Does Your Performing Arts Organization Have a Sustainability Strategy?

Let’s talk sustainability for a moment. Does your performing arts organization have a sustainability strategy when it comes to the energy costs, greenhouse gases, and waste involved in producing paper program books? The numbers are worth a look, and the move to a new publishing model can provide an astonishing drop in environmental impact.

Old Publishing Model

In the old publishing model, a mid-size performing arts organization might publish 6 program books throughout the season, with each one averaging 48 pages and numbering 15,000 copies. The impact on trees and paper usage, environmental emissions, and energy usage quickly add up:

  • There are 32,000 sheets of 19″x25″ sheetfed paper in 1 ton
  • It takes 45,000 sheets of 19″x25″ paper to print 15,000 48-page program books for one edition
  • A season of 6 program book editions thus uses 8 ½ tons of paper

To understand the impact, 8½ tons of paper costs:

  • Trees: 28.5 tons of trees
  • Total Energy: 208 million BTUs
  • Greenhouse Gases: 161,000 pounds of CO2
  • Water Usage: 197,000 gallons
  • Solid Waste: 10,100 pounds

New Publishing Model:

The new publishing model is a more targeted approach combining digital program books with a smaller number of shorter paper program books. This slimmed-down model consists of 6 program book editions, 8 pages each, with a quantity of 5,000 for each edition. The balance of the program book content and editions is offset by a digital program book that brings fresh, up-to-date content to all patrons via their mobile devices. The corresponding environmental impact is drastically reduced.

  • It takes 2,500 sheets of 19″x25″ paper to print 5,000 8-page program books for one edition
  • A season of 6 program book editions thus uses 0.5 tons of paper

The impact of 0.5 tons of paper is:

  • Trees: 1.4 tons of trees
  • Total Energy: 12.7 million BTUs
  • Greenhouse Gases: 9,110 pounds of CO2
  • Water Usage: 13,700 gallons
  • Solid Waste: 552 pounds

This new publishing model represents a 94% decrease in paper, a 94% reduction in BTUs, a 94% reduction in CO2 emissions, 94% fewer gallons of water, and 94% less waste! This is something that not only you but also your patrons and vendors, can feel good about. Contact us to learn more about the improved sustainability you can achieve with a digital program book publishing model.  

Source: Environmental Paper Network

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