And the Grammy for Greening Goes To...

This Sunday evening, I’ll be watching the GRAMMY Awards on television, along with millions of other people (over 39 million last year). I’m excited about hearing some excellent music and seeing some spectacular stage shows – but I’m also excited about a big part of the GRAMMYs that happens behind the scenes. This year, as has been true for the past several years, the Recording Academy has collaborated with NRDC to oversee a comprehensive environmental initiative for the GRAMMYs that includes buying renewable energy, recycling and reducing waste, and purchasing environmentally preferable paper, food, and other materials.

When culturally influential institutions like the GRAMMY Awards adopt greener practices, the benefits are threefold. First, buying greener products and services and engaging in greener behaviors have direct environmental impacts. For example, buying recycled content paper reduces global warming pollution, saves energy and water, reduces reliance on landfills and incinerators, helps protect biodiversity, and so forth. Second, publicizing their paper purchases and other environmental achievements sends the message to fans and others that being greener is an important part of how these organizations do business. Finally, when organizations adopt greener practices, that sends a powerful message up the supply chain that greener products and services are a priority – and this often means that those greener products and services become available to other customers too.

So this year, tune into the GRAMMYs, check them out on Facebook, or learn more about the environmental features of the Recording Academy offices on the “GRAMMYs Going Green” webpage, and let them  know you applaud the great work they’ve been doing.

Here are some of the specific accomplishments of this year’s GRAMMYs greening initiative:


The entire production of the telecast and pre-telecast of the 55th GRAMMY Awards (24 MWh) is being powered by 100 percent renewable energy purchased through the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.


The GRAMMY Celebration features reusable china and glassware. Most of the food serviceware used for crew is biobased and compostable.

The GRAMMY Celebration menu, created by Along Came Mary, features organic and locally grown selections, including meat, produce, and cheese. All seafood is sustainably produced.

Leftover edible food from the Celebration is donated to local organizations in need, including the Upward Bound House, which provides homes for families with children, and Angel’s Flight, a refuge for runaway teens in the Los Angeles area.

Waste & Recycling

As part of The Recording Academy’s ongoing commitment to reduce waste and protect the environment, all refuse will be sorted to maximize recycling. STAPLES Center will recycle all glass, aluminum, paper, and cooking oils, as well as many plastics, and will compost organic waste from food preparation. Organic waste from the GRAMMY Celebration will also be removed for composting, and all cooking oil used for the Celebration will be recycled.

Corks will be recycled at the Celebration After-Party and MusiCares Person of the Year tribute.


All incoming ticketing requests were processed electronically. Many GRAMMY Week invitations and RSVPs were electronic, avoiding the printing of hundreds of invitations and envelopes.

Most paper products (envelopes, letterhead, posters, etc.) were printed on paper containing 50-100% postconsumer recycled content.


Most furniture/set pieces on stage are rentals and reusable.


In partnership with Ride Amigos, The Recording Academy is sponsoring a ridesharing program for awards attendees in which the first 100 carpools to sign up (through will receive free parking.


Volunteers are assisting crew, STAPLES staff and media representatives with information about The Recording Academy’s environmental initiative and interacting with guests and staff about environmental issues. Information on GRAMMY greening is also being broadcast on GRAMMY Live.

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