Today, Icebreaker One turns three. Join us in going Above & Beyond.

What a remarkable journey so far, and by way of celebration our latest programme, Perseus, has just been announced as part of the UK’s Green Finance Strategy

“The UK government is working with Bankers for Net Zero, the British Business Bank and a range of industry stakeholders, to automate SME sustainability reporting on a national scale…building on both Open Banking and Open Energy.”

Given that ‘unlocking access to demonstrable net zero finance by connecting real economy data to the financial economy’ was part of our founding objectives, I think we can declare some degree of success.

But, before we get into the details, I want to start by reflecting on people. The only reason any of this is possible is down to individuals who have chosen to lead, and to collaborate.

I would like to thank Gea Mikic (Icebreaker One’s cofounder) who worked with me from 5 Oct 2018 to work out how to bridge the data gaps to deliver a Net Zero Future. We spoke to hundreds of people around the world before starting — leading to a remarkable 7-figure kick-off programme (SERI) working with the insurance sector.

Kathryn Corrick began helping work out what and how we would deliver, with Emma Thwaites supporting on comms, and Michelle Prescott helping create the founding teams over many months before launch. It was of great benefit that we’d worked together over many years to help create the Open Data Institute

As with all initiatives we’ve helped to create, it involves a vast amount of work to understand the landscape in which focus is actually needed. This led to presentations at the UN Disaster Risk Reduction Global Platform in Geneva, at UN Climate Action Summit at the UN HQ, and the formal announcement of our launch IUK funding and partners at Davos in January 2020. 

This funding led to our formal operational start being 1st April 2020. Launching a high-collaboration programme involving senior financial leaders, the commercial sector and academia was obviously going to be too easy. So to make it more interesting, fate determined that we’d be a week into lockdown and therefore unable to do any of the in-person workshops we’d planned. 

It is an absolute testament to the dedication, tenacity and skills of the team and its ability to adapt, learn and grow that within nine months we had dozens of experts working across three national-scale programmes, involving many hundreds of participants and reaching thousands. 

This pattern has continued since to the point that “Above & Beyond” is a phrase that our funders and partners use to describe the team’s efforts: whether that’s writing over 500 pages of reports in our first year (which were peer-reviewed as ‘exceptional’), or delivering Open Energy (which gained ‘Above & Beyond’ ratings from its funders). 

There are many, many stories to tell and dozens of people to thank who have been instrumental in the existence of Icebreaker One: from Julie Calkins embracing the original idea and helping secure funding from Climate KIC to Volker Buscher agreeing to get Arup to join as a founding member, to Bryony Worthington hosting us at the House of Lords. This is a whole-team effort and everyone (past and present) has gone Above & Beyond to create a whole that is much greater than the sum of its parts.

Ultimately, this is about how we best support people inside organisations to make a difference, and I would like to thank everyone across the private and public sectors who have contributed, engaged, and supported us throughout. 

So.  As we turn three, we are in the best position to make global impact since we began. 

Our partners SSEN have put Open Energy at the heart of their data strategy, Ofgem have now mandated the implementation of open data and data sharing for network operators, DESNeZ are exploring what may be needed to support Perseus, and we are feeding into the UK’s Data Bill which may create a legislative mandate for Trust Frameworks across the economy. Our work with the Future of Sustainable Data Alliance has helped explore the data gaps in the financial system, including for Sovereign Wealth Funds.

And, with our latest programme, Perseus, we have been included in the Green Finance Strategy.

“The UK government is working with Bankers for Net Zero, the British Business Bank and a range of industry stakeholders, to automate SME sustainability reporting on a national scale…building on both Open Banking and Open Energy.”

We’re using our combination of commercial mindset, our mission-driven focus on building public goods, and world-class expertise​​ to make impact at market scale.

Open Net Zero, our starting point for net-zero data infrastructure, continues to grow. We’ve recently indexed datasets from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the World Bank Water Database, OpenMateo, Climate Action Tracker, and many more: explore them here

And finally, our community is growing. We have newly launched offers to become an Icebreaker One Supporter (as an individual or business, starting from £4) or an organisational Member. With new investment in our community work, we’re regularly bringing together hundreds of people to discuss regulatory, market, and policy innovations that affect the world of net-zero data. 

To go far, we need to go together — join us

If you’d like to receive invitations to webinars and events, find out about our latest research & implementation programmes, and keep up-to-date with our progress, please join our (low volume) mailing list or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter, or join us as a supporter or member. 

Thank you, everyone,


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