ISO 20121

ISO 20121 (full name: ISO 20121:2012, Event sustainability management systems –- Requirements with guidance for use) is a voluntary international standard for sustainable event management, created by the International Organization for Standardization. The standard aims to help organizations improve sustainability throughout the entire event management cycle.


Every event – from a village barbecue to a major sporting event like the Olympics – will have economic, social and environmental impacts. Water and energy resources are put under pressure, significant amounts of waste and carbon emissions can be generated. Sometimes events can put a strain on local communities. By 2005, practitioners within the events industry were becoming aware of the need for more sustainable practices.

Specifically, the Head of Sustainability at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, David Stubbs, was looking for a way to make good on the sustainability promises made in the London Games bid.[1]

He raised the issue with the British Standards Institution (BSI) in the UK. This led to the creation of BS 8901:2007 Specification for a sustainable event management system with guidance for use.[2] After a period of review, the second version of BS 8901 was published in 2009.[3]

BS 8901 was received very positively by the international event industry, and was soon being widely used. For example, COP15, the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, was certified as compliant with BS 8901 in December 2009.[4] The Microsoft Corporation achieved certification to BS 8901 at its Microsoft Convergence® 2009 event in New Orleans, Louisiana, in March 2009.[5]

Development of ISO 20121

Responding to this international enthusiasm for BS 8901, in May 2009 a proposal for an international sustainable event management standard was jointly submitted to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) by BSI Group and ABNT, the Brazilian national standards body.[6]

Delegations of experts of the national standards institutions of 25 countries developed the standard, with another 10 countries as observers. Eight stakeholder organizations from the event industry, or with a strong interest in sustainability, also participated.[7] Members of the sustainability team of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games were among the stakeholders who provided input into the development of the standard.[8]

Subsequently, ISO 20121:2012 Event sustainability management systems –- Requirements with guidance for use was published in June 2012.[9]

How ISO 20121 works

ISO 20121 is relevant to all members of the event industry supply chain including organizers, event managers, stand builders, caterers and logistics suppliers.

The standard takes a management systems approach to running more sustainable events. It provides a framework to help identify the potentially negative social, economic and environmental impacts of events. Organizers can then remove or reduce negative impacts through improved planning and processes.

This should lead to improvements in key sustainability issues such as venue selection, transport, recycling or reusing demolition waste, creating a sustainable food strategy, promoting healthy living and creating skills, employment and business legacies.

The standard can reduce costs, carbon emissions and waste; better manage the biodiversity of venues; and achieve a diverse and inclusive workforce.

ISO 20121 also includes practical guidance on communications, operational planning and control, stakeholder identification and engagement, supply chain management and procurement, and issue evaluation.

ISO 20121 is suitable for all sizes and types of events.

Organizations can demonstrate voluntary conformity with ISO 20121 by either: first party self-declaration; second party confirmation of conformance by parties having an interest in the organization, such as clients; or by certification by an independent third party, e.g. a certification body.

ISO 20121 and the London 2012 Olympics

Having been highly influential in the creation of the standard, The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and the Olympic Delivery Authority both successfully implemented ISO 20121 in June 2012.[10]

The Head of Sustainability, David Stubbs, commented: "London 2012 is proud to have been the catalyst for ISO 20121. This is a piece of legacy with the potential to transform how events around the world consider their economic, environmental and social impacts."

Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG commented: “London 2012’s relentless pursuit of sustainability has been part of every bold and challenging decision we have made, in the development of the Olympic Park and the staging of the Games.”[11]

Another early adopter of ISO 20121 was the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) in the UK, which was the venue for the London 2012 sailing events.

WPNSA reported that as a result of using the standard they achieved cost savings of around 15 per cent through better waste management and electricity optimization. They also enhanced their international reputation as a sports and corporate event venue, and reduced the risks of legislative breaches. Finally, they are demonstrably operating in accordance with the ‘One Planet Living’ principles of sustainable development, which as an organization they aspire to do.[12]

Following an extensive systems assessment, Plaza Athénée Bangkok A Royal Meridien Hotel became the first “ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System” hotel in the world. Since the implementation of the system in 2012, the hotel has reduced electricity consumption by 9.4%, water by 5.03%, and paper by 4.9% year-on-year. Carbon footprint profiling revealed a 47.05% reduction in printer ink consumption and a 25.0% l in plastic bottle use.

See also


  1. ^ Pelham, Fiona (18 Jun 2012). "The story of ISO 20121". Positive Impact. Archived from the original on 2013-05-05. Retrieved 12 Nov 2012.
  2. ^ Press release. "BSI British Standards launches new standard for managing a more sustainable event". BSI. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  3. ^ Thorley, Chantelle (28 April 2009). "BS8901 made easier to understand". Event. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  4. ^ Tanner, Dylan. "The Sustainability Of The Cop15 Copenhagen Meeting". Article Dashboard. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  5. ^ "Microsoft Eyes First Sustainable Events Management Certification". Environmental Leader. Feb 17, 2009. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  6. ^ "ISO to develop sustainable event standard in the run up to 2012 Olympics". Tourism Review. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  7. ^ Pdf (June 2012). "Sustainable events with ISO 20121" (PDF). ISO Central Secretariat. p. 10. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  8. ^ Frost, Roger (20 June 2012). "New ISO 20121 standard for sustainable events management". ISO. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  9. ^ Bull, Rachel (20 June 2012). "Locog launches new global sustainability standard". Event. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  10. ^ Press Release (20 June 2012). "London 2012 drives new international standard for sustainable event management". London 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  11. ^ "Delivering change, Pre-Games Sustainability Report" (PDF). LOCOG. April 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  12. ^ Case study. "Olympic venue reduces utility costs by 15% due to better waste management and utilisation of energy" (PDF). BSI. Retrieved 13 November 2012.

External links

2018 Commonwealth Games

The 2018 Commonwealth Games, officially known as the XXI Commonwealth Games and commonly known as Gold Coast 2018, were an international multi-sport event for members of the Commonwealth that were held on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, between 4 and 15 April 2018. It was the fifth time Australia had hosted the Commonwealth Games and the first time a major multi-sport event achieved gender equality by having an equal number of events for males and female athletes.More than 4,400 athletes including 300 para-athletes from 71 Commonwealth Games Associations took part in the event. The Gambia which withdrew its membership from the Commonwealth of Nations and Commonwealth Games Federation in 2013, was readmitted on 31 March 2018 and participated in the event . With 275 sets of medals, the games featured 19 Commonwealth sports, including beach volleyball, para triathlon and women's rugby sevens. These sporting events took place at 14 venues in the host city, two venues in Brisbane and one venue each in Cairns and Townsville.These were the first Commonwealth Games to take place under the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) presidency of Louise Martin, CBE. The host city Gold Coast was announced at the CGF General Assembly in Basseterre, Saint Kitts, on 11 November 2011. Gold Coast became the seventh Oceanian city and the first regional city to host the Commonwealth Games. These were the eighth games to be held in Oceania and the Southern Hemisphere.

The host nation Australia topped the medal table for the fourth time in the past five Commonwealth Games, winning the most golds (80) and most medals overall (198). England and India finished second and third respectively. Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, British Virgin Islands and Dominica each won their first Commonwealth Games medals.

Annex SL

The Annex SL is a section of the ISO/IEC Directives part 1 that prescribes how ISO Management System Standard (MSS) standards should be written. The aim of Annex SL is to enhance the consistency and alignment of MSS by providing a unifying and agreed upon high level structure, identical core text and common terms and core definitions. The aim being that all ISO Type A MSS (and B where appropriate) are aligned and the compatibility of these standards is enhanced.

Before 2012, various standards for management systems were written in different ways. Several attempts have been made since the late 90s to harmonize the way to write these but the first group that succeeded to reach an agreement was the Joint Technical Coordination Group (JTCG) set up by ISO/Technical Management Board.

Various of Technical Committees within ISO are currently working on revising all MSS published before Annex SL was adopted. Many standards are already following Annex SL such as ISO 9001, and ISO 14001).

Event management

Event management is the application of project management to the creation and development of large-scale events such as festivals, conferences, ceremonies, weddings, formal parties, concerts, or conventions. It involves studying the brand, identifying its target audience, devising the event concept, and coordinating the technical aspects before actually launching the event.The process of planning and coordinating the event is usually referred to as event planning and which can include budgeting, scheduling, site selection, acquiring necessary permits, coordinating transportation and parking, arranging for speakers or entertainers, arranging decor, event security, catering, coordinating with third party vendors, and emergency plans. Each event is different in its nature so process of planning & execution of each event differs on basis of type of event.

The events industry now includes events of all sizes from the Olympics down to business breakfast meetings. Many industries, charitable organizations, and interest groups hold events in order to market themselves, build business relationships, raise money, or celebrate achievement.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is a large annual Christmas event held in Hyde Park, London, typically from mid-November to early January each year. It is one of the biggest, and most well-attended such events in the world, featuring several festive markets, over 100 rides and attractions from across Europe, a Giant Wheel, numerous live shows, including a circus, ice show, and live music, as well as numerous bars and restaurants. Since its launch in 2007, Winter Wonderland has attracted 14 million visitors.The event is open from 10am to 10pm each day, except for opening day,

and Christmas Day. The main entrance is near Marble Arch, with secondary entrances on Serpentine Road.

IMG (company)

IMG, originally known as the International Management Group, is a global sports, other events and talent management company headquartered in New York City. It has been owned by William Morris Endeavor and Silver Lake Partners since 2013. Trans World International (TWI) is the event company of IMG.

Jaime Nack

Jaime Nack (born February 20, 1976 in Columbia, Maryland) is an environmental consultant and marketing specialist who is known for her role as Director of Sustainability and Greening Operations for the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado and who subsequently managed the plan for the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. Marking the first time in DNC history where measures were taken to reduce the environmental impact of the event on the host city, the 2008 greening effort was unprecedented in scale and has evolved into an industry case study for best practices in producing sustainable events.

In April 2011, Nack received a federal appointment to serve a three-year term on the National Women's Business Council, a bi-partisan federal advisory council created to serve as an independent source of advice and counsel to the President, Congress, and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues of importance to women business owners. The same year, Nack was also named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

List of International Organization for Standardization standards, 20000-21999

This is a list of published International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards and other deliverables. For a complete and up-to-date list of all the ISO standards, see the ISO catalogue.The standards are protected by copyright and most of them must be purchased. However, about 300 of the standards produced by ISO and IEC's Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC1) have been made freely and publicly available.

List of Pragyan editions

Pragyan is an ISO 9001:2015 and 20121:2012 certified annual international techno-management organisation of the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli, India. Since its inception in 2005, it has been held every year over a period of three and a half days during the months of January, February or March. Every year, Pragyan sees participants from over 100 colleges from across India. Pragyan 2017 had a total footfall of around 6,000 people over three days, and an overall participation of around 10,000 students. Pragyan is the first student-run organization in the world and the third organization overall next only to the London Olympics and Manchester United to achieve an ISO 20121:2012 Certification for Sustainable Event Management.

National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli

The National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli, (abbreviated NITT or NIT Trichy) is a public engineering institution near the city of Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu, India. Founded in 1964, it is one of the oldest institutions of the National Institutes of Technology system. The institute is located in a campus of 800 acres (3.24 km²).

NIT Trichy is recognized as an Institute of National Importance by the Government of India under the National Institutes of Technology Act, 2007. The institute has a comprehensive graduate program offering doctoral degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Currently, the institute has 16 academic departments, four centers of excellence and one school. The institute admits its undergraduate students through Joint Entrance Examination - Main and postgraduate students through Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering, Common Admission Test and Common Entrance Test for Masters in Computer Applications. NIT Trichy is widely regarded as one of the best colleges to study in India as an undergraduate.

Over the last 54 years, around 30,000 engineers and scientists have graduated from the institute. Educational programmes here extend beyond the physical sciences and engineering into humanities and social sciences such as English and into management studies. The institute has academic and research collaborations with universities and research centers in India and abroad including the United States and United Kingdom and is undergoing accelerated growth through the World Bank-funded Technical Education Quality Improvement Program (TEQIP).NIT Trichy celebrated its Golden Jubilee with year long celebrations in 2014. President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee was the chief guest of the main celebration days which were held on July 19 and 20, 2014.

National Institutes of Technology

The National Institutes of Technology (NITs) are autonomous public institutes of higher education, located in India. They are governed by the National Institutes of Technology Act, 2007, which declared them as institutions of national importance alongside Indian Institutes of Technology. These institutes of national importance receive special recognition from the Government of India. The NIT Council is the supreme governing body of India's National Institutes of Technology (NIT) system and all 31 NITs are funded by the Government of India. These institutes are among the top ranked engineering colleges in India and have one of the lowest acceptance rates for engineering institutes, of around 2 to 3 percent, second only to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in India. All NITs are autonomous which enables them to set up their own curriculum. The language of instruction is English at all these institutes.NITs offer degree courses at bachelors, masters, and doctorate levels in various branches of engineering, architecture, management and science. Admission to the under-graduate courses such as Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) and Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) programs in NITs are through the highly competitive Joint Entrance Examination (Main). Admission to postgraduate courses are through the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering for Master of Technology (M.Tech.) and Master of Science (M.Sc.) programs, Common Admission Test for Master of Business Administration (MBA) program and NIMCET for Master of Computer Applications (MCA) program.Since 2015, the Joint Seat Allocation Authority and Centralized Counselling for M.Tech/M.Arch and M.Plan conduct the admission process for undergraduate and postgraduate programs respectively in all NITs. As of 2017, the total number of seats for undergraduate programs is 19,000 and for post graduate programs is 8,050 in all 31 NITs.


Pragyan, NIT Trichy is the techno-managerial organisation of the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli. Since its inception in 2005, it has been held every year over a period of three and a half days during the months of January, February or March. Every year, participants from a number of colleges across the country take part in various events conducted as a part of Pragyan, making it one of the largest techno-managerial fests in India. It is also the first student-run organisation in the world and the third overall, next only to the London Olympics and Manchester United to get an ISO 20121:2012 certification for Sustainable Event Management. It also holds the ISO 9001:2015 certification for Quality Management Systems.

Sustainable event management

Sustainable event management (also known as event greening) is the process used to produce an event with particular concern for environmental, economic and social issues. Sustainability in event management incorporates socially and environmentally responsible decision making into the planning, organisation and implementation of, and participation in, an event. It involves including sustainable development principles and practices in all levels of event organisation, and aims to ensure that an event is hosted responsibly. It represents the total package of interventions at an event, and needs to be done in an integrated manner. Event greening should start at the inception of the project, and should involve all the key role players, such as clients, organisers, venues, sub-contractors and suppliers.

Swedish Business Awards

The Swedish Business Awards were established in 2006. The project aims to provide positive examples for international establishments and business development by highlighting the success of cooperation, emphasizing innovativeness, outstanding business achievements and the importance of contributions to society. This initiative promotes internationalization of business and serves as a yearly meeting point to discuss achievements, practices and aims. Culmination of the project is the ceremony which includes presentations, discussions and awards for the most successful international and local companies operating in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

The Swedish Business Awards are prestigious event - selected participants are invited, combining representatives from Swedish companies, top executives and opinion leaders on National business stage and top politicians. In addition to this, in 2014 in Estonia awards were handed by Crown Princess of Sweden Victoria, while in 2015 in Lithuania by HM King Carl XVI Gustaf.

The Atlantic Cup

The Atlantic Cup is the first and only dedicated Class40 professional sailing race in the United States. It consists of both offshore and inshore legs and was created by Manuka Sports Event Management, which is headquartered in Newport, Rhode Island.

Hugh Piggin, a New Zealand native and sailor who lives in Newport, was intent on changing the face of sailing in the United States. After joining forces with Julianna Barbieri, a sports broadcasting professional, the two created a business plan that would eventually form the Atlantic Cup.

The first edition of the race was in 2011. Entrants started in New York City and finished in Newport, with an additional inshore series that was also held in Newport. The race expanded in 2012 to start from Charleston, South Carolina.The Atlantic Cup competition has three stages: two offshore legs and an inshore series. From 2011-2014, the first stage was a 648 nautical mile double-handed leg from Charleston to New York City. The second stage was a 231 nautical mile leg from New York City to Newport. The third and final stage was sailed with a maximum crew of six for a weekend-long inshore series. Beginning in 2016, the Atlantic Cup extended the Leg 2 course to 360 nautical miles with a finish in Portland, Maine. Points are awarded for each race, and the team with the least amount of overall combined points from both the offshore and inshore series is crowned Atlantic Cup Champion.

The 2012 race was the first carbon neutral sailing race in the United States. To achieve carbon neutrality, race organizers adopted a 3-part approach: on-land, on-water, and education. On land, single-use plastic water bottles are prohibited. Only glassware or biodegradable cups are used, and recycle stations and water filtration systems for both crew members and guests alike are set up in all three race locations. Event management uses only "100% post-consumer recycled paper" that is utilized for the printing of collateral material such as event packets, tickets, and handouts. In 2016, the Atlantic Cup was the first sporting event in the United States to be ISO 20121 compliant.2016 Race Results

2014 Race Results

2013 Race Results

2012 Race Results

2011 Race Results

ISO standards by standard number

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