2023 report highlights progress on reducing environmental impacts, including committing to 100% renewable energy for global offices by 2030, co-founding the MICC coalition, and creating industry-first green vinyl
Warner Music Group (NASDAQ: WMG) today released its 2023 Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) Impact report. The third annual report is divided into three key areas focused on empowering the company’s people and creative talent, using WMG’s cultural influence for good, and reducing WMG’s negative impact on the environment.
Robert Kyncl, CEO of WMG, said, “2023 was a year where we set in motion new plans for the long-term success of WMG. We’re sharpening our focus on delivering for our artists and songwriters, employees, and shareholders, while giving back to the communities in which we work and reducing our impact on the planet. As a global company, we understand how much music matters – not just as a force in entertainment, but for its power to influence positive changes in society, technology, and commerce.”
In August 2023, WMG named Olga LaBelle Vice President, ESG. The function was first formed after the company went public in 2020.
LaBelle added: “I am very proud to share WMG’s progress and impact in this report. We’re supporting and developing our people, using our voice to promote diversity and integrity, and galvanizing the industry to reduce its environmental impact – starting with improvements in our own operations and supply chain. I look forward to scaling many of the initiatives that we’ve started, and am excited to work with our industry partners to drive innovation.”
The 2023 report highlights include that WMG:
Empowering WMG’s People and Creative Talent
- Advocated for the responsible use of AI, including working with the digital platforms, the AI engines, and governments around the world, to provide an appropriate framework for the use of an artist’s name, image, likeness, and voice (NILV) rights. WMG is also a founding member of the Human Artistry Campaign.
- Broadened the company’s Employee Assistance Program and instituted an industry-leading parental leave policy in the UK and a flexible time-off plan in the U.S. that starts in 2024.
- Scaled the award-winning senior leadership training program, Top Line, while investing in training and coaching for all employees and continuing the successful Go Contribute program for the fourth year.
- Continued the company’s focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion – including rolling out a mandatory DEI Foundations course in 10 markets, launching internship programs for women in A&R, and partnering with Historically Black Colleges and Universities to offer mentoring and career development opportunities.
- Focused on ways to better support the mental health and wellbeing of the company’s artists and songwriters, including partnering with Xception in the UK and launching Warner Cares Denmark, as well as Warner Chappell introducing the Better Up program.
- Hosted songwriting camps around the world to foster inclusivity, build connections, and provide tools for artists and songwriters to build careers. Camps included SheSounds in Spain, which brought together more than 2,000 attendees, and the M.S.G. Writing Camp in Los Angeles, which brought together over 50 Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander producers, songwriters, and artists.
Using WMG’s Scale and Influence for Good
- Continued to advocate for the Protect Black Art movement and the Restoring Artistic Protections (RAP) Act, which seeks to protect artists by limiting the discriminatory practice of using lyrics as evidence in court cases. The act was reintroduced at the U.S. federal level.
- The Warner Music Group / Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund supported non-profits like Gender Amplified, Black Lives in Music, Janelle Monáe’s Fem the Future, Nile Rodgers’ We Are Family Foundation, and other organizations that cultivate social justice through education, arts and culture, and criminal justice reform.
- Continued to support Howard University’s Warner Music / Blavatnik Center for Music Business, which has served more than 3,000 HU students, provided full-time employment or internships to 75% of the Center’s fellows, and awarded over $850,000 in scholarships to students pursuing music industry careers.
- Continued to partner with nonprofit organizations in local communities, like New York City’s Harmony Program, which provides after school music education to underserved communities.
Reducing WMG’s Impact on the Environment
- Committed to sourcing 100% renewable energy for all of WMG’s offices globally by 2030.
- Co-founded the Music Industry Climate Collective (MICC), which aims to use data, science, and collaboration to provide practical recommendations and science based strategies specifically tailored to the unique requirements of the music sector.
- Innovated with Sonopress to create the industry-first EcoRecord, a greener vinyl that saves 85% CO2 emissions in the manufacturing process and replaces the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with an innovative and recyclable material (PET).
- Announced a 2024 partnership with MIT, Live Nation, Hope Solutions, and Atlantic Records’ Coldplay on a first-ever scientific study of sustainable touring, to identify where the music industry can reduce the carbon footprint of live events.
Click here to read the report.