An Australian Mirror Committee, including representation from Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA), has been formed to ensure that Australian interests are considered during the development of the international standard, ISO/CD 20121 Events Sustainability Management System.
During the initial stage of the standard’s development, Australia only had ‘observer’ status and consequently no authority to comment on its content. Australia, and other countries which have formed mirror committees, now have the opportunity to review and raise points at the next global meeting, to be held in San Francisco at the end of September.
EEAA is represented on the 14-person Australian Mirror Committe, convened by Standards Australia, by Adrian Slingsby, Exhibition Services Manager, Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre who will provide input from the perspective of exhibition organisers, venues and suppliers.
“This standard is a great initiative, particularly as it doesn’t just focus on environmental concerns but also looks at the social and economic impacts that our industry can positively influence,” said Slingsby.
He said that many of Australia’s comments to date had already achieved recognition in the standard, including ensuring indigenous rights are considered and concerns that small businesses will be able to implement the standard.
“The standard is essentially a management tool for event organisers to help them when planning an event. In Australia, we already have a lot of its processes in place – for example, fair treatment of workers – so it won’t be a big process for companies here to become ISO compliant.
“However, for those businesses with a CSR agenda it will be an excellent way to promote that they are adopting best practice in event management.”
Slingsby is also participating in working groups to give feedback on the standard’s framework around supply chain management and guidelines for identifying issues, processes and setting priorities.
Other Australian Mirror Committee members are from Australian Bankers Association; Australian Centre of Events Management; Business Events Sydney; NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water; Live Performance Australia; Sustainability Events Association (x2); Sydney Olympic Park; Venue Managers Association; and Standards Australia (x4).