Locog-tested sustainability standard ISO20121 launches

A new global sustainability standard for events, ISO20121, used by Locog during its planning for the 2012 Olympics, launched yesterday (19 June).

ISO20121 launches
ISO20121 launches

The standard, developed following the success of event sustainability management system British Standard BS 8901, comprises a framework for events that helps planners reduce costs, carbon emissions and waste.      

The benchmarking tool, developed by co-opted experts from 30 countries, is also designed to help manage the biodiversity of venues and help promote a 'diverse and inclusive' workforce.

The standard's systems management approach is designed to assist with event related issues such as venue selection, transport, recycling, creating a sustainable food strategy, promoting healthy living and creating skills, employment and business legacies.      

The standard is designed for business of all sizes and includes guidance on communications, operational planning and control, communications, stakeholder identification and engagement, supply chain management and procurement, and issue evaluation.  

Early adopters including Locog, official Games venues Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy and Earls Court.  

David Stubbs, head of sustainability at Locog, said: "Through the implementation of a sustainability management system for events, London 2012 will truly have raised the bar for demonstrating what can be achieved with sustainability. By implementing these standards we have methodically improved the sustainability of the Games. The issues that matter have been identified through professional judgement and proactive stakeholder engagement."  

Howard Kerr, chief executive of BSI, added: "Over the next few years as sustainability becomes an inherent factor in all businesses, this standard will provide the event industry with an opportunity to lead. We hope that future initiatives, small or large, will be inspired by the good work started by LOCOG in partnership with BSI in this important area of sustainability".  

Elements that differ from the BS 8901 standard include:  

  • Implementation of the ISO "high-level structure" that is part of all new and revised ISO management system standards, which in future will improve interoperability between such standards  

  • Greater focus on the context in which the event organisation exists

  • Explicit requirements to identify operational risks and opportunities  

  • More guidance on issue identification and prioritisation

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