2023 Impact 50: Lauren Sullivan

Co-Founder & Co-Executive Director

Now that the pandemic is in most people’s rearview mirror, live entertainment is as high in demand as ever — if not more. Many of the biggest music and comedy acts are answering the call from fans announcing tours in 2023, and that makes Lauren Sullivan’s job that much more important.

As the co-founder and co-executive director of REVERB – a nonprofit organization that works with musicians, festivals and venues to reduce the live industry’s carbon footprint – Sullivan and her team are working hard to help people “make changes to the status quo to avoid the worst impacts of a warming planet.”

“In literally every corner of this industry, new and better practices, vendors, systems and technologies are helping create environmentally-positive change, and we’re proud to be a part of that progress,” Sullivan says. “We feel that this is going to be the new normal, and it’s only going to accelerate in the coming years.”

Artists such as Billie Eilish and The Lumineers have funded REVERB’s Music Decarbonization Project, an initiative aimed at advancing innovative climate solutions to eliminate carbon emissions created by live events. The organization had a breakthrough in March, working with Willie Nelson’s Luck Reunion to successfully replace diesel-fueled generators with intelligent batteries powered by solar farms.

“This zero-emission system completely powered the main stage at Luck with solar power for the entire day, reduced diesel by over 90% and helped prove that a carbon-free stage is both technologically possible and economically feasible,” Sullivan says.

REVERB is also focused on “holistically” dealing with the climate crisis by finding ways to address environmental racism and historically marginalized communities most affected by greenhouse gas pollution.

“We truly believe we’re at an inflection point with the climate crisis,” Sullivan says. “Awareness and engagement have never been higher and we’re excited for the music community to lead the charge into a more sustainable, more equitable future.”