Live Music Exchange Blog

The sustainable approach to online ticket selling – Dave Newton, COO and Founder of WeGotTickets


This week’s guest blog post is by COO and Founder of WeGotTickets, Dave Newton. In it, he explains how and why paperless ticketing systems are more environmentally friendly than more ‘traditional’ methods, based on a report commissioned by WeGotTickets, linked to below.

Online ticket agency WeGotTickets has been working since its inception back in 2000 to use as little paper as possible, and to ensure that its ticket system is environmentally friendly. To this end, the company commissioned a study by Edinburgh-based sustainability consultancy En-Count, completed in late 2012, which demonstrates the advantages of its system over a paper ticket sent in the post, and to a print-at-home ticket or printed confirmation email.

View the full report here.

According to the report, a paper ticket sent in the post emits 1070 times more carbon than a paperless ticketing system, when the email is not printed. When a confirmation email is printed it produces 411 times more carbon than if it wasn’t. As a result, WeGotTickets asks its customers not to print its confirmation emails.

The ‘traditional’ model, using old-fashioned paper tickets, involves the production of the paper and the envelope, the production of the ticket itself, and then the mailing of the ticket and its subsequent disposal and/or recycling. The second approach, the ‘email and print approach’ is where the customer orders their ticket online, then prints the email, then recycles or disposes of the ticket. The paperless ticketing system, on the other hand, entails only an email from the customer as it is the promoter who prints off the list of names and ticks them off upon arrival. The latter involves the least amount of ‘life cycles’ and hence carbon emission, even when electricity usage is taken into account.

Just think, we could sell out Glastonbury (177,000 tickets) and emit less carbon than a “print-at-home” ticket event selling just 431 tickets at your local venue would.

NB Some elements of the life cycle of a ticket will always remain variable in a study such as this. These may include customer travel to events, employees at ticketing agencies, differing printer characteristics of customers, computer use etc. It is important to note that assumptions have been made in order to conduct this comparative study. It is also important to note that the carbon study did not examine the relative carbon emissions of a ticket system which uses smartphone technology to deliver the ticket to the consumer.

Please note that this is a forum for discussion, dialogue, and debate, and posts and comments on this blog represent only the author, not Live Music Exchange as a whole, or any other hosting or associated institutions.


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