About us

isla is a non-profit organisation founded by event professionals and industry leaders focusing on a sustainable future for events.

Meet the team

Anna Abdelnoor

CEO and Founder

Anna is the driving force behind isla and articulates the sustainability vision with support from members, the board and specialist consultants. Having worked on large scale events for global clients, Anna knows just how capable the industry is in delivering huge projects under pressure and believes the same collaborative attitude is integral to addressing the climate crisis within the events sector.

Malcolm Leach


Malcolm brings more than three decades of experience spanning technical product development, operational transformation, and business scalability to the isla team. Malcolm is keen to bring his personal passion for tackling climate change into his professional life and will work to achieve this as he spearheads growth for the TRACE platform and supports isla in its mission to help accelerate the event industry’s transition to a sustainable, net-zero ready future.

Mark Glover

Lead Engineer

Mark is a highly experienced software engineer, who has previously worked across multiple industries, from events to commercial aviation services, booking systems to road infrastructure safety analysis. He specialises in complex problem solving and enjoys understanding the subtleties of business operations in the real world.

Climate concerned from an early age, his position at isla allows Mark to fulfil a long-standing dream to use his technical skills to affect real, positive change in the world. Mark is a big picture thinker who loves to view the world as an integrated system, with checks and balances that we can use to restore our natural environment.

Toni Griggs

Growth Lead

Toni brings with her over 11 years of events industry experience. As a natural relationship builder, Toni's relevant background from associations to agencies, paired with her sharp mind and strategic thinking, make her the perfect person to support and develop the growth trajectory of isla. Her ambition is to leverage isla’s energy and momentum, to build a network that provides knowledge and power to collectively bring back live events sustainably.

Ellie Ashton-Melia

Community Lead

With a background in marketing and events, Ellie has delivered event programmes for global brands and devised communication and sustainability strategies for fast-growth start-ups. Her passion for climate activism led her to isla, where she now communicates the action organisations ambition to create a more sustainable, resilient events industry and supports the fast-growing network in becoming the driving force of that change.

Rebecca Lardeur

Climate Strategist

With experience in design and academic research, Rebecca is especially interested in aligning net-zero strategies with circular-economy principles to support the delivery of regenerative events and bring about purposeful change as we reimagine a sustainable future for the industry.

Her professional background has also seen her support the development of frameworks for sustainability plans. This has included forecasting and measuring carbon with tactical reductions, achieving quantifiable successes with reductions in materials, energy, and transport carbon emissions.

At isla, Rebecca’s wide-ranging remit will include providing expert climate advisory services to shape the development of tools and training across the full isla portfolio.

Kat Bednarczyk

Projects Consultant

Kat is a driven marketing professional with over 13 years of invaluable experience working in-house at Twitter and Spotify. Her experience ranges from award-winning events to creating compelling and dynamic media and content-based campaigns.

Kickstarting Twitter’s sustainable events journey through her partnership with isla, Kat experienced first-hand the importance and positive impact of educating and upskilling events teams to drive meaningful change.

Joining as a Projects Consultant, Kat strives to apply her expertise and knowledge to support organisations deliver sustainable event strategies, communicate their sustainability story, and become catalysts for change in the industry.

When not working, you’ll find Kat out with her children on a London adventure on the cargo bike, in the park or on a muddy walk in the forest.

Megan Harris

Learning and Action Group Manager

Megan has a diverse professional background that spans creative events production, communications, and compliance management. She is a keen communicator and not afraid to get her hands dirty! Time spent working on permaculture projects around the world inspired her to complete an MSc in Sustainability and Adaptation Planning at the Centre for Alternative Technology and she has since been invited back as a guest lecturer. With a passion for collaboration and problem-solving, Megan will be working closely with our members to support education and facilitate knowledge sharing within the isla Action Groups.

Alex Camacho

Community and Stakeholder Engagement Manager

As Community and Stakeholder Engagement Manager my role is to grow knowledge, skills, engagement, and collaboration both among and beyond the isla community in order to enable more rapid and meaningful transformation across the events sector. This holistic remit involves a continual synthesis of the latest case studies and information in order to better develop and deliver training, workshops and consultancy for the isla membership and additional clients.

Susanna Zema

Business Coordinator

Susanna has several years of experience in the travel industry, supporting and engaging with different stakeholders. Her primary focus has been delivering exceptional service and building meaningful relationships, conveying a wealth of knowledge and expertise to ensure all members have the best possible experience.

As Business Coordinator, she is committed to providing exceptional customer service for all enquiries and coordinating isla’s internal business processes. 

She has always been passionate about and committed to sustainability and the urgency of caring for our planet, and she believes that everyone has the power to make positive changes, no matter how big or small.

Emily Shephard

TRACE Customer Success Officer

Emily comes to isla with a passion for the power of the food system to drive sustainable change. Having managed a green Michelin star restaurant, she has spent her time finding solutions to the challenges that the hospitality industry faces. Including crafting a sustainable wine list and zero-waste cocktail offering, supporting regenerative growers, and developing a working environment when the health of the team is as important as the health of the environment.

She has also explored the food system from an academic perspective with a masters in international development where she focused on the value and role of a localised food chain within a globalised market.

Emily hopes to bring together her passion for sustainability, food, and events together in supporting lasting change in the industry.

Laura Fell

Print Working Group Lead

Head of Graphics Production at global events agency, George P Johnson, Laura has vast experience in print and graphics production. She has delivered corporate and B2B events for global brands worldwide building an established supplier network. Laura’s knowledge and strong relationships with large format printers means she is ideally suited to spearhead the Print Working Group and drive the printing industry for events and beyond to Net Zero through collaboration and shared learning.


Vicky Murray

Learning Partner

Vicky has 20 years under her belt developing and delivering sustainability strategy and training. She began her career at sustainable development non-profit Forum for the Future before moving in house as sustainability lead at Neal’s Yard Remedies, then Pukka Herbs. With a knack for making complex sustainability challenges easy to understand, Vicky keeps one eye on the future, believing it helps us make better decisions today. With a topic so vast, she passionately believes we never stop learning.

Katy Downton

Learning Partner

Katy has worked as a production creative for events and theatre for over 20 years, bringing a wealth of sector-specific knowledge to the training team. A senior lecturer in Theatre Production for G.S.A at the University of Surrey and specialises in embedding sustainable working practices into the future workforce.

Kate believes the key to systems change lies within education, and that if sustainable actions are put in context, it betters people’s understanding of why they, and how, they need to adapt to a changing world.

Her hope for the events industry is that we stop associating 'luxury' with ‘new' and start to really find the value in re-purposed and re-imagined set and staging.

Advisory Board

Jason Megson

MD – Freeman EMEA, Chair of the Advisory Board

Amy King

Head of Exhibitions & Events – ASM Global

Chloe Jackson

Managing Director – Smart Group Ltd

Chloé Menhinick

Partner (Association & Legacy Consultancy) – GainingEdge

Faye Priestley

Executive Project Director – Identity

Johnjoseph (JJ) Ryan

Owner & Director – woodfashioners

Kate Vandenburg

Marketing & Communications Director – Business Design Centre

Martin Fullard

Director (News & Content) – Davies Tanner and The Business of Events

Marisa Beckman

Operations Consultant – Inovent Exhibitions Ltd

Philippa Murphy

Global Event Producer – Google Cloud for Chesamel

Selina Donald

Founder & Chief Sustainability Officer – The Bulb

Our Story

We’re an independent industry body here to support the events sector transition to a more sustainable future.

In December 2019, an idea turned into reality when 12 event agencies gathered to discuss the steps needed to create a more sustainable industry.

The vision to collaboratively address the challenges of the climate crisis and centre sustainability as a 'must have' prompted the creation of an industry-wide and independent, non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting the transition to sustainable events. Enter isla.

Due to launch in April 2020, the Coronavirus outbreak created sufficient havoc and forced us to take a pause; looking after our teams and businesses was the foremost priority.

As we slowly return to a different sort of normal and the industry begins its recovery, the virus presents an enormous challenge to the sector for both logistics and sustainability.
Safety and security are clear priorities but the need to create a more sustainable future remains as pressing as ever.

Brands and the public are demanding a green recovery from the crisis and a shift away from the previous build and burn culture of the events industry is essential.

Recognising the need to build back better and keep sustainability on the agenda, the founding member group gathered again in June to continue the work, and elected an advisory board to provide strategy, scrutiny and support in achieving the aims of the organisation.

isla launched in September 2020 with 12 founding agency members.

Our founding members

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