ISO 20121 Goes to Market!

After more than two years in development, ISO 20121 Event sustainability management systems – Requirements with guidance for use, officially hit the market today. A much awaited document, the standard provides the event industry with a best practice management system framework for integrating sustainability into the event design and delivery process. With the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games set to be one of the first to certify to the standard, it is anticipated that ISO 20121 will help to push environmentally and socially responsible practices throughout the industry.

As a management system standard, ISO 20121 is based on the traditional Plan-Do-Check-Act model. In the Plan phase, sustainability issues are determined, a sustainable development policy is crafted, objectives and targets are set, stakeholders are identified and engaged, and legal requirements and obligations are identified. In the Do phase, policies and plans are put into action and procedures for maintaining system effectiveness are documented. In addition, adequate financial and human resources are mobilized and relevant parties in the supply chain are engaged. Ensuring effective communications, both internally and externally is central to this phase. The final phases go hand in hand, with efforts to monitor and evaluate the system (including internal audits and management reviews) feeding into the adaptation of relevant parts of the system to enable continued improvement.

The standard is designed to be used by any individual or organization within the event industry, whether the organization be a planner, intermediary or supplier. It is also designed to be scalable – that is the level of complexity and amount of resources invested will vary with the size of organization as well as the nature of the event related activities.

There are many reasons to get on board with using the ISO 20121 standard including:

• Meeting client demand;
• Enhancing reputation and brand value;
• Identifying efficiencies and improving performance;
• Demonstrating commitment to environmental and social responsibility; and
• Inspiring and engaging stakeholders.

If you are interested in learning more about the standard and its potential use for your organization and event, we would love to talk to you. Email to get the conversation started!

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