ISO standards launch
Last week, ISO 20121, a set of sustainability standards created for the international event industry, launched. The standards have been in the works since 2005 when London was chosen to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Using the BS 8901 standards as a framework (created by the British Standards Institute in 2007), more than 30 countries—including North America, Japan and Sweden—contributed to the creation of ISO 20121. “BS 8901 and ISO 20121 were developed by volunteers with an understanding of the event industry,” says Fiona Pelham, chair of ISO 20121. “These were people with a limited background in standards who took the time to learn and even implement the standard in order to create something which could be used by the event industry.”
ISO 20121 is not a checklist of actions planners can take to organize greener meetings. Instead, it’s a collection of processes that need to be implemented throughout a company or organization. The standards can be first-, second- or third-party certified. First-party is a self-declaration of compliance. Second-party is awarded when an independent external party reviews a company’s documentation, systems and performance, and they declare it compliant. Third-party occurs when an auditing company officially accredited through a national standard’s body independently assesses systems, documentation and performance. Find out more about the new standards here.