ISO 20121: Events Sustainability Management Systems launched in June 2012. It’s release will push sustainability onto the agenda for all event organisers.

Best practice has moved away from ad-hoc issues management towards a systems approach. This new approach offers a strategic way to manage sustainability and embed continual improvement. It ensures the inclusion of strategies, policies, processes, systems and actions that intertwine to support and manage event sustainability issues more efficiently, effectively and professionally.

  • Read the news story on the standard here.
  • Download the promotional document on ISO 20121 here.
  • Buy a copy of the standard here.


ISO 20121 Self-Paced Online Training - Find Out More


ISO 20121: Events Sustainability Management Systems is a document developed by participating ‘standards bodies’ from various countries around the world. The purpose of the standard is to provide a framework to implement a system to manage an event’s sustainable development issues. Rather than being a checklist, ISO 20121 requires a systematic approach to addressing sustainable development issues in relation to event planning. It can be applied to an event organiser, a single event or a venue. Successful implementation of an event sustainability management system will ensure continual performance improvement and systematic management of issues rather than an ad-hoc approach. It facilitates improved sustainability performance. Documentation of processes and disclosure of performance is key.

ISO 20121 Self Paced Online Training

Can I become certified?

Yes. Your organisation can be audited for conformity with the standard. Conformity with the standard is through ensuring your systems are in place. After you have completed a first party (internal) audit, your next options are a Second Party conformity assessment (similar to a peer review and certification readiness audit) with the Sustainable Event Alliance. If your organisation is of significant scale and can justify the investment, you may also wish to submit for Third Party auditing with a Certifying Body such as BSI or SGS.


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