The time for theory is over

Icebreaker One is an independent, non-partisan non-profit with global reach. We aim to influence investment decisions of $3.6T/year to deliver net-zero by 2030. By unlocking the data infrastructure needed to share environmental & financial data we convene organisations to understand how best to use data as a continuous flow of evidence that informs action.

We help instrument net-zero by connecting policy, strategy, risk management and investment to real-world data to:

  1. Enable climate-ready financial instruments
  2. Enable climate-aware risk management
  3. Enable climate-credible deployment of robust, long-term solutions

We do this by making it easier to find, access and share data—whether business-to-business (b2b) commercial data, government data or other data that needs Access Control (Shared Data) or free data that anyone can use (Open Data).

Our innovation programmes bring together industry and government to help lead by example, through the development of market-wide use cases that demonstrate economic and environmental value.

Our Theory of Change

We have developed a Theory of Change (UK-focus in the image above) to illustrate how we are developing our work.

Our central hypotheses include:

  • Improving access to data helps businesses and the public sector innovate.
  • Working with industry and government to develop Open Standards will unlock open access to shared data.
  • Improved access to data is essential to country-level transitions and to deliver a green industrial revolution.
  • This is a proven blueprint: with Treasury backing, Open Banking opened up secure access to shared financial data. It has since transformed the fintech sector, creating tens of billions of pounds in value.
  • The public sector and regulators can work together with industry to deliver the funding, regulatory change, and convening needed to improve access to data.

We deliver this through two elements: Icebreaking and the operational delivery of a trust framework for Shared Data.

Flagship projects — starting with user needs

Icebreaker One is a net-zero market catalyst — exploring how to rapidly evolve our financial and energy systems to embed net-zero into investments and financial decisions in a manner that is demonstrable, provable and uses data to hold market actors to account.

Project Cygnus is exploring how COVID economic recovery can be directed to drive net-zero behaviours at city and regional-levels across Europe. Open Energy is a public-private initiative modernising data sharing across the entire energy grid to deliver a net-zero, decentralised energy future. SERI is helping the insurance sector be a lever of change by developing Climate-Ready products: ensuring that net-zero solutions are protected and incentivised (e.g. some insurers won’t insure EV) as well as driving change so net-destructive industries are no longer financially viable.

  1. SERI — Standard for Environmental Risk and Insurance
  2. Open Energy — building the web of energy data
  3. Cygnus — determining how to finance net-zero COVID-19 economic recovery

Benefits & outcomes

  • Address the business modelslegal and policy (e.g. rights, licensing, security, liability, regulation) of data sharing
  • Develop & share the required expertise and change in knowledge, practice and culture
  • Improve the provisionreliability and trust of data publishing
  • Develop policy frameworks that address climate-specific interventions across the financial ecosystem
  • Unlock the data ecosystem across global sensors, satellites, internet of things (IoT), geospatial, asset registries, risk reporting, trading schemes and financial instruments 
  • Enable data discovery (e.g. data search) at web-scale: lay the foundations for the web of environmental data

Outputs & activities — instrumenting net-zero

We convene multi-disciplinary experts, teams and organisations across the public, private and scientific communities to develop:

  1. Open standards
    Frameworks for robust and secure data sharing across environmental & financial data: principles and practice, Code(s) of Practice, voluntary standards, regulated Standards.
  2. Impact accelerator
    Increased speed-to-market of financial and technical products and services that enables investment flow to net-zero solutions through partnerships with existing innovation vehicles
  3. Accreditation & certification services
    Products and services that ensure the development of a robust data marketplace
  4. Research and evidence
    Use-cases, reports, business models, economic modelling, policies and guidance.
  5. Communication
    Reporting on the evidence of innovation and the impact of activities. In public, trade and expert forums.
  6. Training
    Bridge the gaps between theory and practice
  7. Events
    Connecting expertise across siloes
  8. Collaborative practices
    Working groups (large and small; in-person and online)


Build on the principles of Open Finance & Open Banking and bring together multidisciplinary teams across the public and private sectors.

Next steps