MPI backs BSI green event proposal

MPI’s UK chapter has called for corporates, agencies and suppliers to have their say on the British Standards Institute’s (BSI) draft proposal for a sustainable meetings standard. The call came last night at MPI’s latest chapter meeting, held at London Olympia, which was timed to coincide with yesterday’s publication of the BS8901 proposal. The document is open for public consultation until the end of June, with September pencilled in for the creation of a recognised BSI Standard. “This is a massive opportunity for the events industry to lead other sectors in sustainability and we very much want as many people to get involved as possible,” MPI deputy chair (events) Fiona Pelham told delegates. “It means we can set a standard against which other industries will measure themselves.” The proposal is a follow-up to a generic BSI sustainability guide (BS 8900) and the institute is hoping the new set-up will lead to the creation of a full industry standard. BSI senior content developer John Devaney said the institute was looking to provide sustainability certification for one industry sector at a time, with the event sector chosen first because of London 2012’s environmental commitments and because of “the much higher than average appetite for a sustainability standard in the events market”. The scheme is open to both individuals and companies and their core business does not have to be events, enabling all planners and suppliers to gain accreditation should BS8901 prove a success. If this is the case, the standard would operate much like ISO regulations in that those wishing to can get their events or businesses to meet compliance levels and then call in an accredited certification body to carry out an audit. Trials of the scheme are currently being carried out, and BSI is encouraging other members of the C&I sector to carry out their own trials and provide feedback on them as part of the public consultation. BSI is to create an online link in the next few weeks so the full draft can be uploaded, but for the time being Devaney has agreed to be contacted at john.devaney@bsi-global.com and will supply the full proposal details by email.

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