14. isla

Company: isla

Founder: Anna Abdelnoor

Website: https://weareisla.co.uk


About isla

Created by events professionals for event professionals, isla is the independent, non-profit industry body accelerating the events industry to a sustainable future.

Launched in 2019 with just 12 agency founding members, isla was born out of a need to tackle the huge emissions generated by live events, providing a collaborative space to realise its huge potential for decarbonisation.

The isla community has now grown to serve 170 brands, event agencies, suppliers and venues including high-profile names such as BBC Studios, Santander, and Advertising Week.

isla combines event-specific training and tools* including TRACE — the definitive carbon measurement platform for sustainable events — and proseed — the events industry’s first universal best practice framework — to support members on their event sustainability journeys as the world works towards the global goals of reducing emissions by 50% by 2030 and 90-95% (net zero) by 2050.

And all of the above has been achieved without external seed funding and with a team of less than 20 people in a dynamic, and rapidly evolving start-up environment.

TRACE alone has captured 56,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) since its launch in April 2022, much of which has the potential to be reduced drawing on the above*, and helps isla play its role in keeping the dream of a 1.5C limit on global warming alive.

isla’s partnerships also enable it to extend both its reach and impact. As well as partnerships with offsetting partners including Earthly and Ecolibrium, isla has also built up strong working relationships with key industry associations including the Association of Event Venues (AEV), beam and the meetings industry association (mia).

Our venue guide, Sustainability in Practice: A Pathway for Venues, is a perfect example of such a partnership. isla’s work and vision is also supported by a 12-strong, cross-sector Advisory Board.

isla has recently hit a major milestone in its journey, appointing its first CTO, Malcolm Leach, in February 2023 to spearhead TRACE growth and support the development and rollout of even more data-driven features for the platform. These will enable users to streamline their event carbon data-gathering processes by working in tandem with local and global teams, agency partners and key suppliers (the importance of the latter was highlighted in Chris Skidmore’s recent Mission Zero review).

To exemplify TRACE’s existing growth and presence in the market, 2023 will also see TRACE being embedded into the sustainability programme of several major events including the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.


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