The Arts & Everything in Between

August 14, 2023 | Duration: 13 mins

Live from Recharge! Sustainability and the Arts


Emma Young

This week we head back to Recharge to hear from Ticketsolve’s Emma Young on one of the most pressing issues we are all facing today: sustainability and  the looming climate emergency.

The call for a greener future is loud, clear, and persistent. But what role does the arts and culture sector play in this dialogue? As arts venues and organisations across the UK and Ireland grapple with the challenges of the climate crisis, Ticketsolve’s Emma Young sheds light on some essential steps we can take towards a sustainable arts and culture landscape.

In this episode you’ll learn about:

  1. The UK’s Net Zero Strategy and the government’s 10-point plan aimed at decarbonising the nation by 2050.
  2. Useful Resources: An overview of valuable resources including the Theater Green Book, Julie’s Bicycle, and the Arts Council England Environmental Program to guide you on your green journey.
  3. Sustainability Leaders: Sheem Satir, the first green certified theatre on the Isle of Ireland and Lime Tree Theatre’s innovative LED Green Initiative.
  4. Core Eco Values for Arts Organisations and the need to reflect our environmental commitment in the art we produce and the companies we collaborate with.
  5. Five Green Steps: Emma shares actionable steps that can be implemented at venues. Paperless solutions, targeted mail-outs, and creative eco ideas are just the beginning.



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About Our Guest

Featured Guest

Emma Young

Operations Manager, Ticketsolve

A people-driven, customer specialist with over 8 years of arts and ticketing experience delivering high-end support, training and customer service to a wide range of arts, heritage and entertainment venues across the UK and Ireland. Emma is perfectly placed to take on the Operations Manager role at Ticketsolve.

At Ticketsolve, Emma, specialised in providing exceptional customer support, care and training to all Ticketsolve customers in all aspects of their use of Ticketsolve over various mediums such as; email, in-person, online remote and on the phone. In her role as Operations Manager, Emma is responsible for the smooth running of ops activities within the busy support team.

Live From Recharge!: Sustainability and The Arts with Emma Young, Ticketsolve


Emma Young: Hello everyone. So my name’s Emma. I’m the operations manager here at Ticket Solve and today I want to talk to you about something that’s affecting all of us. Everybody’s heard of climate change. If you haven’t, go and watch a B two documentary or something. But it affects us all and specifically we in the arts need to do more to aid the climate emergency.

So let’s start with why this is important to our culture industry right now. The climate crisis emergency began to really come into focus in the UK government back in 2021. The UK government released the Net zero strategy, which I know many of you’ll have heard of. This strategy sets out policies and proposals for decarbonizing all sectors of the UK to meet our net zero target by 2050.

Now this is a 10 point plan and it supports green jobs, rethinking sector mindsets [00:01:00] around carbon and our waste output. So just beneath there, I have a quote from the Theater Green Book. If you are unfamiliar with the Theater Green Book, get familiar with it. It’s a fantastic resource and tool. It’s three volumes of standards for theater makers, venues and arts organisations.

The Theater Green Book uses lots of data collected by their experts to give a common standard for making theater more sustainable. And up there we have a quote, which is they find that 77% of audience members expect theater to address the climate emergency in some way. And on their website they go further than that.

They say that 88% of our audience members are worried about the climate climate emergency, but only 17% think that cultural organisations are doing something meaningful to impact that at the moment. So moving on from that, then it’s how can the arts [00:02:00] take environmental responsibility? And the brilliant news is that we already are out of all the common sectors, the culture and arts sector is doing the, the most in their role to combat the climate crisis.

The Arts Council England, in 2021 released the culture, climate and environmental responsibility report in that report. And if you’ve not read it again, I will link the resources in the digital pack. It’s fantastic. But they highlighted that 92% of our arts organisations within the UK include an environmental sustainability ethos and its core to their business strategies going forward.

63% of cultural organisations collaborate with environmental solutions and 71% have produced or programmed work exploring the environmental themes key to our audiences. Just beneath that, then I [00:03:00] have just Julie’s bicycle included in there. I’m sure lots of you have heard with, and I know that a few of you in here work with Julie’s bicycle.

It’s amazing. It’s actually a pioneering non-profit, mobilizing the arts and culture sector to take action against climate change. They’ve recently started working with our government to set out some proposals for how the government and the sectors going forward can be more take action against climate change.

And through that they have meant that they are the fourth key investment principle is taking environmental responsibility within the UK government and its strategy. So today I’ve looked at all our data, I’ve looked and read at various resources, and these are five changes that we at Ticket Solve would like you to start implementing in your venues to ensure we’re all doing our bits within the arts.

We don’t have to implement all of these. Maybe it’s [00:04:00] just one. A little goes a long way. So first of all, and this is very funny, considering we just gave away a printer,

But it’s going paperless. So frog and bucket, and Peter, you’re doing a great job. But did you know that thin per thermal printer ticket, stock tongue twister? They’re not recyclable. There’s chemicals in the ink. That means that the majority of those printer stock tickets are not able to be recycled.

So going paperless is something that we would encourage all of our venues to do. And the great news is if your ticket solve, it’s really easy to do. We’ve just implemented our, and I have used the word snazzy new QR codes, which can be put straight onto an email. And what that does is it means that a customer can bring up an email, the QR code’s on there.

They don’t even have to open up a P D F to get their QR code. We have, obviously you were scanned in here today. We purposely didn’t use any [00:05:00] scanners. We used our mobile phones because that’s how easy it is to scan the ticket solve. And a really good example of this is, and I’ll talk about them as we did a white paper case study on them, that some of you may have read Lime Tree Theater which is based in Ireland.

They are a very good example of a green theater and they eliminated ticketing, or sorry, not ticketing, they eliminated printing. Let’s hope they didn’t allow any ticketing by more than 10,000 tickets a year. So they are all a ticketing now, like lots of you are as well. So the next important way that you can reduce your paper usage is by using really targeted mail-outs.

No one wants a brochure through their door that they are not going to read. So it’s really important that you use your data in an effective way. And ticket solve gives you those options and it gives you those solutions. For example, you can break your data down in your reports to see geographically where people are based [00:06:00] and see exactly the personas of purchasing.

So who’s coming to your venue again? LionTree Theater is a great one for that. They did this last year. It really streamlined both their programming and their brochure content. They find that over 70% of their bookers identified as female, and they were in between the age brackets of 35 to 44. And that impacted what they programmed, that impacted how they did their mail outs.

You can see on this image, That they have actually QR codes in their brochure. And that incorporates lots of things. For one, someone can scan a QR code and they can watch a video on their website, but it also means less space was used in their brochure, which meant that it was smaller, more compact.

They didn’t use as much paper. Then third way, and this is potentially my favorite, is getting creative with your eco output because your audiences really want to see inside and [00:07:00] outside your venue you making a real difference to your environment. I. I’m going to use the example of Sheem Satir, which worked with Jolly’s Bicycle to be the first green certified theater on the Isle of Ireland.

Now they are fantastic. They hold biodiversity workshops, they have a plant list, so round and outside the venue every year they plant certain plants they know, and I know this is a big one, but they did put 40 solar panels on their roof. Now that was fund, they got funded and grants from that. You can get those in the UK as well.

And they replaced their oil fired heating system with an air to heat pump system as well. But if you can’t do that, there’s much smaller ways that are really helpful too. For example, and I know again, lots of us do this, getting rid of single use plastic in your cafe. They got their milk delivered in glass bottles from a local farm.

And a really simple one that they said was really effective in reducing paper waste [00:08:00] was they actually replaced all their sugar sachets with sugar cubes, just an awe bowl. So, and also they replaced their hanging baskets, which is a really good one with large tubs, so meant less water. And so they are a great pioneer for how to get creative inside and outside your venue.

Next up we have fundraising. Fundraising for the future. Now this is a brilliant initiative that was ran by LionTree, called their l e D Green Initiative. And you can do it so easily on Ticket Solve with our donation prompts. So you can set one up to really encourage your audience to get involved with your vision, for your biodiversity ethos that you’re going to put in your venue.

So Lime Tree Theater, they have this scheme going on currently. Their target is to raise 20 grand and they want to replace all the bulbs within their venue with these l e d eco bulbs. They’re almost there. They’re at [00:09:00] 77%. And that’s over the past three years with Covid included. So fundraise, fundraise for your local environment and going green.

And then lastly, but very importantly, we all have to take responsibility and incorporate our eco consciousness into the core values of our organisations. Who you work with says a lot about your venue and who you are as a company. There’s Pig Foot, Aragon, Tenderfoot Theater companies. I’m sure some of you have had them in your venues.

They are all eco based theater companies that produce work centered around the climate crisis. You can also get carbon literacy training through the Carbon Literacy Project, which is ran an association with home theater based in Manchester. So people can come in and train you guys in your venues as to how you can be more green and support local green schemes.

So support your local suppliers and your cafe. Show your your [00:10:00] audiences that you want them invested in your ethos. So for example, and this was actually the lady on the bike’s not wearing a helmet. I’m sorry, that’s bad. But but this was actually a scheme that Julie’s bicycle recommended, which is fitting, which is have a cycle to show scheme if you want.

So let’s say you have a show that runs or something that runs weekly, they cycle in, they prove that they came on their bike, they get too quick off their ticket, something like that to encourage them to not use their car as much. And there’s initiatives that your venues can get involved in. You can be a green certified venue if you aren’t already.

So Julie’s bicycle and the Arts Council run these, it’s called Spotlight and Beyond the Carbon is another one. And the really good green programs that your venue should be investing in. So these are some resources. I haven’t got a QR code I’m afraid, but these are resources to help you out. And these are just some ones that I [00:11:00] really like, that I think everyone should be using.

And they, they will be in the digital pack. There’s the Green Arts Initiative in Ireland. It doesn’t necessarily apply to us, but that is a very good one. The Theater Green Book, everyone should read at least volume one of the Theater Green book. It just gives you some really good standards to follow. There’s Julie’s bicycle, which I’ve talked about.

It’s probably my number one if you’re going to go and research anything to do with making your venue greener. Use Julie’s bicycle. They also have certifications that you can get to make your venue certified green. And there’s the Arts Council England Environmental Program. Again, a fantastic resource.

They have their report up there, but they also give really clear guidance on ways that you can increase your possibility maybe of being funded through your green output. And then there’s a carbon literacy program, that project that I just talked about. And finally, the, the culture Change for climate [00:12:00] change, which is another one.

That’s, that’s really good. So, yes. Thank you for listening to me today. We couldn’t let today go past without talking about something that’s really important to us at Ticket Solve, which is being more green. So thank you very much.

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