The Future of Carbon Clubbing: SWG3 and BODYHEAT

After almost two years without mingling sweat on the dancefloor and paying extortionate prices for tequila shots, there’s naturally been some mixed feelings about returning to clubs as the world inches back towards normality. Things like feeling uncomfortable or daunted about being so close to strangers was to be expected. What few would have predicted however, is that clubs reopening could see them making a far more positive contribution to the climate crisis than ever before. 

The ceasefire in the events sector afforded ample time for a reimagining of clubbing and nightlife, giving key players the opportunity to change things for the better. Whilst some focused on expanding their own events, SWG3 in Glasgow took the chance to completely change the game. 

Their instatement of BODYHEAT, a renewable heating and cooling system, is ground-breaking. Using heat pumps and fluids to capture the body heat generated by clubbers and gig-goers’ antics, the system channels that combined energy into twelve 150m deep bore holes beneath the venue. Cool the audience or store to heat the building at a later date – your choice.

Based on pre-COVID figures, SWG3 estimate a saving of 70 tonnes of CO2 annually

The move is part of Going Net Zero, SWG3’s commitment to becoming a carbon neutral venue. Climate change is permeating every aspect of our lives, and it’s often alarming to see just how much our own actions are exacerbating the crisis. With everything from touring musicians and DJs to plastic cups and more, there’s opportunity to create significant impact in the music industry and change for the better.

It’s invigorating to see a venue taking the lead for minimising carbon emissions and counterbalancing their own impact. SWG3 estimate that based on pre-COVID figures, they will save 70 tonnes of CO2 annually. Though the sector may not be entirely back on its feet, people are increasingly keen to get back to grooving under the lights.

When idly mingling, the human body radiates about 100 watts of excess heat. The intensity of a club night or gig, and the fervency with which many are attending after so long means that these figures may only intensify. If other clubs were to follow suit, the difference would be incredible.

SWG’s initiative emerges alongside the launch of LIVE Green’s Beyond Zero Declaration, a commitment to reach net zero emissions by the year 2030 in the UK’s live music industry. By setting reduction targets, developing a net zero roadmap and ensuring staff undertake climate education, the programme aims to increase consciousness in the sector. By the looks of it, positive change is well on the way.

Positive action does not just have to mean shopping sustainably or using less plastic. Making conscious decisions when partying – it’s the best of both worlds.

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