If you’ve ever been to a major live concert, sporting event, play or other performance, chances are you are familiar with Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster is a Goliath in the event-ticketing world, but is the company taking any steps for environmentalism? Just like airline ticketing, you can now attend Ticketmaster events without even printing a ticket. With paperless ticketing, you can buy tickets online and on the day of the event — you’ll just need your credit card and a government-issued photo ID. Not only is this greener than printing tickets or having them mailed, but it’s also one less thing you have to keep up with. According to Ticketmaster, more than 500,000 customers have used paperless ticketing since its launch in May 2008. Customers in the U.K. can recycle cell phones or iPods with Ticketmaster for credit toward ticket purchases. A recycled Blackberry 9500 Storm receives £106 (about $166) on a Ticketmaster gift card. A recycled 8-gigabyte first-generation iPod touch will earn you £11 (about $17) on a Ticketmaster gift card. Only residents of Great Britain and Northern Ireland are eligible for this promotion. Currently, there is not a similar program in place in the U.S. Live Nation, the “largest producer of live concerts in the world,” completed a merger with Ticketmaster in January 2010. Live Nation had a Recycling Rocks sweepstakes, but it has ended. The website still features eco-friendly products for fans, green living tips and a list of rock stars that promote recycling. In 2007, Live Nation San Francisco pushed sustainability by providing better parking for hybrid cars, purchasing carbon offsets to make up for 100% of the travel to and from Live Nation San Francisco events, providing more recycling bins for venues and offices, increasing audience awareness of green living and using eco-friendly cleaning products and paper products made from 95% recycled materials. Besides these steps, Ticketmaster and Live Nation aren’t very forward with their steps toward sustainability, and if they are, they aren’t communicating their goals very clearly to the public. Owning such a large part of the event-ticketing market, consumers should be concerned with the business practices that Ticketmaster displays. It’s hard to tell how much your concert venues are doing to be green, but next time you’re at a concert, be aware of recycling bins, sustainable packaging and products made from recycled materials. Jot down notes of what could be improved, such as more recycling bins, better labeled recycling bins, giving consumers the choice of compostable cups, etc. When you get home, write an email with your suggestions or give the venue a call. If eco-conscious consumers can start a conversation about sustainability, it is likely that we will see changes in the venues we frequent.
Ticketmaster: Green Ticketing Giant?
Ticketmaster seems to have every event in town, but is the company’s eco-friendly profile just as big?