ISO 20121:2012, Event sustainability management systems – Requirements with guidance for use, is suitable for ensuring that events, ranging from local celebrations to "mega events" such as the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, leave behind a positive legacy. The standard is relevant to all members of the event industry supply chain including organizers, event managers, stand builders, caterers and logistics suppliers.
Conferences, concerts, sporting events, exhibitions and festivals can offer a wide range of public, local community and economic benefits. However staging an event can also generate negative economic, environmental and social impacts, such as material waste, energy consumption and strains on local communities.
ISO 20121 provides the framework for identifying the potentially negative social, economic and environmental impacts of events by removing or reducing them, and capitalizing on more positive impacts through improved planning and processes.
The standard takes the management systems approach familiar to thousands of organizations worldwide through the success of standards such as ISO 9001 (quality management) and ISO 14001 (environmental management).
ISO 20121 has been created by the event industry for the event industry. More than 30 countries and liaison bodies participated in the work
Fiona Pelham, Chair of the ISO team of experts who developed ISO 20121, comments: "The development process has been led by members of the event industry from around the world who have experience of event management and sustainability leadership initiatives. Among its key benefits are:
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t makes sense to take an organized, processed approach to managing economic, environmental and social impacts. In addition, what gets monitored and measured gets reduced, so there are likely to be lower overheads.
Using a recognized international framework will enable leaders in sustainability to demonstrate their actions in a credible and transparent way."
ISO 20121 offers benefits to all actors involved in the organization of an event, at all stages of the supply chain, including the following :