Stine Skovbon

Published On


Page Range

pp. 205–228


  • English

Print Length

24 pages

11. The Environmental Sustainability of Symphony Orchestras

Challenges and Potential Solutions

  • Stine Skovbon (author)
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.


Stine Skovbon

PhD candidate at the department of Arts and Culture Studies at Erasmus University Rotterdam

Stine Skovbon is a PhD candidate at the department of Arts and Culture Studies at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. She started writing her dissertation in 2021. Her research interests are classical music and sustainability, and her PhD focuses on environmental and social sustainability of symphony orchestras. The aim of her project is firstly, to investigate the current awareness and prioritising of sustainability within orchestras in areas as travel activities, well-being of musicians, and organisational environmental and HR policies. A second aim is to map factors that creates either constrains or possibilities for symphony orchestras to enhance sustainability.