestras can serve as a means to safeguarding the future of classical music by making sure the values and endeavours of the sector regarding sustainability are in line with the goals set to address the ecological challenges for society as a whole.