The Australian events industry is currently assisting with the development of an International Standard set to improve the industry’s global sustainability performance and enable it to address its social, economic and environmental issues, impacts and legacies in a systematic and transparent manner.
With an anticipated launch date of June 2012 for ISO20121: Event Sustainability Management Systems a development committee comprising a group of industry bodies representing industry stakeholders and organizations has been appointed by Standards Australia to ensure our input is received and acknowledged.
“The committee members will provide comment from their constituents on the current draft to Standards Australia by September. That feedback will be forwarded for inclusion in the development of the International Standard, Stakeholders can also make comment through the committee secretariat, the Sustainable Event Alliance (SEA). An online portal has been established on the website of the SEA ” said Giselle Radulovic, Chair Australian Mirror Committee.
Those organizations with representation on the mirror committee include:
• Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB)
• Australian Centre for Event Management (UTS)
• Australian Banking Association
• Business Events Sydney
• Exhibition & Event Association of Australia
• Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand
• International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA)
• International Special Events Society
• Live Performance Australia
• Local Government & Shires Association (NSW)
• Meetings & Events Australia (MEA)
• NSW Department of Environmental Climate Change and Water
• Sustainable Event Alliance
- Sydney Olympic Park Authority
The all important business events sector is well represented through its peak bodies – AACB, MEA, ICCA and Business Events Sydney (Chair).
Adelaide Convention Bureau CEO Damien Kitto said, on behalf of the mirror committee, “Australia recognizes the importance of setting an International Standard for sustainable business practices through a recognized framework. As leaders in this field in many instances, we welcome the opportunity provided by the international committee to submit feedback and comment ahead of November’s global meeting to address the Standard’s final draft”.
*The Draft International standard was released in April for public comment for a period of five months. Stakeholders can also make comment through the committee secretariat, the Sustainable Event Alliance (SEA). Business events stakeholders are encouraged to review the standard and make any desired comments. A online portal has been established on the website of the SEA
About the Standard
ISO 20121 is a ‘management system’ standard. With extensive global stakeholder engagement and involvement, the resulting document will be a standard that event organisers can follow to systematically address sustainable development issues in the event planning cycle.
Rather than a checklist or how to guide, the standard encourages the implementation of processes and systems to ensure sustainable development issues and potential impacts are identified, stakeholders engaged, objectives set and met, and a continuous improvement cycle embedded. Integral to success of the standard is the overarching commitment by the organisation’s top management to sustainable development principles and their directive to its implementation in event management. Important also is that the team producing and running the event has skills and knowledge in sustainability and how it can be applied in action in event production. This will require professional development within the industry.