Elma - a digital platform for sustainable development in the live music industry

Launched in autumn 2022, Elma is a digital knowledge base, planning tool and community platform that provides information, tools and support to the live music sector to promote sustainable development. Elma aims to make responsibility and sustainability (environmental, economic, social and cultural) a part of the everyday activities of every live music event organiser, artist and venue.

Key themes and contents of Elma

  • LEARNING MATERIALS - a digital information and education package on sustainability in live music.
  • RESPONSIBILITY PROGRAM - a roadmap tool for building, monitoring and reporting on your own sustainability programme.
  • COMMUNITY- a forum for networking, interaction and knowledge sharing
  • CO2 CALCULATOR – a tool for measuring and monitoring the carbon footprint of your activity (currently available only in Finnish)

Elma is based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which cover all aspects of sustainable development.

The platform's information and educational materials describe and guide what the SDGs mean for the live music sector, and how to contribute to their realisation in one's own work and life.

In 2023–2024, Elma.live platform will be further developed through funding from the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Throughout 2024, Elma is also collaborating with the recording industry. The common goal is to ensure the information and tailored tools necessary for sustainable development for this sector as well.

Background and objectives

In the midst of a climate emergency, the COVID-19 pandemix has only reinforced the sense of urgency and the need for more decisive and proactive action on sustainable development. Finland is committed to the goals of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to achieving carbon neutrality by 2035. To achieve these goals, we need everyone's contribution - including the creative industries.

In 2020, key Finnish live music organisations set out to work together to build a more sustainable music sector. The resulting KEMUT (toolkit for a more sustainable field of live music) network has been working together to produce concrete sustainability tools for the music sector and to encourage the live music scene to become more climate-friendly.

In 2020, the network conducted a survey on eco-sustainable practices within the field of live music. According to the survey, many live music industry actors in Finland have already taken action to promote eco-sustainability in their activities. However, to get all live music industry actors on board, there needs to be broad cooperation and a change of mindset - common practices, actions and targets for the sector, as well as practical tools that are accessible to all.

Sustainable development encompasses not only the ecological dimension, but also the social, cultural and economic dimensions. The first phase of the KEMUT projects and the study focused on the practical aspects of ecological development and its tools. With the publication of Elma, the scope of questions and tools has been extended to other areas of sustainable development.

Elma's sources of information

In creating the content for ELMA, extensive materials produced by music and other creative industry professionals, as well as experts in various aspects of sustainable development, have been utilized. The content will be supplemented and updated based on available resources.

Sources of information and inspiration have included the Cultural Policy Research Centre Cupore, the Safe at Every Stage initiative, IHME Helsinki, Julie's Bicycle, the Culture for All service, the Our Festival's transition project, Music Finland's studies and surveys, the Tampere Region Festivals Association, the Musicians' Union's SKAALA project, Sitra - the Finnish Fund for the Celebration of Finland's Independence, the Finnish Jazz Federation's projects for more sustainable touring, Suoni ry, the Finnish Environment Institute, the Arts Promotion Centre (Taike), the LuoTo project managed by the Uusimaa Regional Council, the Equal Music Sector and the United Nations Association, as well as numerous other websites, articles, literature and media.