We Got Tickets research highlights carbon impact of printed tickets

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WeGotTicketsFestival and concert tickets consume 100 times more energy than paperless mechanisms – that’s the headline figure to come out of new We Got Tickets research, which analyses the environmental impact of mailed-out and print-at-home ticketing.

According to We Got Tickets, mailed-out tickets consume over 100 times the amount of energy of completely paperless ones, where the ticketholder just presents their ID and booking reference to gain entry. Print-at-home tickets aren’t particularly energy-efficient either, using nearly 40 times more carbon than paperless.

The report says that the energy used in ticketing a sold-out O2 Arena show via paperless tickets would do less environmental damage than if a 200 capacity venue like The Lexington had sold out using paper tickets.

Said WeGotTickets founder Dave Newton “This report resoundingly illustrates how a modern ticketing system would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 100-fold. It behoves the ticketing sector to make sure that paperless becomes the norm and that gig-goers are educated and encouraged to never print out an email confirmation again. The message is clear: there’s simply no need for people to print out tickets, a booking reference is all that’s necessary.”

While there’s scope for energy savings to be made across the events business, from using refillable bottles and cups instead of disposables, right through to low energy equipment, ticketing also has its part to play.

Estimating conservatively that there are more than 40 million entertainment tickets sold in the UK each year, the environmental impact of 40 million mailed-out tickets equates to a London bus circumnavigating the globe five times. That same bus would have to go round the world a little more than twice before it had the same impact as 40 million print-at-home tickets. If the ticket industry were to go truly paperless then that bus wouldn’t even have to go from London to John O’Groats and back, says the report.

Newton presented a preview of the report to delegates attending last weekend’s International Live Music Conference. Newton has issued a call to action to industry to make paperless ticketing work.