Theatre Green Book OPERATIONS Toolkit –

Paper and Printing


Follow the tips below to reduce your organisation’s paper use and generate awareness about greener practices.

• Transition to e-tickets if you haven’t already done so. 

• Use email instead of paper memos or faxes whenever practical to distribute agendas, newsletters, audition information, scripts, meeting materials, etc.

• Programs and inserts: Keep minimal advance storage of program inserts or print inserts on an as-needed basis.

• Digital cast sheet options: Scan a QR code or let audiences take a picture. You may still choose to have some hard copies available for those who need them. 

• Consider a loyalty scheme similar to season tickets that would allow a reusable card or fob that can be used across theatres in the UK. The user can connect these cards to their booked shows and return them once their membership ends.

• Scripts: Consider digital versions, similar to e-books. You may still need to print out some scripts, but can avoid printing large numbers with each script change.

• Adjust the house style on word processing programs to use a slightly smaller font and slightly wider margins; use the electronic “edit” and “comment” features to work on drafts instead of printing and editing by hand.

• Set all in-house printers to default to double sided, low resolution and b/w.

Tip: So as not to compromise inclusivity, make sure you also have options to support groups who lack internet access.


• Aim for ‘Circular Printing’: Team up with suppliers that ensure PVC-free work; only use materials that are recycled, recyclable and biodegradable; design out waste; and take responsibility for ensuring that everything they produce is recycled.

Examples are:

• Work with suppliers and venue operations staff to track paper purchases for programs, posters, and ‘print collateral’ (printed promotional and business material) .

• Make sure that all paper consumed is either recycled or FSC-certified.

• Wherever possible, print on ‘postconsumer recycled content’ paper (i.e. paper made from content which has been repeatedly recycled) or reused scrap paper. Set targets, for example for percentage of paper purchase that is recycled content / postconsumer content.

• Find printers who use vegetable or soy-based inks.

• Print on both sides of paper, where possible, and reduce margins / white space to reduce page numbers.