The SKO is climate neutral

The SKO is climate neutral

The starting point

Founded in "Year Zero" 1945 by Karl Münchinger, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra became a legendary international cultural ambassador of German post-war history. Accordingly, traveling and intercontinental touring is part of the SKO's DNA. This is not to change in the future. What will be put to the test, however, is the type of travel, the choice of means of transport and the conception of the concert formats.
In 2022, 2023 and 2024, the SKO's CO2 emissions will amount to 420 tons each. The events sector, which also includes mobility and overnight stays, will have the greatest impact with 89%, compared to 10% in administration and 1% in management. Nevertheless, it is clear that in addition to the direct concert operations, which also include the venues and the audience, there are plenty of other factors, such as the production and shipping of SKO printed products, the infrastructure of the offices and, last but not least, the individual travel of orchestra members and employees to rehearsals, concerts and their workplace.

The transformation

How did the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra succeed in achieving the new climate-neutral mode? In short, not through one blanket strategy, but through a great many small-scale measures. All areas of work were examined for more environmentally friendly alternatives. The most important ones are mentioned here:
Naturally, the own artistic work is in the center of all conceptual considerations. The SKO benefits here from the innovative spirit that has provided important creative impulses in recent years. For example, a hologram concert will take place in 2023, in which the SKO and the Czech National Ballet will perform simultaneously in two countries on different stages, but will be connected live as a hologram.
However, the SKO is also breaking new ground in musical practice. Supported by the ZUKUNFTSSTARK funding program of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts, the SKO is the first German orchestra to make the switch from paper to electronic sheet music. Practical advantages such as the constant availability of the entire sheet music library and networked work go hand in hand with the CO2 savings.
Not forgotten, of course, are the administration and logistics departments. The offices in Stuttgart's Hasenbergsteige are connected to the district heating network of the local energy supplier and are supplied with 100% green electricity. SKO publications are printed on Blue Angel paper and shipped CO2-free. The SKO supports employees in switching to environmentally friendly mobility with job tickets for public transport and by cooperating with a bicycle leasing program. A charging facility for electric cars is available. In contact with event partners, the SKO consistently makes CO2-optimized event spaces a topic of discussion, thus underlining the market demand. Last but not least, tickets for the SKO's own concerts entitle the holder to use local public transport. The audience's journey, both at home in Stuttgart and on tour, is also included in the bill for CO2 compensation.

The compensation

In addition to these diverse measures, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra relies on compensation for the remaining CO2 emissions that cannot be avoided. And because the orchestra, as artistic director Markus Korselt says, "plays on old wood," reforestation is the "instrument" of choice. The SKO has chosen a program in Guanaré (Uruguay) that is certified to the highest standards Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards (CCBS).
In addition to the certified offset in South America, the SKO is making a positive contribution to the climate in its home state. For the years 2022 to 2024, the SKO is planting one young tree per ton of CO2, a total of 1,260 trees, together with the Schutzgemeinschaft Deutscher Wald Baden-Württemberg. The symbolic planting campaign is planned for fall 2022 - a separate press release will follow.
In addition, the SKO will in future review its emissions forecasts in the first quarter of the following year and adjust them if necessary.

About the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra

77 years after its founding, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra (SKO) - with its musical leadership duo Thomas Zehetmair and Jörg Widmann and under the direction of its Executive and Artistic Director Markus Korselt - sees itself as a cultural authority with responsibility in a dual role. Preserving tradition while setting sonic and programmatic standards for the future: this is where the SKO draws its creative ideas from. A rich repertoire ranging from baroque to world premieres, collaboration with internationally renowned soloists, and the self-confident crossing of genre boundaries with outstanding artists from the fields of jazz and electronic music in formats that are close to the audience make the SKO one of today's most versatile ensembles with worldwide concert activities. The SKO places a special emphasis on digitalization, with which new projects and visions are created at a rapid pace in order to reach people across all borders in the here and now.


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