Corporate Social Responsibilty
The recorded music industry is one of the most important contributors to the UK’s creative economy.
01. Our Commitments
We firmly believe that with success and cultural importance comes social responsibility. We welcome this. Music is so deeply embedded in society that it is only natural that musicians and those working in the business should want to give something back.
BPI plays a critical role in channeling this commitment to make a positive contribution to society and strives to place corporate social responsibility objectives at the core of the industry’s operations and aspirations.
Through the staging of the annual BRIT Awards and Classical BRIT Awards shows, the BPI contributes substantially to the record industry’s charitable foundation, The BRIT Trust. Since its inception in 1989, the BRIT Trust has donated over £20 Million to fund charitable, social, environmental and ethical initiatives.
02. The BRIT Trust
Music is an powerful vehicle for delivering educational, cultural and therapeutic benefits to society. Back in 1989, a group of like-minded industry executives who believed in the power of music to positively influence society came together to create The BRIT Trust - whose raison d’être would be to support young people through music and education.
Since its inception the BRIT Trust has been able to distribute more than £20 million to a range of good causes thanks to the funds raised by the industry’s annual BRIT Awards. Its other sources of income emanate from the Classic BRIT Awards and The Music Industry Trusts’ Dinner, which seeks to raise proceeds through ticket sales and a charity auction each year.
Whilst The BRIT School and Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy are the two principal beneficiaries of the Trust, a great number of additional grassroots community projects have been the recipients of grants from the BRIT Trust.
03. The BRIT School
The BRIT School is one of Britain's only two free Performing Arts and Technology Schools. The BRIT School is an independent City College dedicated to education and vocational training for performing arts, media, art and design and the technologies that make performance possible.
Entry to students is granted solely on the basis of their aptitude and talent in one of the artistic disciplines. Students are of all academic abilities and come from completely diverse backgrounds.
As a school for 14-19 year olds, it is unique and pioneering in its approach to education. Whilst most of its students intend to make a career in the arts, entertainment and communications industries, the school expects all to follow full time courses on curriculum subjects to completion.
The dedication of previous pupils has seen them climb to the top of the ladder in their chosen career. The BRIT School alumni count Jessie J, Katie Melua, Leona Lewis and Adele amongst their graduates. Other popular disciplines have seen former students excel in dance, musical theatre, visual arts, film, TV and media.
Every year, the BRIT School receives a substantial financial contribution from the proceeds of the BRIT Awards. This is administered through The BRIT Trust.
04. Nordoff Robbins
Nordoff Robbins is a specialist music charity, dedicated to transforming the lives of vulnerable children and adults across the UK.
Nordoff Robbins provides over 50,000 music therapy sessions each year to help people struggling with a range of challenges including autism and other learning difficulties, dementia, mental health problems, stroke, brain injury and depression. Some of its clients have a life-threatening or terminal illness, such as cancer.
The charity works where needed - in schools, day centres, hospitals, care homes and its own centres up and down the county.
Nordoff Robbins music therapy uses the power of music, through improvisation, singing, playing, listening or moving, to help people communicate, engage and interact. It can help physically, emotionally, mentally and socially. It can help people living with enormous challenges to feel more motivated, social and self-confident. The results can have a profound and positive impact on individuals, their families and those around them.
All of the people they help have one uniting factor - music dramatically improves their quality of life.
05. Julie's Bicycle
Formed in 2007, Julie’s Bicycle is a non-profit organization working to make environmental sustainability intrinsic to the business, art, and ethics of the creative industries.
It is a broad coalition of music, theatre, creative and scientific experts who are committed to delivering a concerted response to climate change through consultancy, industry certification, and practical guidance.
In a campaign to reduce CD packaging emissions, Julie’s Bicycle has encouraged labels to move from jewel packaging to card packaging, and to switch promotional CD delivery from physical to digital.
Working directly with the BPI, Julie’s Bicycle has undertaken several carbon audits of BRIT Awards with Mastercard since 2007 and is now extending its assessments to include the Classic BRIT Awards. The BRIT Awards with Mastercard championed card-based packaging for their compilation album, which has reduced the album packaging’s carbon footprint by at least 95%. The O2 Arena, the current host for The BRIT Awards with Mastercard, has an active and stated commitment to reducing its environmental impacts.
Among the extensive resources and guidance offered by Julie’s Bicycle are:
- Sector-specific and pioneering research into the music industry’s current carbon footprint including both the recorded and live sector.
- Support, advice, and bespoke consultancy to labels, artists, managers and events wishing to reduce their environmental impacts.
- Practical guides offering more in-depth advice on specific topics such as sustainable merchandise, communicating with audiences and ‘greening’ office spaces.
- Specially developed free to use sector-specific carbon calculators called the “Industry Green” (IG) tools to determine the carbon emissions from energy, waste, water and travel arrangements of creative businesses – which can help inform environmental action plans, increase efficiency, and save money.
- The “Industry Green” environmental certification scheme, the recognized mark of achievement on sustainability within the music industry and a powerful way to communicate green commitments to audiences and stakeholders.
- On-going tailored support or specific consultancy and advice on problems or projects – for example, creating a guide for staff and/or suppliers, developing an internal or external ‘green’ communications strategy, or attaining ISO20121 sustainable events management standard.
06. Equality & Diversity
There has already been much work within the music industry to champion equality and diversity. The Equality & Diversity Charter for Music is the industry’s own plan for extending this work in order to actively improve equality and diversity, and to benefit creatively and commerically from the inclusion of a diverse range of innovative creative and business talent.
The Equality & Diversity Charter for Music pinpoints four areas where action is needed.
Signatories of the Charter are asked to commit to at least two specific, relevant and realistic actions to actively promote equality and diversity. You can get inspiration from other people in the music industry who are already doing good work in these areas from the ‘Ideas & Inspiration’ section of the website. The actions pledged should be relevant and realistic, and include a specific and achievable timescale, ideally over the period of a year.
Sign up to the Charter
To sign up to the Equality and Diversity Charter for Music please complete this form.
As a founding signatory of the Charter, BPI made two pledges:
To actively engage with industry colleagues from the Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities
To support the work of Diaspora, a not-for-profit organisation which provides a unique opportunity for the record industry to regularly engage with representatives from the black, Asian and ethnic minority communities. BPI hosts quarterly meetings with members of the African, Asian, Gospel, South-East Asian music sectors to discuss the common challenges and opportunities for each of their sectors with a view to furthering their integration into the British music industry.
To encourage young people from ethnically diverse backgrounds towards pathways into music
To undertake an audit of the entry routes currently available to young people looking to work in the record industry to ensure that candidates from all backgrounds have the opportunity to work in the business. This exercise led the BPI and the BRIT Trust to support Creative Access – a charity which aims to place hundreds of graduates from diverse ethnic backgrounds into the creative sector.