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ISO 21021 Certification: Sustainable Event Management

As the world becomes more aware of the environmental impact of human activities, organizations are increasingly looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and operate more sustainably. ISO 21021 certification is an effective means of showcasing dedication to sustainability and adhering to international standards.

Read further for a comprehensive overview of ISO 21021 and all the necessary certification requirements.

What is the ISO 21021 certification?

ISO 21021 is a globally recognized standard by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that helps organizations manage events sustainably. It covers environmental, social, and economic aspects and applies to all types and sizes of organizations involved in event planning, delivery, or support, regardless of location.

The Key Principles

ISO 21021 certification is built on several key principles that form the foundation for sustainable event management:

1. Holistic approach: The standard emphasizes a comprehensive approach to sustainability, considering not only environmental factors but also social and economic aspects.

2. Stakeholder engagement: Organizations are encouraged to involve all relevant stakeholders, including suppliers, attendees, and local communities, in the planning and delivery of events.

3. Continual improvement: ISO 21021 promotes a commitment to ongoing improvement in sustainability performance, intending to reduce the negative impacts of events over time.

4. Transparency and accountability: Organizations must be transparent in their sustainability efforts and report their performance to stakeholders.

Certification Requirements

Certification to ISO 21021 requires organizations to implement a sustainable event management system (SEMS) that aligns with the standard's guidelines. The process typically involves the following steps:

1. Establishing a sustainability policy: The organization must develop a clear policy outlining its commitment to sustainability and its objectives concerning event management.

2. Identifying relevant issues: A thorough analysis of environmental, social, and economic issues related to the organization's events must be conducted to determine focus areas.

3. Setting objectives and targets: Based on the identified issues, the organization should set specific, measurable, and achievable goals and targets for improvement.

4. Developing a sustainability action plan: A detailed action plan should be created to outline the strategies and initiatives that will be implemented to achieve the set objectives and targets.

5. Engaging stakeholders: The organization must establish processes for communicating with and involving stakeholders in the planning and delivering of events.

6. Monitoring and measuring performance: The effectiveness of the SEMS should be regularly assessed through monitoring and measuring performance against established objectives and targets.

7. Continual improvement: Organizations must demonstrate an ongoing commitment to improving their sustainability performance by reviewing their SEMS and adjusting their objectives, targets, and action plans accordingly.

Obtaining the certification

Organizations must undergo an audit conducted by an accredited certification body to obtain certification. This rigorous assessment thoroughly examines the organization's SEMS to verify its compliance with ISO 21021 requirements.

ISO 21021 certification demonstrates an organization's commitment to sustainable event management. By implementing a SEMS aligned with the standard, organizations reduce environmental impact, enhance their reputation, and contribute to global sustainability efforts.

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