Sustainable isn't a buzzword - it's a necessity, say The Bulb founders

Selina Donald and Ruth Weldon, founders of new agency The Bulb, talk to Event about their drive to create a sustainable events business.

Ruth Weldon (left) and Selina Donald left ITV Events to launch The Bulb
Ruth Weldon (left) and Selina Donald left ITV Events to launch The Bulb

Last month saw Donald and Weldon officially launch their new company, having both previously worked for ITV Events. "We have both worked across the events industry in agency, projects and in-house and knew the next step was taking that experience and creating something of our own," says Weldon. "We’ve known each other for some time, have a very similar approach to working and are passionate about the same things and it just naturally fell into place that we would set up on our own."

The USP of the set-up is its core focus on sustainability - a topic often spoken about, but never really put at the forefront of the events industry. Putting the industry standard ISO2012-1 as a benchmark for their work, the duo aim to make sure all their work completed for clients has an aspect of ‘green’ about it. They’ve even made sure a leaf features in their logo.

However this isn’t a gimmick: The Bulb believes sustainability to be a legitimate business driver.

"Pretty soon brands will be asked why they aren’t sustainable, rather than if they are – it will be a necessity not an addition," explains Weldon. "We’re continuing to learn and are constantly reading and meeting with leaders in this field to make sure we are at the top of our game in terms of knowledge and new ways of working.  

"We want to prove that creativity and style don’t have to be compromised to be sustainable and are really excited to be part of the move towards a safer, greener future for the events industry."

Donald agrees: "The Bulb has been born out of a response to the social changes we see around us, from the recent decisions made in Davos and Paris on climate change, through to organisations leading the way and progressing environmental sustainability. There is recognition from all levels that being responsible and sustainable isn’t a buzzword or nice to do, it’s a necessity and an important business decision."

Aside from working at ITV, Donald has gained experience working on the London 2012 Ceremonies Sustainability Committee and the not-for-profit Positive Impact, which provides advice to the events industry on how to manage its impact on the environment. She is, according to Weldon, "a born leader....she is always one step ahead in her approach and is meticulous in everything that she does", and will lead on the client side.

Conversely, Donald praises Weldon’s eye for styling and dressing an event, as well as her understanding of logistics and the audience’s journey: "Ruth is brilliant to watch and work with on-site, she knows projects inside-out and takes no prisoners in making sure they are delivered perfectly."

They left ITV with the support of the business around them, and their old colleagues will even be coming to the agency’s launch in March. As for now, Donald and Weldon are currently on the lookout for more suppliers that share the same values as The Bulb, as well as cultivating relationships with those who are experimenting with new technology and approaches to engage audiences.

"We have lots of long term goals," says Weldon. "At the moment we are focusing on building The Bulb’s brand and reputation - increasing our profile so our target client base are aware of who we are and how we could work with them to produce and improve their events."

More: ITV Events duo launch sustainable production agency

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In pictures: Sustainable Events Summit 2015

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