ISO 20121 – Sustainable Events

The ISO 20121 – Sustainable Events, just like other standards within the ISO family, is a voluntary standard. This particular standard aims to make a positive impact on the world we live in. ISO 20121 – Sustainable Events, is a practical tool for managing events so that they contribute to the three dimensions of sustainability:

  • Evonomy
  • Enviornment
  • Social

Who can benefit from ISO 20121 – Sustainable Events

ISO 20121 – Sustainable Events provides a state-of-the-art solution for the event industry. The three abovementioned dimensions are kept as a target of where the impact is to be focused. The certification benefits all actors involved in the organisation, throughout all the supply chain, including:

  • event organizors
  • workforce
  • supply chain
  • participants

With this in mind, any company that organizes events, and that wishes to reap the benefits brought by through ISO 20121 can benefit from this certification. Benefits for certification against this standard include:

  • Best Business Practice – following best-in-class practices on how to handle all the logistics of an event
  • Reputational advantage – using a recognized international framework for certification, your events company can demonstrate its actions in a credible and transparent way

Implementing ISO 20121 – Sustainable Events

ISO 20121 is based on the overall structure of ISO 9001 and other Management Systems within the ISO Family. This makes it easier for Management Consultants such as Luke Desira, an ISO Consultant to streamline the implementation for this standard, as they would not have to relearn a new structure for the standard.

This means that this standard is based on the PDCA (Plan, Do, Check & Act) Cycle, and that the standard is distributed over the following 10 clauses.

Clauses 1-3

Like with other standards within the management systems family, these three first clauses are relatively vague and cover:

  • Scope
  • Normative references
  • Terms and Definitions

Clause 4

  • Understanding the organization and it’s context
  • Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties
  • Determining the scope of the event sustainability management system
  • Event sustainability management system
  • Sustainable development principles, statement of purpose and values

Clause 5

Clause 6

Clause 7

  • Resources
  • Competence
  • Awareness
  • Communication
  • Documentation information

Clause 8

  • Operational planning and control
  • Dealing with modified activities, products, or services
  • Supply chain management

Clause 9

Clause 10

Conclusions re: ISO 20121 – Sustainable Events

From the above 10 clauses for ISO Certification is can be easily seen that the overall structure of this standard is very similar to ISO 9001 certification. Having said that, the requirements of Clause 8 change to meet the specific requirements of this standard. With that in mind, it is strongly encouraged for companies to not get certified against this standard in isolation – but rather to get this certification as part of a management system.

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