ISO 20121 has been developed to coincide with the London 2012 Olympics, and is based on the earlier British Standard BS 8901 which was first developed in 2007.
Michelle Watson, director at Sustainable Event Certification said: "In simple terms, ISO 20121 describes the building blocks of a business management system that will help any organisation in the event industry to be financially successful and more socially responsible whilst reducing its environmental footprint."
"Social and environmental issues are becoming a major concern of governments, industry and the public alike. From climate change to social justice, resource depletion to corporate governance, industry is increasingly being challenged to carry out its business in a more sustainable manner. With ISO 20121, the event industry now has the opportunity to step up to the sustainability challenge."
ISO 20121 applies to all types and sizes of organisation involved in the event industry and was established by working with venues, audio-visual, logistics, caterers and design companies as well as individual event organisers and corporate event teams.
Watson added: "Whilst the standard isn’t a particularly easy read, the ideas within in it make good business sense such as having a clear purpose, engaging with your customers and employees and focussing resources on the issues that are critical to your business success."
Organisations that successfully implement the standard will be able to seek independent recognition of their achievement through a process called ‘certification’.
An important point to note is that ISO 20121 is not just about "greening" events. The standard is concerned with how organisations gear themselves up to be commercially successful as well as environmentally and socially responsible.
For more in-depth and print-only features, showcases and interviews with world-leading brands, don't miss the next issue of Event magazine by subscribing here.