ISO 20121 – Event Sustainability Management Systems

ISO 20121

ISO 20121 is an internationally recognized leading standard for sustainable events and their management systems. This standard can help in the organization of events, and it can make them more sustainable regardless of the size or the type of the event. The ISO 20121 is intended to reduce the waste and the impact on environmental resources, which are generally affected during various event-related activities.

Main Advantages of ISO 20121 Certification

Once you obtain an ISO 20121 Certification, you get access to practical tools that help in the organization of events in order to make them more sustainable. In fact, the primary role of this standard is to establish a framework that will reduce the waste of environmental, economic, and social resources. The ISO 20121 is suitable for every type of event, meaning that every certified organization that holds a particular event obtains advantages that provide sustainability.

After you get an ISO 20121 Certification, your organization has the chance to use the following advantages:

  • Managing risks in relation to sustainability challenges that happen before, during, or after a particular event,
  • Identifying issues that may occur while hosting an event,
  • Setting targets and action plans that lead towards improvement,
  • Obtaining access to practices with leadership initiatives,
  • Demonstrating voluntary compliance with international standards and regulations,
  • Managing and hosting events with flexible approaches,
  • Controlling the employees in the event organization chain.

What is ISO 20121?

ISO 20121 is an international standard that provides a framework for the improvement of the sustainability of events hosted by organizations or companies. It serves to determine the practices that are needed when an event is being held in terms of environmental, economic, and social dimensions. The ISO 20121 helps organizations to establish and implement an Event Sustainability Management System that will improve the business performance in case of different event-related activities.

The ISO 20121 standard includes aspects that are related to sustainability challenges imposed by an organized and hosted event. It strictly refers to:

  • Sustainable acquisition,
  • Environmental, social, and economic impacts of a held event,
  • Control and management of waste during events,
  • Observation and preservation of resources used during events,
  • Accommodation of diverse geographical, cultural, and social conditions during events.

Benefits of Getting ISO 20121 Certification

In order to act more responsibly while hosting an event, it is important to comply with particular standards and regulations. The easiest way to do that is by getting a certification that implements the Event Sustainability Management System (ESMS) successfully. When you obtain a certification for your organization, you get to use some benefits that ease up the whole process of holding a sustainable event.

The benefits you get access to with the ISO 20121 Certification are:

  • Enhanced teamwork and improved efficiencies,
  • Integration of simplified, clarified, and effective processes and systems,
  • Increase in employee motivation,
  • Improved reputation and stronger relationships with clients,
  • Reduction of costs in relation to consumption, energy, and waste,
  • Reduction of carbon emissions,
  • Improved position of the organization or company within a community,
  • Identification and management of legal responsibilities.

How to Become ISO 20121 Certified?

In order to obtain an ISO 20121 Certification, a company or organization must implement an Event Sustainability Management System (ESMS). The achievement of this certification is implemented through a comprehensive assessment that is done in multiple stages.

The ISO auditors need to determine that your organization has successfully implemented the event sustainability management system while complying with all ISO requirements. Once your organization gets certified, you can use the ISO 20121 Certification in marketing and promotional materials.

Start Your Journey To ISO 20121 Certification

To start your journey to ISO 20121 Certification, you can contact us for a free quote. We will deliver a quote that is specifically made to meet your requirements, and we support various ISO standards.


What industries implement ISO 20121?

Since the ISO 20121 Certification is suitable for any kind or size of an event, many companies, and organizations that host events regularly opt for this certification. By getting certified, organizations want to show to their customers that they are responsible and that they work following all given practices. This certification means that the ISO 20121 is eligible to ensure that a particular company can organize events with sustainability in mind, and follow the best practices that relate to social, economic, and environmental impacts.

How long does the ISO 20121 Certification last?

The ISO 20121 Certification lasts for three years, and it is regularly checked and audited every year to ensure that your organization is compliant with all regulations. Once the three years have passed, you will be required to do a recertification.

How do I implement ISO 20121?

ISO 20121 is a framework that includes the details and the requirements of the event sustainability management system. The ESMS can be implemented by using an independent ISO expert or ISO consultant that will support you throughout the whole process.

The implementation of the ESM system includes determining organizational goals, establishing event sustainability requirements, and managing risks that will be monitored through the operations of your organization.

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