ISO20121 Essential for the Future Success of Event Venues?!
9th March 2015
Good sustainable practice in a time of planetary crisis has never been so important.
As a responsible company, organisation or venue, your duties extend globally towards people, the environment and society. The future success of event management lies within the development of a ‘green relationship’; conserving the world’s resources and reflecting upon your carbon footprint.
It is essential that environmentally responsible decision-making is incorporated by venues within the event industry today, thus allowing companies to develop alongside industry trends and environmental regulations. A ‘green’ venue is a very visible demonstration of your organisation’s commitment to sustainability. Adoption of ‘green’ policies show you’re continuing to grow as a company and enabling change in how you operate. Flexibility – its vital!
As a venue you will be aware that events are highly resource-intensive. Thousands of meetings, conferences and events are held around the world each year, and it is the event industry’s responsibility to consider the impact of this activity on the environment; where appropriate, recognising the immense capacity it has to effect change by adopting a culture of sustainable consciousness and corporate social responsibility.
Venue ‘greening’ is fast becoming a trend worldwide. Event organisers are increasingly searching specifically for eco-friendly venues and clients are raising their expectations for a venue with good sustainable practices.
Sustainability isn’t really a ‘trend’ at all; being green is here to stay and there is no better time than now to be proactive.
ISO standards, what are they?
ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standards aim to give organisers, suppliers and venues a mean of delivering events more sustainably through management strategies, evaluation, reporting, communication and training.
BS 8901 standard was first introduced to the UK events industry in 2007 by the government. BS 8901 was the first of its kind; encouraging sustainable event management practice through various means. Following the widespread international interest in the British standard 8901, the ISO developed an international version alongside the London 2012 Olympics as this high prestige event provided the perfect grounds to introduce this new certification to its global audience.
ISO 20121 is a management system standard, specific to the events industry that aims to improve the sustainability of event-related activities, products and services. Venues that successfully implement this standard are awarded an internationally recognised certification.
Good sustainable practice should be embraced by venues and event managers alike. Venues with recognised green practice will encourage event organisers and suppliers to ensure that their products and services are safe, reliable and of high quality.
Going green, the benefits:
There are two major benefits of ‘pro-green’ venues: decreased cost and increased moral reputation.
It’s undeniable; recognition as a pro-green venue is indispensable to image. Venues that have taken the plunge and ‘gone green’ are favoured; waste reduction policies are valued, and venues that play by the green rules are given superiority when planning official state meetings.
Evidence suggests that government agencies are steadily improving the benefits given to environmentally conscious companies. Sustainability is admired and puts those who adopt it in a valuable position. Going ‘green’ provides venues with a competitive advantage and opens up a new market of an eco-friendly audience.
As well as boosting image and reputation, research suggests that implementing green initiatives could save British businesses £23 billion each year. Poor use of resources cost companies like yourselves money!
Around £18 billion could be saved by waste management alone!
At present, there are very few venues that are completely sustainable. Eventually, it is assumed that anyone operating in the event industry will have to be ISO 20121 certified as stakeholders including consumers, suppliers, sponsors and local authorities favour working with environmentally friendly organisations.
So why not embrace this opportunity and make your venue compliant ahead of the competition? Along the way you can reap the benefits of cost savings, increased reputation and extra clients.
Top Tips on how to become ISO 20121 certified!
- Identify where your event could have a negative environmental, economic and social impact and what you could do to control this.
- Create a plan for action – establish the initiatives you will put in place to control these negative impacts and the staff members who will be responsible for controlling these.
- Create a time frame and budget to complete these initiatives.
- Include your staff, suppliers and local community into your action plan and get their opinions and input on the plan.
- Produce a statement that demonstrates to the ISO that sustainability is an integral part of management your event.
- Monitor and evaluate the progression of the plan towards meeting the ISO 20121 certification requirements.
Now over to you!
What are your thoughts on the ISO 20121 certification?
Do you think becoming sustainable will benefit your company?
Are you worried that ignoring going ‘green’ will be detrimental to your venue?
Pro Green Venues would love to hear your views, please feel free to vote and comment below to let us know what you think!