Q+A with Dale Parmenter (DRPG)

One of the most exciting thing about isla is the way key industry organisations have put aside their competitive differences to help create this initiative.

Has your attitude towards sustainability changed as a result of Covid-19? 

Not really, as an organisation we are completely committed to sustainability, however  through this difficult Covid-19 period we have taken the opportunity to increase our investment in new processes, create more tangible actions and increase the education of our team and the supply chain. We have also seen opportunities for new ways of working, such as the use of virtual in our everyday working life, reducing travel and time dramatically. We have looked at power consumption with the installation of 750 solar panels, reducing our usage from the grid massively. We have also looked at waste and have a commitment of zero landfill from our sites by the end of 2020 

Why is collaboration as an industry important to you?

Without industry collaboration we won’t see the significant impact we all desire; operating in a sustainable way needs to become a way of life, very similar to H&S has become. So we need to have a standard and recognised way of doing things across the industry. This has to be a combined effort or it just won’t be effective.

What does it mean for you to be a founder of isla

It was really important DRPG got involved with isla, we have a lot to offer through the existing systems we have been operating for the last 12 years, but we also have a lot still to learn. Working alongside some of the top agencies and event providers to make a real difference was a no brainer.

What does your agency currently do to support sustainability in events and how will isla help further that mission?

We were the first agency to attain BS8901 and then ISO20121. For over 12 years we have worked with and improved the ISO frameworks, creating a practical and tangible system to monitor and improve the way we operate our business and deliver sustainable events. This involves our clients and our supply chain. In 2020 we launched our CSR Charter, which is our roadmap for sustainability and aligns to the UN 17 sustainable development goals. The development of the Charter with the accreditation bodies and our consultants takes our systems to another level to make a positive and tangible difference. 

What do you feel will be the key success measures of success for isla in the first year?

For me the measure of success in the first instance will be how many organisations in our sector commit to isla and sign up. There has to be a significant commitment from across all the industry to ensure we make the impact we need to change for good the way the events industry operates in the future. If more than 50% of the UK events industry (agencies, production companies, venues suppliers) have shown commitment and signed up by the end of year one this would be a significant foundation we can build from. 

What are you most excited about for isla (in terms of resources, purpose, function…etc)?

One of the most exciting thing about isla is the way key industry organisations have put aside their competitive differences to help create this initiative. Now we have a purpose and tangible resources we need to build momentum, this is a one time opportunity for the events industry to come together and make a stand on sustainability that will make a real difference, it’s very exciting.

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